Wake The Town
Stuck in Motion
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

The Directors: Lucas Hrubizna


Blink director on abstract elements, music that feels 'visual' and why style emerges from following your gut

The Directors: Lucas Hrubizna

Toronto-based director Lucas has been described as a VFX wizard. Often using cutting edge technology Lucas’ work explores surreal and unique worlds that leap off the screen. It’s these skills combined with an eye for beautiful framing and detail that really sets his work apart. His latest visuals for Sad Night Dynamite, a modern day trip into purgatory, make for essential viewing.

Name: Lucas Hrubizna

Location: Toronto, Canada

Repped by/in: Blink (UK + Amsterdam)

Awards: UKMVA Best Special Visual Project 2022 , Ciclope Best Music Video VFX - Silver 2022, 1.4 Awards Best Music Video VFX 2022, Best Music Video Columbus International Film and Animation Festival 2020, Best Music Video Seeyousound International Music Film Festival 2020, Vimeo Staff Pick Best of the Month 2019

LBB> What elements of a brief sets one apart from the other and what sort of briefs get you excited to shoot them?

Lucas> I love to get a brief that has some sort of abstract element that is open to interpretation. Whether its lyrics or images, any elements that aren’t too prescriptive and that ask me to find a new or surprising way to execute a visual interpretation are really exciting. Any room for play tends to be inspiring.

LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a music video?

Lucas> I tend to work backwards from images. Usually I lay on the floor in a completely dark room, eyes closed, and just listen to the track on repeat until it’s all I’m thinking about. Any images that float into my head and strike me as interesting, I write down and try to triangulate them with what the artist has laid out in the brief. I also have an ongoing notebook full of ideas that I will read over when listening to music to see if anything I have dreamt up in the past might work for the project at hand. Sometimes music video concepts can be very difficult to put into words because there is so much visual freedom in the format, and there are all sorts of techniques that are best described by presenting a reference image. So I spend a lot of time using my VFX skills to create mock-ups that really illustrate what I am trying to do visually or dig through a library of reference images that I have built over time to find examples that communicate the feeling I am chasing. It’s not always possible, but when I can I also really like to speak directly to an artist to get a feel for their sensibilities and their creative guardrails so I can tailor my approach.

LBB> If the brief is for someone that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a genre you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the video? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Lucas> Depending on the artist and the way that they use social media to connect with their audience, I will dig around to see how people have responded to previous releases. YouTube comments are a great resource because they can tip you off to what elements of the music or the artist people are responding to. It can be very helpful in understanding the feeling fans get when they listen to or watch an artist, but I think you have to be careful not to get too caught up in what has worked in the past because it can be creatively stifling and doesn’t necessarily promote novel or exciting ideas.


LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making a music video? And why?

Lucas> It might be obvious, but I think the most important relationship is with the artist. There needs to be a serious understanding of what they are trying to say, because at the end of the day, a music video is functionally an extension of their song. The song provides emotional scaffolding, pace and sometimes narrative for the visual accompaniment, and so having trust from the artist that you understand their point of view and what they want to express is crucial. Hopefully as a director, you can unearth the core of the song with images, but that only works if you’ve connected with the artist and understand their own creative choices.

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Lucas> I love all kinds of music, but the stuff I am most drawn to make films for is music that feels 'visual' - work that has a sense of space and texture that I can use as jumping off points for my imagery. It’s hard to say exactly what kinds of material resonate with me beyond that however - I’m often surprised by which tracks inspire me and which don’t. From a style perspective, I really let the music guide me rather than applying some preconceived aesthetic. Style emerges from following my gut.

LBB> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?

Lucas> My work tends to veer a little bit into darker territory and I think there can be a misconception that I’m some sort of prince of darkness character who won’t approach a project with levity or optimism. But I’m not really like that as a person - I have loads of ideas that are more playful and bright. Just waiting on the right projects to deploy them.


LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?

Lucas> On the visuals campaign I directed for Sad Night Dynamite’s album 'Vol II', we were hit with covid restrictions that had me stuck at home in Toronto right before a shoot that had to take place in London. So we had to quickly come up with a way to remotely shoot seven different settings over two days without changing locations, which was incredibly daunting. We ended up finding a solution in the use of a volumetric capture studio, where I could direct the band over a video link and capture their performances in 3D, and then build CGI environments at my home studio in Canada to integrate the captures into. It was extremely challenging but the approach actually ended up defining the aesthetic of the project and gave it a unique flavour that people really responded to.

view more - The Directors
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
Blink / Blinkink, Tue, 06 Jun 2023 12:59:54 GMT