This Thursday in LA, Andrew Gura, director of one of our favorite videos, Quasimoto's "Rappcats, Pt. 3," among others, is having a little party thrown for him at Reserve to showcase some of his work and answer some of your insightful questions. There will be free dranky dranks and secret musical guests (check his credits for hints), in case you need further incentive. We had some pressing questions of our own, though, so we asked Andrew and he answered. Read his thoughts on Pho spots and the craft of video direction after the jump.
What kind of footage can we expect to see at your screening?
It's about 80% videos that I've directed and 20% other pieces that I find inspiring. Within that 80%, there are two world premieres, both from artists we know and love. These were both projects that I directed that either didn't get released or that were shot and never edited for various reasons.
Where did you find all the clips for "Rappcats, Pt. 3?"
It was a joint effort between Peanut Butter Wolf and myself. He went nuts buying old rap videos on eBay, and we both hit up our own collections, as well as those of our friends. We had about a hundred VHS tapes to go through. Most of which were recorded on the super low quality EP setting, so that means that there was like 6 hours per tape. And most of the videos were interspersed between episodes of TV shows. All in all, we spent about a month on it.
Was it still fun to make after all that?
It was definitely a lot of fun. I'm pretty knowledgeable about rap music, but I'd never heard of some of the artists. And here's a little bit of trivia: There's a line where Quas says, "Remember Daddy Fresh and Maestro Fresh Wes?" There's no such rapper as Daddy Fresh. He meant Daddy Freddy, as in Asher D and...
What other video directors are you into right now?
Vernie Yeung is always kicking out some cool shit, as is Patrick Daughters. And I'm into a lot of the Partizan directors like Dan Lowe, Saam, and Cat Solen. Kris Moyes consistently turns out really inspiring work, as well.
What about music?
There's so much good music out. I'm loving Flying Lotus, Dabrye, Edan, Peter Bjorn & John. The new El-P is sounding really promising. Ratatat, the now separated Giant Drag, the new Busdriver, the new Shins.
One of your short films is called Reflections on Pho, which qualifies you as an expert in our minds. What are your favorite Pho spots?
Great question...broken down by region:
LA: Golden Deli
OC: my friend John's grandmother's.
NY: Nha Trang
Saigon: Pho Hoa Pasteur
You signed to Partizan about a year ago, right? How's that going so far? Has life changed a lot for you since then?
It's going great. In some ways life has changed a lot, and in some ways it's stayed the same. I directed a video for Young Dro last year, "Rubberband Banks," and he had a #1 single on three US charts ("Shoulder Lean") at the time. That was a pretty amazing experience that Partizan helped make happen.
But at the same time, I'm still directing videos for more underground artists like Cut Chemist and Mr. Lif, which is where I started. Probably the best thing about Partizan is that I'm supported by people who are as into good music as I am, and who know that sometimes the best music and the best creative opportunities for a music video director don't come with the best budgets.