Director’s Commentary is a new feature here, focused on the stories behind music videos straight from those who produce them. First up is Traevfx discussing the video he directed for the track “328ix” by lui*. Based in Cedar Rapids, Trae ventured to Des Moines for the shoot, which took an unexpected turn when it was shut down by the police.
villin: How did you first meet lui* and what was the original concept for the video?
Traevfx: I met lui* through his manager reaching out. His manager had sent me a whole detailed story board concept with scene ideas. I didn’t talk to lui* until the day of the shoot, [but] when I met lui* and talked to him, he told me he was really following what I was doing and that he trusted me with whatever vision and direction I wanted to take the video, and I really appreciated that.
villin: How did the song and its vibe help play into the direction you took things visually?
Traevfx: His sound and the beat are really trippy, and I wanted to try to represent and bring the viewer on a trippy experience. I wanted to try and keep the pace moving and have appropriate fx with the sounds.
villin: What visual elements did you try to incorporate into the video and were there any influences that helped inspire its direction?
Traevfx: I tried to use lots of different colors and glitches to represent a trip. This song gave off “Money Talk” vibes, one of my first trippy videos. When we were shooting in the woods I put a flashlight attachment and grip on my camera, with a fisheye lens, and told him to extend his arm out and face it towards him like a selfie/POV. I wanted to show how distorted his perspective was and make the viewer feel like they were tripping too.
villin: What sort of camera did you use for the shoot and what software did you use to edit and add effects to the video?
Traevfx: I shoot with a SonyA7iii and edit on Vegas Pro 14.
villin: Were there any other crew or did you run the whole thing on your own?
Traevfx: My friend Dillon Sheeley helped shoot behind the scenes. He has helped me in shooting behind the scenes for a lot of my most memorable videos. The behind the scenes we shot for lui* will be coming very soon!
villin: Where were the different scenes shot around Des Moines, and was there originally meant to be more house party footage?
Traevfx: The main clips we planned on shooting were: outside with [a] car; Airbnb party; woods. Locations [were]: Airbnb, woods, Des Moines Apt. Hallway, Saylorville Lake, and the Des Moines art museum. We had shot a lot of outside and car scenes while we were waiting for the party to fill up. There was a story/plot, and I did want more scenes for storytelling, but the cops kicking us out worked out and we made the best of it. A lot of the video were performance shots at cool locations that fit the vibe.
villin: Is that the first time you’ve had to deal with the police on any of your shoots?
Traevfx: I’ve been pulled over during a music video shoot, but never kicked out of an Airbnb.
For more from Traevfx, visit his website and YouTube page or follow along on Instagram.