Singled Out is a feature focusing on the stories behind a song as told by the artists who made it. This edition finds 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.