Music

This minimalist music video from D.A.N.K. forces you to focus on the music

London-based director Leonardo Verkoelen of studio Blauw Films and electronic artists D.A.N.K. have collaborated on a back-to-basics music video that’s unlike your basic music video.

Confused? Allow me to explain. In the music video for the track Lonely, the team decided to make something that allows the listener to focus on the actual song.

So instead of filling the clip with flashy dance moves and incredible special effects – like many of today’s music videos – Blauw Films went with a view of a window and a timelapse of the day turning into night.

“The track is very hypnotic in nature. We decided to recreate the feeling of being alone with your thoughts while the passes by,” explained Verkoelen.

“We removed all distractions for the audience to make sure they pay attention to the music. The entire music video is a slow push-in of a window in an empty room, while a timelapse of the day turning night is seen outside.”

Verkoelen first fell in love with filmmaking after starting out with a camera on a smartphone. He has since been trying to find new and better ways to provide a cinematic experience.

We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Verkoelen to find out more about the D.A.N.K. music video, as well as his work. Take a look:

Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you get into film production?

“Like most filmmakers, I believe, who were born in this age, I started out filming with a camera on a mobile phone. And I’ve basically been directing films since. Always trying to get better and finding new ways to provide a cinematic experience.

“Earlier this year I started Blauw Films to start working with clients and making our own work.

How would you describe your style?

“I like doing different things for different circumstances. For different genres of filmmaking, what I believe works can vary quite a lot. It’s really about looking at every project or idea separately and trying to find an interesting way to tell that story. I think that is my style.”

What was the project brief when D.A.N.K. approached you to make the music video?

“Henry White, the composer of the track, worked with me as a composer for our short film series The World of Animalia. Later, D.A.N.K talked to us about a music video for Lonely. We discussed several ideas and came to the conclusion that we wanted the video to be calm, intriguing, and present some form of being alone.”

Take us through your creative process. How did you come up with the concept for the music video?

“During the discovery process we set up several limitations for ourselves. This makes sure you have a clear focus for the project.

“The first thing we got rid of were the cuts. They would distract the viewer from being ‘alone’. We also talked about having only one location and definitely no people, for the same reason.

“We then started looking at possible locations and felt like the idea of having the viewer stare out of a window while letting the day pass, would be effective.

“From there, it was just refining the concept further and trying to solve the problems found on the way.”

You mentioned that there is still a lot that can be done in the medium of cinema. Can you elaborate on that? And how do you plan on pushing those boundaries?

“Well, cinema being such a modern art form gives filmmakers an infinite amount of possibilities. There are still many ways to tell stories that have been told before. And there are many stories that have never been told yet.

“With Blauw Films, that becomes the mindset for every project. I have many ideas myself and I know there are many other filmmakers out there that have great ideas as well. By working with different people on different projects, we can create something memorable every time.”

What would be your dream creative project?

“There is a horror feature film project that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. That’s probably the ‘main dream project’. But for the moment, there are many music video, commercial, and other short form ideas I’d call my dream project. So we’ll just work our way down the list.”

What are you working on next?

“There are two main things we’re working on now. There is a music video that is currently in pre-production. There is not much I can say about that yet as we’re still refining the idea. However, we are also working on a horror short film. Which is one of our narrative projects.”

Head on over here to learn more about Leonardo Verkoelen and Blauw Films.