Alex Moulton — Creative

Music Videos

 
 

Here are some music videos I made with a few friends, a few dollars, and few wild ideas.

 

 
 

TIGA /
HOT IN HERRE

LABEL: !K7 Records
ROL: Co-Director with Thomas Sontag

In 2004, I co-directed the music video for Tiga's cover of Nelly's "Hot In Herre" with Thomas "Lord of The Marionette" Sontag (aka Thomas von Party aka Tiga's brother).

 
 

My first meeting with Tiga was at Piano's, a music venue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a few blocks from my apartment at the time.

 
We had about 5 minutes to talk before he went on, and Darshan Jesrani of Metro Area was finishing up his set in the other room. Tiga told me about how his brother Thomas had started to perform with a marionette at their big monthly party in Montreal. They'd project the puppet dancing onto a screen next to the DJ and people would go nuts.  I had pitched a completely different concept, which got me the meeting in the first place, but Tiga wanted to know if I would collaborate with his brother to have this marionette star in the video. I said hell yes.
tiga.jpg
 

Thomas and I hit it off immediately and our loose concept quickly escalated into a full-blown rap video, where we'd borrow shamelessly from every current hit on MTV.

We had just a few weeks before Thomas would fly down to shoot with me for a weekend, and in that time we had to create sets, costumes and props on a shoestring budget. The kicker was that Thomas only had two identical marionettes, both in traditional tuxedo costumes, plus a goofy-looking dog marionette.
It wasn't long before the whole Eyeball family was helping out. Limore Shur and Rachel Riggs created looping graphic backgrounds for reverse projection onto the largest sheet of ground glass I could afford, and Hyejin Hwang designed and assembled an entire wardrobe of doll clothing. Thomas and I shot for three days — me lighting and shooting and him puppeteering —trying every crazy idea we could think of. We thought it was hilarious but we had no idea if anyone else would get it. 
 
 

Tiga, Jennifer Masset (then U.S. label manager at !K7), and I brought the finished video up to MTV and screened it for first time. No one in the audience even cracked a smile.

This wasn't a room of old executives, it was a group of twenty-somethings who should have loved it. Jen was still optimistic, but Tiga and I were despondent. A few days later MTV wrote to !K7 that they would not air the video. But after releasing it on the internet, the video was an overnight sensation and MTV suddenly found a slot for it. Suddenly we had a global hit. Except in the Czech Republic.
 

Mike Eastwood, executive producer at Eyeball, got a call from a reporter in Prague asking for a comment on the fact the video had just been banned there. WTF?

The journalist explained that Spejbl — the marionette we had dressed in gansta bling and fashioned into a girl puppet with a culo like J-Lo — was equivalent to Mickey Mouse for the Czech people. Furthermore (and previously unknown to me), Spejbl was a national symbol of chastity and was often used to teach lessons on abstinence from sex, drugs, and alcohol to children.
Unsurprisingly, the next call we received was from lawyers. Thankfully for us, Spejbl was between owners and without legal rights. We reached an agreement but the attention only helped the video reach a wider audience.
puppet.jpg
 

Later that year, Thomas and I were nominated for 3 MVPA awards — best video under $20k, best electronic video, and best choreography, which we lost to Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love." Go figure.

We did win a New York Festivals Gold World Medal, and a special place in the hearts of marionette lovers everywhere.

 

 

FUNKSTÖRUNG / 
THE NIPPLE TWIST

LABEL: !K7 Records
ROLE: Co-Director (with Tatiana Arocha), Editor

First things first. Yes, this is the last video that Funkstörung ever made.

No, we had nothing to do with breaking up the band.

 
 

I had arrived early to the !K7 party at CMJ, and Princess Superstar was the warmup DJ. There weren't many people yet, so I struck up conversation with a random guy sitting at the bar. We quickly discovered we had a lot in common, and he was so excited to hear I'd made Tiga's marionette video. He then told me I should direct a video for his band too. "Sure," I said, "what's your band's name?"

When he answered "I'm Michael Fakesch from Funkstorüng," I thought he was messing with me. You don't randomly meet a god of electronic music sitting in a half-empty bar in Alphabet City. Or maybe you do? Lucky me.

When "The Return To The Acid Planet" was finished, Michael and Chris sent me a copy. Any track we wanted to make a video for was ours. The only catch? A $0 budget... literally. My wife Tatiana and I thought it would be a fun challenge, so we jumped right in.

We pulled a couple of cans of leftover Super16 film from our freezer, and hired our buddies Kambui Olujimi as DP and Eric Papa as producer. Then we put an ad on Craigslist to show up outside Tatiana's art gallery in Williamsburg and take part in the largest Nipple Twist ever.

The shoot was as ridiculous as it looks and we got some great local cameos too, including Jaleel Bunton of TV on the Radio, who just happened to be walking by while we were shooting.

 

 

TOSCA / 
J.A.C.

LABEL: !K7 Records
ROLE: Co-Director with Tatiana Arocha, Editor

Tosca and !K7 gave us an open creative brief for this album promo spot. We immediately fell in love with the second track on the album, "Heidi Bruehl," and knew it needed imagery as elegant as the music. We also realized that a Swiss friend of ours bore an uncanny resemblance to the German singer and actress for whom the song was named.

 

We wanted to create an homage to Bruehl and emulate the look of mid-60s Munich. After scouting NYC locations and coming up empty, we opted for Philly's Old City district.

With its cobblestoned streets and vine-covered brick walls, Old City was the perfect backdrop. To maintain that 60s vibe we shot with our Hassleblad and a grainy Tri-X stock. Each film frame was then scanned and animated.

 

 

MOCEAN WORKER —
CHICK A BOOM BOOM BOOM

LABEL: Mowo
ROLE: Co-Director with Tatiana Arocha, DP, Editor, VFX

Adam (aka Mocean Worker) said he was down for anything, so we dreamed up this idea that defies explanation. Based on a bizarre collection of childhood memories from all three of us, we got Adam into as many costumes as we could afford and then painstakingly rotoscoped him into every scene to create this VFX-heavy low budget homespun music video.

 
 

 

BAJOTIERRA — 
LOS KILLER MONKEYS

LABEL: Polen Records
ROLE: Co-Director with Tatiana Arocha, DP, Editor, VFX

Tatiana and I shot this video for Bajotierra in L.A. while she was working there on another gig. Since the band didn't want to be in the video, we cast our friends Duane Daniels (from Veronica Mars), Eric J (Grammy-winning producer and engineer), Sofi Bonde (Pop Singer), and a few others to act out our monkeyish nightmares.