This is a piece on an artist, a director named Brian Petchers, who sees the world from a purely unique perspective, one where he teaches observers that this is how people should treasure life, touch minds and live dreams.
When music needs a visual, which path do you take? Is it dark? Is it light? Is it real or make-believe? Why not make it a complete sensory experience? Meet Brian Petchers, music video director and visual connoisseur, who recently worked on a project with Boston-rapper Cam Meekins.
Think ephemeral, think beauty, think a light that flashes across your eyes, the foggy and warped interpretation of your vision in front of you and then passing by.
Think nostalgic and think dreamy. Think reasons unspoken and reality versus a dream. This is how Petchers, a man of his art, a man who has a gift at such a young age, executes his work. The Connecticut-native had a chance to connect with me to discuss his behind-the-scenes process of his recent music video release for Cam Meekins’, single ”Risk.” Meekins is a young artist with a large reputation in the city for being a voice for the Massachusetts hip hop scene.
He decided to then approach the director in hopes of recording his new music video, which Petchers took graciously. However, this wouldn’t be the first time that the duo would work together; in fact, this would be the third time, so they have the musical chemistry already there.
In the video we follow along a story line of boy meets girl, but in a way that not most directors do. The vision is wavy and blurred yet extremely vivid. It’s the actual interpretations of a late night party while intoxicated and in love, giving the entire clip a true and real character. This is how the Skidmore College alum sees the world and the events that occur in it, and how he teaches observers that this is how people should treasure life, touch minds and live dreams.
Petchers was more than excited to discuss the development and concept of the Meekin’s music video from the ‘director’s point of view.’ “We shot this in Boston and it has a strong summer-time and youthful feel,” explains the visual creator. “Cam and I worked together on two video’s “Cut Me Off” and “The Receipt” in 2012. He reached out on Twitter to see if I wanted to direct the lead video off his new project Art is The Reason,” and “he sent me over the song and I wrote a treatment. I wanted to push the boundaries creatively while still staying within Cam’s brand. The things I wanted to make sure I captured was a youthful, summer-time Boston feel. What we landed on was a candid rooftop social setting in Southie turned into a more abstract almost mysterious late night party.”
I love the way that Petchers plays with light and the shades and hues of natural light, and the shadows and highly exposed areas of artificial lighting. Emphasizing hands, hair, and other body parts, the celebration of human life. He messes with time and space, things that are seen, things that are ambiguous, and things that are just there as white noise. He emphasizes the things that seem fictional and makes them real.
“Smoke, light, and motion are all visual themes within the video that echo the nature and momentum of the track. The video has a light narrative of Cam pursuing the lead female,” says the videographer, describing how he planned to build a plot out of the rapper’s music. He continues, “I prepped a storyboard and shot list. (It’s great when you can get it as close to your vision as possible.) My goal is to create visuals that show the world through my eyes.” You can see those sketches and images below as side by sides of what the drawing/visualization looks like vs. the footage.
The entirety of the construction of the expose spanned a course of 2 full days all over the city of Boston. He says, “I wanted to make sure the visuals fell in line with my personal aesthetic: candid, beautiful, youthful, American, nostalgic. I think we did a good job of achieving this.” Within just a few quick weeks, the director was ready to release the video for Meekins to promote his song through in early July. You can watch the video in its entirety above.
Amazing. The song itself has a fun beat, and a light trill pattern, much like a trop-house mix, but it has a nostalgic tune, like the risk you wish you took, but didn’t, and now you’re looking back at it. It’s the sound of a bold man (Meekins) and his opinions through his lyrics, as he describes his own summer tale. The song screams “no matter what gets in our way, we’re going to ‘think about the good times’ and enjoy this moment.” It’s a light-hearted tune perfect for the adventurous-hearts and the passionate beings.
Now, here is a little more about the director and his other work. In the past, the artist has collaborated with artists such as Big Sean, Soulja Boy, Dylan Owen, Timeflies, Chuuwee, Steve Aoki, Logic, Cam Meekins and OnCue among many others. He has also been working for the enterprise mogul company Forbes, making commercials and documentaries for the organization.
In addition to the already numerous successes, Petchers was recently nominated for the Cannes Young Director Award for his work with Dylan Owen, “There’s More To Life.” Watch it here now.
When watching his pieces, it feels as if you were thrown into the dimensions of a Tarrence Malik film such as The Tree Of Life, or that of an Andrew Dominik creation, such as The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. He fabricates cinematography like the world is a photograph, or a series of photographs- beautiful, flawed, unique and extraordinary. In every one of his productions, from commercials, to music videos, to his own short pieces, Petchers closely examines the subjects and the environments he puts together like pieces of a puzzle that make up his vision.
There is not even an inkling of doubt that this young man of the millennial generation, who now resides in NYC, is going to be leading the industry in an artistic revolution, led completely by a youthful, colorful, and complex imagination.
*All Photographs and Visuals by Brian Petchers*