The director of Lana Del Rey‘s “Lust For Life” album trailer, Clark Jackson, spoke to Pitchfork about the video. He reveals the concept and influences for the video, how they made the Hollywood sign, what it’s like to work with Lana and more!
Read the entire interview below:
What was the concept for this video?
We wanted to play with the idea of old 16mm instructional videos mixed in with ’50s and ’60s era sci-fi shows. We loved the idea of playing with magic, something slightly noir which is very her, something a little playful which is also very her. And of course we did it because of the reveal of the album title which she’s really excited about. We also wanted to tie in this idea that Lana was talking about the power of positive vibrations and the idea that positive thoughts can make a difference…that’s why she wanted to send little hearts out to the world. We also wanted to put in a whole bunch of hidden tie-ins to the rest of her album. In the end there are not very many items represented there, but each of them means something—each thing was placed on purpose. We want people to ask, “Why a ladder? Why the seven planets?” As songs and the rest of the album are released, they will become more clear.
Last month, Lana tweeted about a nationwide occult effort trying to remove President Trump from office through witchcraft. How does the occult factor into this video?
That’s actually kind of funny, we never talked directly about witchcraft or the occult, we were more having fun with the idea of the zany world of old TV shows and noir etc. Maybe that idea of positive vibrations, and the idea of if we can put positive out into the world that maybe we can make a positive difference ties in there somewhere, but truthfully I don’t know.
The video features a bunch of symbols. Most people recognized the Weeknd’s XO logo, but what you can tell me about the other symbols?
I can’t tell you what all the images were for. Each was important and I think in time, each will be revealed.
How did the monologue come together? Any particular inspirations there?
You will have to ask Lana directly about where the monologue came from. She pulled up to a meeting with me and it was something that she had recorded on her cell phone. She said “let’s do something like this,” but it was so perfect that we didn’t edit a word of it and used it as is.
Vevo lists Benny Blanco, Emile Haynie, and Rick Nowels as co-producers, with you, on this video. What did they contribute?
Vevo does that—they don’t always differentiate between the video producer and the producers of the record, the music, etc. I am just happy to be in their fine company, some of the finest music minds in the industry.
Any standout memories of working with Lana on this?
Lana is amazing to work with. She has a real vision but lets you get in her head and see if you can add to it. It is the best case scenario. She knows what she needs, but wants you to add your own spark to it, too. There is this sense when I work with her that she gives everything of herself, and that comes out in just how powerful her music is.
There are a lot of visual effects here: the ghostly Lana, the flickering stars over Los Angeles, the Statue of Liberty’s torch being snuffed out. What was the most challenging part about directing this?
The hardest part of this whole video was the Hollywood sign. We wanted a night shot of the Hollywood sign as it looked, all lit up in the 1950s. Of course, the sign is not lit up anymore. So I and a few friends built the sign and the mountain out of papier-mâché, foam, chicken wire, and old school Hollywood-style model-making in my garage. The neighbors thought I had lost my mind when they saw me knee deep in papier-mâché. Blink and you will miss it, but all of that from the tower to the sign to the bushes and trees were all made by hand. Probably would have been so much easier to have someone build it in 3D, but it was so much fun playing in mud, glue, and paint for three days.
What was your involvement on the “Love” video? Anything you can please tell us about the visual aesthetic there?
I produced the “Love” video. Rich Lee is this amazing director, so any time I can work or play with him, I jump in. As a producer my job is to try to come up in real space all of the amazing ideas that the director has in their head. We had a couple of main shoot days, then we ran all over Southern California for several days to shoot all the cool otherworldly landscapes.
What can we expect, visually or sonically, from Lust for Life?
Just like on the clues in the video, I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but I think I can safely say that the first single is going to be rather Hollywood-centric. It ties in for sure.
Climb up the H
Of the Hollywood sign, yeah
The title track from Lana Del Rey‘s upcoming album ‘Lust For Life’ premiered at 7:30pm on Radio 1 this evening, along with a brief interview with Lana herself. The beautiful song features The Weeknd and Lana describes it as the “perfect track” for him to appear in.
Radio 1’s MistaJam comments on how the two currently released tracks ‘Love’ and ‘Lust for Life’ sound very different to each other. Lana responded by saying the first few tracks are gonna have a “bigger, richer sound,” adding she wants to dig into the acoustic sound of the record later.
Lana revealed that she has an acoustic track titled ‘Yosemite’, a love song, which did all in one take. She wants to put out songs that have a “similar production” to ‘Lust For Life’ first, before continuing into the more intimate tracks.
Also, Lana has another feature on the album with a song titled “Tomorrow Never Came” with Sean Ono Lennon.
You can listen to the new track here or below.
Yesterday, April 17, Lana Del Rey took to Instagram to express her political views. She said she felt conflicted about singing and dancing at Coachella whilst things continue to heat up between America and North Korea.
Due to this, Lana went to one of my favourite places and wrote a song, which she shared on her Instagram through a video, in hope of bringing some peace to the world in this difficult time.
I’d trade it all for a stairway to heaven
I’d take my time as I climb up to the top of it
I’d trade the fame and the fortune and the fucking legend
I’d give it all away if you give me just one day to answer one question
I’d give it all away if you give me just one day to answer one question
I'm not gonna lie- I had complex feelings about spending the weekend dancing whilst watching tensions w North Korea mount. I find It's a tightrope between being vigilantly observant of everything going on in the world and also having enough space and time to appreciate God's good earth the way it was intended to be appreciated. On my way home I found myself compelled to visit an old favorite place of mine at the rim of the world highway where I took a moment to sit down by the sequoia grove and write a little song. I just wanted to share this in hopes that one individual's hope and prayer for peace might contribute to the possibility of it in the long run. Hope everyone has a nice day, with love from California
The first magazine cover of the “Lust For Life” era is London based magazine DAZED! Lana Del Rey graces their Spring/Summer 2017 edition wearing elegant feathers for not only one, but TWO covers!
The interview is a conversation between Lana and Courtney Love which was conducted by Natasha Stagg. Styling director Robbie Spencer and photographer Charlotte Wales are to thank for Lana’s ethereal appearance!
On Instagram, Lana said “the interview was a conversation with one of the baddest bitches in town, Courtney Love, God only knows what we said.”
The issue is available worldwide on April 20 and can be ordered here.
To Lana: “What I hear in your music is that you’ve created a world, you’ve created a persona, you’ve created this kind of enigma that I never did” – Courtney Love.
“Adolescents know when something comes from somebody’s heart. It might not be the song that sells, but when people hear it, they know it.”
“If music is really in your blood and you don’t want to do anything else… you don’t care about the money until later. It’s about the vibe.”
Today, April 11, Lana Del Rey revealed the cover of her upcoming album, “Lust For Life,” which was photographed by her sister Chuck Grant. Lana posted it on all of her social media.
Lana’s hair was done by Anna Cofone and her make-up by Pamela Cochrane.