Fashion & Fantasy | Part 31: AN INTERVIEW WITH J.A. MORENO
2 IN A MILLION IS THE LATEST MUSIC VIDEO YOU’VE DIRECTED FOR STEVE AOKI. THE OFFICIAL VIDEO RELEASED A FEW MONTHS AGO, YET YOU DECIDED TO SHOOT YOUR OWN VERSION WHICH YOU ARE SHARING WITH US NOW. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO THAT?
We finished shooting the official video thirty minutes in advance. Instead of slowly wrapping up, I decide to make the most of the two great dancers and the location. The official version was very much focused on the musicians, whereas I wanted to spin the whole thing round and focus on the two dancers, who you can see in the background of the official video. We obviously didn’t have much time so we opted for a single take. We managed to shoot twice, though we actually ended up using the first version.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY? CAN YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR STORY ON HOW AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE (26) YOU ARE NOW DIRECTING MUSIC VIDEOS FOR THE LIKES OF STING, PARIS HILTON AND SHAED?
It may look like it didn’t take me long to get to where I am. But it’s just the opposite. I started filming when I was 14, so I have basically already spent half of my life working. It may seem like a cliche, but there is no other way to go about it other than working hard. There’s no secret recipe, but this is definitely the foundation of a successful career. Often people will come up with headlines such as “The 26 years old who has directed Sting, will.i.am, Paris Hilton, Steve Aoki, Andrés Calamaro, amongst others." This always makes it sound as if it’s something that has happened by chance. The truth is that I’ve been going out looking for those opportunities and making them happen, ready to jump on them as soon as they crossed my path.
AS WELL AS A MUSIC VIDEO DIRECTOR, YOU’VE RECENTLY RELEASED THE FASHION FILM ‘BEAUTIFUL COLORS’. IS FASHION FILM SOMETHING YOU’LL BE LOOKING TO EXPLORE FURTHER IN THE FUTURE? AND IF SO, WHY?
Yes, I’d love to. The fashion film format explores areas that I can’t dive into through music videos. This is a way for me to keep on growing creatively and something that I consider necessary for every director looking to expand and play with aesthetic-driven concepts. Beautiful Colors was my first fashion film, a project in which I didn’t limit my creativity as a director. It was a personal project and thanks to the hard work of a great team it was selected across more than thirty international festivals such as Berlin Commercial, Aesthetica Short Film Festival and LA Fashion Film Festival.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR STYLE? IS THERE SOMETHING THAT BRINGS TOGETHER ALL OF YOUR WORK?
People have begun telling me that they are able to spot my work just by the way it looks. The reality is that I simply direct the creativity of each project staying true to what I personally like. That way I can be certain that the style of my work will be consistent. For example, I take particular care of the aesthetic and lighting. Sometimes I get super picky with the framing, to the point where I ask myself: “Would I have this printed and hanged on the wall in my house?” People who know me will tell you that I have a preference for dressing mostly in black, with some white. Recently I realized that this is also something that I transport into my work, for example in how the artists I shoot are dressed. I think it’s something I do intuitively, almost subconsciously.
ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?
I’m working on the editing for a project I directed for the L.A based dj trio - Cheat Codes. I’m also directing my fifth music video for Steve Aoki, in collaboration with AGNEZ MO and Desiigner. A project they recorded in isolation, which will be released in the next few weeks. Different from the quarantine self-made videos we have been seeing.