In what could be possibly one of the finest short videos of the year, British director Andrew Margetson has managed to take dancing to a whole new level in this incredibly crafted video featuring Lil Buck. Known widely for his popularisation of the dance form Jookin’, Buck moves effortlessly through the halls of the Frank Ghery designed Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris,
We sought out director Andrew Margetson to discuss this captivating and emotional juxtaposition of cultures. Be warned goosebumps will follow.
How did this amazing video come together?
The Fondation Louis Vuitton approached Nowness to make a film with Lil Buck as he was doing a live performance there at the end of October. The main issue was that the only time we could film in the galleries, was before the public are allowed in at 10am. And at that time of year it only got light at 8.30 am, so effectively we only had an hour and a half to film it!
My original idea was to shoot the whole film in one long shot, and to have Lil Buck walk towards the building, just like a regular visitor to the museum (because I wanted to see the outside of this extraordinary building) Buck’s dance was performed live to the music. We didn’t play with the sync or anything. For me, what makes the piece so compelling is to see Buck’s genuine interpretation of the music, how beautifully synchronised his movements are – and we get a real insight into his incredible musicality as an artist.
What was Lil Buck’s input like?
I only met with Lil Buck the day before the shoot, to walk him through the proposed route he’d take through the Fondation Louis Vuitton building. I played him four options for the music – I knew I wanted a classical piano piece – but I wanted something he could really respond to. He immediately picked the piece we used – the amazing ‘Fireworks’ by Evgeny and Sacha Galperine. To be honest, it was Buck’s ability to improvise that really allowed this film to work.
The music is incredible, it adds such a juxtaposing atmosphere. How did you decide to pull two other-worldly cultures together?
For me what’s unique about Lil Buck is that technically he can do it all. He comes from the world of Jookin’ and street-dancing in Memphis, but he has had ballet training as well and this gives him an extraordinary ability to perform unique movements. But I wanted to challenge him. I think the result speaks for itself.
What has been the response to the video?
Amazing. In terms of numbers of views it’s done unbelievably. But on a more personal level, a lot of people have been moved by the film. And that is the most gratifying response. For me, dance can do that thing where it cuts straight to the heart and move you. And when that happens you don’t forget it. Lil Buck with that music in front of that painting did it.