story / JORDAN BLAKEMAN
Chris Buongiorno grew up around the music video greats so it’s no wonder why he slipped on their shoes and found himself behind the camera. Considering he won a student Emmy when in school and a nomination at the UK Music Video Awards earlier this year, he made the right decision. Fresh off directing “<3” by Cherub, Chris will be taking part in the 4th Annual Los Angeles Music Video Festival taking place now. We asked the young director a little about himself and his showcasing video, “Back To Your Love.” You can check out the schedule here.
Tell us about one of the first projects you ever tried to produce.
In high school, I worked with the school’s daily news show to produce cutaway segments. I made a music video for the Incubus song, “Pardon Me” and to this day, it’s the best video I’ve ever made. I’m pretty sure it featured a guy crying at the top of a mountain in the pouring rain with sweeping Michael Bay shots. So epic.
How did you get involved in making music videos?
Fairly naturally, really. As a child, I was surrounded by the great music video directors of the 90s… Spike Jonze, David Fincher, Dayton & Faris, Mark Romanek; as my father was a visual effects artist who worked with them during those days. I would sit quietly in the back of a D1 bay absorbing all that I could. As I grew up, my love for music videos grew stronger and I went to college knowing that’d be my path. I think if you gave me a blood test, there’d be a trace of MTV floating around in there.
Do you have a team you usually work with or does it vary depending on the project? What is the dynamic like?
I usually work with the same DP and editor. We’ve worked together for so long that it’s just become incredibly comfortable. They know exactly what I want without having to say it, and I trust that they’ll always bring a new perspective to the table that will elevate the end result. I’m a bit of a control freak and like to have my hands in every aspect of a project, but it’s a wonderfully liberating when you trust someone who tells you that your ideas are terrible.
What was the inspiration behind the video “Back To Your Love” with Night Riots?
Oh, who knows. Ideas always come from the most random places for me. I’ve always been fascinated by mannequins as these kind of creepy observers, who come to life after the shops close. I think I’d had also been watching a ton of John Hughes movies at the time, which seemed to fit tonally. My writing teacher in college made that movie “Mannequin,” so maybe I just stole it from him. What’s that famous Picasso saying?
Who is an artist you would love to work with?
Randy Newman, obviously.
Have you got anything exciting in the works for us to look forward to?
I’m currently working with some programmers on a website that “connects” people online, where they can digitally add friends and share what they’re doing at any given moment. I really think it’s going to radically change the way people use the internet.