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Talking with Rik Cordero!

How did you get your start?

I made my first feature in 2004 but didn't start directing professionally until 2007. It's always felt like a series of small moments rather than one big defining one. I didn't go to film school, I just read a lot of books and mainly experimented until I figured out what worked best for me.

Did your career as a music video director stem from your love of film or music? 

I used to DJ in high school and college so music was always a way of life for me. I've been immersed in the culture at an early age so as a director it's very easy to find that emotional connection between the music and visuals. As started to gain more experience with narrative filmmaking, I began to use music as another layer for character development. For me, music has always been the fastest way to experience an emotion.

What was your big break?

My big break came when I shot a trailer for "Blue Magic", the first visual off Jay-Z’s concept album "American Gangster". The trailer created a viral buzz online and the results were millions of online impressions and views which ultimately helped the album to reach numerous top 10 lists by the end of 2007. It became my calling card for numerous music artist and brands.

How long is a good length of time for a music video? 

As a kid, I remember I had the "Thriller" poster on my bedroom door. I would wake up in the middle of the night and scare myself silly when I looked at the zombies. I'd run into my parents room in a cold sweat, but for some reason I could never remove the poster from my bedroom. I watched the video recently and it still retains the same power. With that said, there are general rules to how long music videos run on broadcast TV but those rules don't exist for the internet. While there are still long form videos being made, I don't think anything would ever have the same impact as "Thriller".

What's the one piece of style advice you can give you anyone?

Trust your instincts. What you're wearing should match the emotions you want to feel that day.

Talk about your watch, The Orient Disk!

The Orient Disk stood out to me immediately because of its design. My style is typically minimalist and I was drawn to the gunmetal grey, stainless steel band. With it's rotating center dial and automatic mechnical movement, the Disk is a watch I can wear for all occasions.

What is something people would never guess about you?

The biggest thing that has benefited me professionally, is that I’m always honest with others, I don’t treat people poorly, manipulate or deceive them. I’m truthful and I don’t stress under pressure. Strategically, this allows me to be immensely creative and well versed in all aspects of production, from writing, directing and editing.

Where's the most beautiful place you've ever been?

I once ate halal at the top of Aya Yorgi on the island of Buyukada in Turkey. The view was amazing and I could see ships in Bosporus heading into the Black Sea.

If you could go anywhere, any time - where would you go?

I would definitely want to travel into the future at a point where technology gives us the ability to explore other worlds. I watch a lot of Cosmos.

Rik Cordero is a filmmaker, based in New York City. He's the Creative Director of marketing video for Complex Media. Rik also founded runplayback.com as a platform to share his experience as a director and his thirst for using new technologies to inspire creative ideas and collaboration. He was nominated for Video Director Of The Year at the 2009 BET Awards and was the recipient of the Best Film Award for his feature film, Inside A Change which made its world premiere at the 2009 HBO NYILFF. In 2010, Cordero was featured in Sprite’s print and television ads for their Spark campaign and directed The World Is Watching, a documentary about the culture of New York City high school basketball produced by Nike and narrated by Spike Lee. His big break came when he shot a teaser trailer for Blue Magic, the first visual off Jay-Z’s concept album American Gangster. With acts like Jay-Z, WuTang Clan, Nas, The Roots and Action Bronson... Rik's artistry will definite the look of this generation.

Follow Rik on Instagram and Vimeo, and RunPlayBack on Twitter and Facebook


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