Watch 'Mercy' by Kanye & Read Our Exclusive Interview with Director, Nabil
The video for the first single off Kanye's collaborative album 'Cruel Summer' has been released.
The video for 'Mercy', the first single off Kanye's collaborative album Cruel Summer (released on his GOOD Music label), has been released. The album is accompanied by a short film of the same name which debuted at Cannes last month (on no less than seven screens simultaneously) and was directed by Yeezy himself. Meanwhile, the brand new 'Mercy' video — also featuring Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz — was directed by Nabil Elderkin, who you may remember from such things as Bon Iver's 'Holocene' video, Frank Ocean's 'Novacane' video, Frank Ocean's Oyster #93 shoot, Erykah Badu's Oyster #97 shoot , Tyler, The Creator's Oyster #98 cover shoot, and just being generally awesome.
Our Creative Director caught up with Nabil.
Shane Sakkeus: Tell us about the creative process and turnaround for the clip. We hear this was years in the making [this is Shane being sarcastic].
Nabil Elderkin: It was a short creative process... Somewhere between the airport ride from Qatar airport to about an hour after reaching the location. There was a parking garage under where Kanye was filming his Cruel Summer art film. I conceived and shot it in a few hours... It was a few weeks of post-production though. Lots of roto.
And the location… To me it looked custom-painted — the 35% grey horizontal and the checkerboard guttering feels as though it didn't happen by chance.
I love natural art direction.
The Mercy — that's a very understated use of a Lambo. Is there any footage of the boys thrashing that thing? Or is it a cardboard cut-out?
No thrashing... Well, some stuff you will see in his film. Keeping it understated is cool with me.
What was the lens/camera rig?
It was anamorphic camera, and a really lo-fi motion control head.
How many takes?
Was about ten or so takes, with some freestyle planning of reveals and movements.
How did the work for Frank Ocean's 'Novocane' inform this one?
It was a base for the movement and vibe. Tried to build on it a little, but more in a group performance way. Sometimes simple works.
Production — Donda. Tell us about the inner sanctum.
Donda... Kanye's creative company. It's going to influence... It's going to set a bar up high. His film that will be coming out soon for everyone to see is one of the first projects. Why not?
Care to divulge what else you are working on at the moment?
Nothing set in stone... I'll let you know when it has been etched into the rock. I need a break.
Describe your relationship with Oyster in three words.
Looking for pearls.
Taking a break from that too... Except for...
Also breaking from the diet. I just ate a tres fromage baguette and followed with a chocolate tart thing… as you do when in Paris? Damn Shane... What's happening to me?