Meet Canada, the director’s collective behind your favorite music videos for Tame Impala, Phoenix, El Guincho, Beck and so many more. The collective is based out of Barcelona and has also expanded to London.
This year, Canada won “Best Alternative Video” at the UK Music Video Awards for their production of “Up All Night” by Beck. In 2015, Canada was nominated for “Best Director” at the MTV Music Video Awards for Tame Impala’s “The Less I Know The Better.” Their shorts tend to have female protagonists, a heavy dose of comedy, mixed with psychedelic imagery and an engaging plot. I interviewed one of the founders Lope Serrano to find out more about what inspires these thrilling videos.
Q: How did Canada become a director’s collective?
LS: We started as a group of three friends who decided to join our forces in order to create something more powerful. CANADA was the concept we found to name this will of empowerment. Then, when we reached some notoriety, CANADA grew up and become also a production house where other directors could live together. So it began as a name for three director friends and then it become a production company. But CANADA is still our nickname as a directors and founders of the company (me and Nicolás Méndez, Luis Cerveró left the project in 2013).
Q: I’ve noticed you mainly use girls as the protagonist in your music videos, like the girl playing the knight and shining armor in the “Up All Night Video” by Beck, why is that?
Q: Can you talk more about having female protagonists and how you think that it’s important than having male protagonists? Do you think younger girls will watch your videos and feel inner strength and power?
LS: I don’t like to think in terms of what is better or not when dealing with a female character or male character. Female and male are not absolute categories. Each context and condition asks for a specific character, no matter if it`s a male or a female. We are all humans here.
Q: Are you inspired by magical realism? There are a lot of magical-realism influences in your videos that remind me of “The House of Spirits” by Isabel Allende.
LS: Not as a formula. I do believe that reality is a subjective construction and it feels fun creating short circuits between what it’s logical and what it’s not, but i don’t feel myself especially close to what is broadly known as magical realism.
Q: I’ve noticed you use a lot of humor in your videos, how do you use humor to convey your message?
LS: Humor is the more efficient way you can fight against skepticism. And the second best way to seduce.
Q: What feelings do you want viewers to feel after watching your videos?
LS: Heat in the blood.
Q: Where do you find inspiration? Who are your influences?
Q: What does your creative process look like?
LS: A painful mental chaos that eventually wins the battle over reality because of the existence of a deadline.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is in a writer’s block or feels stuck because they feel like everything has already been done before?
LS: Well, again, the purpose of doing something beautiful and remarkable per se it’s enough for me. It does not matter if something has already done before. The process is personal and not transferable. The (creative) process is the reason, not the final thing.
Q: So you started off as a directors’ collective, how did that expand into a record label?
LS: Well, by creating a record label our goal was to establish a permanent connection with younger and uninhibited artists. And it’s our protection money for the cause.
Q: Who would you love to create a video for? Any dream projects?
LS: I would love to work with Kelly Lee Owens. And I would really love to make a long feature film.