Arts and Crafts Meet SFX in Andrew Huang's Face-Melting Music Videos

The Creators Project speaks with the up-and-coming director about his color-saturated, surreal aesthetic.

It all started when Andrew Huang's short film Doll Face went viral on YouTube in 2007. The dark, sci-fi short about an androgynous jack-in-the-box robot who’s fallen into fascination with a face on TV got the attention of some VIPs, like producer and director J.J. Abrams, and before long Huang was asked to direct music videos for bands like Ra Ra RiotAvi Buffalo, and most recently Björk (coming soon).

He then set up a Kickstarter to make his short film Solipsist, a 10-minute “experimental fantasy film about the way living things connect, the boundaries between them, and what happens when boundaries collapse,” according to Huang’s Kickstarter video. The film got all sorts of nods, including winning the Special Jury Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival this year.

An arts and crafts fanatic and VFX junkie since he was a kid, Huang went to art school to hone his craft after a mentor encouraged him to focus on the art because the technology is always changing (so true!). In the video above, we go to visit Huang in LA where he talks to us about who inspires him (Chris Cunningham and Jim Henson in particular), his approach to visual effects, and a little bit about how he made Solipsist.

Though his previous film work has been über colorful and glamorous — with cyberpunk undertones — Huang’s currently taking a new turn, experimenting with installation and a palate of just black and white in Facial Alphabetics. It’s a typography-inspired work-in-progress that involves Huang filming models wearing white paper masks, augmenting them with CG effects, and projecting the looping “video portraits” on four walls.

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Huang says the shapes on the headpieces, “are loosely based on alphabet symbols, no explicit symbolism,” but inspired by Central Asian textile and pattern design.

The project immediately reminded us of CV Dazzle meets Cassette Playa F/W 2011’s AR presentation, and Huang says he could be into incorporating AR — after all, it’s a work in progress. 

This post also appears on The Creators Project, an Atlantic partner site.

Kathleen Flood is managing editor of The Creators Project and is based in New York City. More

Flood is intrigued by GIFs (and other internet-based artwork), and appreciates the growing number of fashion designers who are incorporating technology into their designs in a non-tacky way. She enjoys hot yoga and just finished working on a film about a new media collective that's using technology to take over the world.

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