Director Nicholas Lam signed to Hound Content for representation in the U.S., and is currently based in Los Angeles. With his focus on music videos, he here discusses his recent project for the musical collaboration between Jess Glynne and Snakehips, ft. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
From childhood, I’ve always been drawn to Japanese anime. The storylines, epic action sequences and heightened emotions that only seemed possible in such an expressive medium. Influenced by older shows like Saint Seiya, Ghost In The Shell, Trigun, Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop and Rurouni Kenshin to more recent series' like Black Lagoon, Guilty Crown, Parasyte and Psycho Pass, once lockdown hit Los Angeles and everyone was scrambling for unique ideas to keep creating content, I knew it was my chance to pitch anime even though my whole portfolio had only ever been live-action. It was truly my opportunity to pull from my deepest childhood roots.
During the creation process, between myself in LA and the animation team in Hong Kong, much political and social turmoil was transpiring in our cities, and the world at large. Tommy Ng (the animation director) and I spent many sleepless nights talking about the social injustices we were witnessing. This project not only served as a way for us to channel our energies into something creative and productive amidst the chaos, but the very theme of the video itself is about not letting authoritarian overlords hold the people down, and that in the darkest of nights, heroes will always emerge.
It was also critically important to me to feature strong female characters in this world we created — from the assassin twins to the corporation CEO to of course Jess Glynne herself. Jess drives the car, she takes down the mech, she wields the katana. I’m tired of movies where it’s only ever men that save the day. It’s high damn time for a change, and it starts with us.
I absolutely have to hand it to the folks at Point Five Creations for truly going above and beyond what everyone else told me could not be done on the budget and timeline. I’m particularly proud of working with them not only because they’re all Chinese animation artists, bringing their own style to the traditionally Japanese anime genre (at times I would speak with them in Cantonese when English didn’t get my ideas across), but because I spent seven years growing up in Hong Kong myself, and so this just felt like the perfect confluence of my past and present.