“I can’t wait for you to get famous,” said Dexter Tortoriello of the Chicago-based band Houses. The recipient of such praise is LAMAR+NIK, a duo of directors who are already establishing a respected reputation in the video production business.
LAMAR+NIK, which consists of OCCC students Nik Harper and Lamar High, released a music video for the band’s song “Reds.” In just five days after its release, the video amassed 5,000 views on the media-sharing site Vimeo. Fortunately for Harper and High, the positive fallout does not end there.
The video, which has been featured on numerous blog spotlights, both nationally and internationally, has recently fallen into the hands of record label Mad Decent.
The label is owned and operated by Wesley Pentz (better known as Diplo), who has been associated with prominent artists such as Kid Cudi, M.I.A., and Snoop Dogg.
“Long story short, our video was sent over to (Pentz),” High said. “We’re pretty excited about the opportunity. We’ve already started talking to management about the possibility of doing another music video.”
The music video features an intricate ice city that the duo created and filmed themselves over the course of three months, dating back to January when shooting began. The ice city coincides with the meaning of the lyrics throughout the song, High said. From constructing the city out of paper to making molds out of clay in order to visualize the design, the city went through many stages to achieve the final look seen in the video.
Aside from the hard work, contributing to the longevity of the process was the fact that unforeseen obstacles appeared along the way.
“Throughout the course of the video, many problems arose,” Harper said. “We realized the problem with doing ideas like this is that there isn’t a Google search that will solve your questions. It’s not like you can just type ‘how-to ice city’ and get some results.”
As a result, Harper and High took it upon themselves to overcome these complications by using both their ingenuity and the help of fellow student Nicholas Owen.
“We invented tools and equipment on the fly that would help the process go more smoothly,” Harper said.
The group’s resourcefulness came through again by use of household tools such as soldering irons, heat guns, and Christmas lights.
“Everything you see in the video is completely us from start to finish,” High said. “It was all filmed practically, no CGI, in a normal two-car garage for a little over $200.”
Although the “Reds” video was just released, LAMAR+NIK entered their first production, a music video for the band Crocodile, in the Norman Music Festival Video Pro Picks contest, where they won first place on April 30.
High said they’re just trying to get the word out about their work.
Over the past week, OCCC students and Norman residents may have seen the advertisement campaign for their videos.
White mystery boxes with various prizes inside were planted around campus and in numerous spots around Norman.
“The purpose for us putting out the boxes was to promote our new video for Houses as well as bump up votes for the Norman Music Festival,” High said.
For more information and to see what the duo of LAMAR+NIK is doing next, visit their website at www.lamarplusnik.com.