Lengthy earlier than he was taking part in bass and writing songs for Midland, Cameron Duddy was the person behind a number of the largest movies in pop music. The singer began off his profession as a music video director, primarily for Bruno Mars. Raised because the son of a Hollywood cinematographer, the seed for Duddy’s ardour for movie and video was planted early. “I at all times noticed the world via the lens of a digicam,” he tells American Songwriter. “It’s at all times been a part of my life and music is an extension of that. These two issues have at all times coexisted collectively.”
Duddy and Mars linked up when Duddy’s spouse was employed because the photographer to shoot press pictures early on in his profession. He was quickly employed as Mars’ tour videographer, the 2 hitting it off nearly instantly. “He took a shine to me, we perceive one another and hit it off,” he remarks. Duddy served because the director for the music movies for a few of Mars’ blockbuster hits together with “24K Magic,” “The Lazy Tune,” and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson that includes Mars.
Duddy tells American Songwriter about his expertise engaged on the video for “Uptown Funk,” his collaborative course of with Mars, and his favourite scene within the video that’s amassed a whopping 5 billion views on YouTube.
[RELATED: Interview: Midland’s Cameron Duddy Reflects on Directing Videos for Bruno Mars]
Story Behind the Video, “Uptown Funk”
“We’re principally linked on the hip on Bruno movies. He’s very specific and he’s obtained a powerful understanding of his viewers and the way he desires to current himself. It’s my job to strengthen that concept, which is at 80 p.c, and make it 100%. Generally which means enhancing and typically which means embellishing. When it got here to ‘Uptown Funk,’ it was like, ‘How can we make these vignettes really feel stylized and thrilling with out it being like parody?’ There’s a fantastic line there. And he actually went to bat for me as a result of it’s a Mark Ronson music. I simply occurred to be a fly on the wall after they had been writing it and it took a yr and a half for them to determine it out.
“I used to take that music at soundcheck and they might screw round with it. Ronson needed a special director to do it and Bruno was like, ‘You gotta have my man do it.’ We had a ton of stuff up at that time very efficiently. So he went to bat for me. It simply comes right down to getting the imaginative and prescient, determining do it, and hiring the appropriate individuals round you that can assist you notice that imaginative and prescient and never settling for ok. I really feel like that video is a good instance of frequently ratcheting up what is appropriate and going for what’s nice. That was a type of gigs that was the right illustration of the music, and the music was simply this huge world hit. The appropriate place on the proper time with the appropriate ambition and the correct quantity of time–schooling and preparation combined with the correct quantity of naivete.”
On His Favourite Scene within the Video
“I really like the hairdresser shot. I feel that simply so classically Bruno. And the truth that he obtained Mark to do all that shit. Mark was the straight man of the music video in a Dan Aykroyd, Blues Brothers approach. There was an important dynamic. It was a extremely cool day and I feel you’ll be able to really feel it with none phrases. I really like that there’s a shoeshine scene the place this man is making an attempt to shine his sneakers whereas he’s dancing. And that was my producer, Jeremy [Sullivan] who produced all these movies, we at all times put him in these little bit components. In order that’s him making an attempt to shine Bruno’s sneakers [laughs]. That at all times makes me chuckle to look at that.”
(Picture by Larry Busacca/Getty Pictures for NARAS)