Five Questions With Robbie Barclay

Robbie Barclay is director who has a great knack for working with hip-hop artists. He does make narrative films, but as a director for Three21 Media, has found a niche directing music videos.

He has a really interesting perspective working with hip-hop artists. The music videos are very funny and sometimes even include cartoons. Some of the artists he’s worked with include Havoc and Danny Brown.

On his newest video, Barclay works with Dave Evan, an R&B artist who might sound like Miguel, but has an awesome hip-hop edge. The music video has been chosen as “Buzzworthy” from MTV and Evan is MTV2’s Artist To Watch This Week.

Barclay was able to talk to me about his latest video. We talked about how clients how come to him, using a Lazy Susan in video shoots and some upcoming projects in the works.

1. Do you reach out to artists to make videos for them? Or do the artists reach out to Three21 Media and then your paired with an artist? Is it combination of both?

It’s a little of both. Sometimes Three21 will contact me with an artist or brand that they think I’d be a good match for and I’ll write a video treatment. But if there is a particular artist I want to work with I’ll approach them on my own. The most important thing is being proactive.

2. For “The Devil Wears Prada,” did Jared Evan have an idea for what he wanted to do, or did you have an idea for him? Was it a collaborative process?

I had worked with Jared before and after I heard the track I pitched him the concept. He was really into the idea of creating a visual that was dark, sexy and weird. It felt like we were taking a risk but Jared trusted me and I think it paid off.

3. What was it like working with Evan? 

Jared is a very talented singer and songwriter and he takes his work seriously. He’s very creative and goofy too which makes him easy to work with on set. He’s this week’s MTV2 Artist to Watch so check him out.

4. Were there any shots that were particularly difficult?

We used a Lazy Susan for the shots where Jared is spinning on the ground. It ended up being much more difficult to shoot than I had anticipated. The great part of filmmaking is that it’s a collaborative effort and my crew and I brainstormed until we found a solution. It never looks exactly how you imagined it so you have to stay flexible.

5.  Any upcoming projects or videos you’d like to talk about?

I got a music video for Kyle Rapps and Mr. MFN eXquire presented by Mishka dropping sometime soon. And my short film “Get Down” is premiering at the Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival June 15th. Otherwise just writing and trying to get better.

Check out “The Devil Wears Prada” below (NSFW):


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