Director Hiro Murai’s work on the Donald Glover/Childish Gambino video “This Is America” represents a cultural and creative achievement, but also a technical one.
“Donald [Glover] took the creative charge on the initial conceit [of the video] because he knew what the song was going to be and I came on when he was mixing down the final pieces of the song,” Murai explains “But the creative process for the video was like we were playing hot potato with ideas—even while we were shooting it.”
When asked about his visual influences, Murai says, “[I was inspired] by the idea of a dance video that took place in the last 20 minutes of the movie ‘mother!’ or in the world of City of God.”
“Similar to ‘This Is America,’ [Darren] Aronofsky’s polarizing drama mother! tells an allegorical story set in a single location,” Zach Sharf says.”The final 20 minutes of the movie that Murai refers to feature heavy choreographed tracking shots in which chaos erupts around the main character, played by Jennifer Lawrence. Fernando Meirelles’ City of God, meanwhile, is memorable for its brutal and sudden violence.”
Below, Sareesh Sudhakaran assesess the camera movement and motion that Murai employs to achieve this.