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David Knight - 7th Mar 2017

Bruno Mars keeps it simple but utterly captivating for the video for That’s What I Like, directed by Jonathan Lia and Mars: he commands the screen from start to finish, with some hand-drawn animations relating to the lyrics adding the only flourishes to the natural Mars charisma and fancy footwork.

There is another element that gives Bruno's dancing a special kinetic quality. Lia filmed him performing to the audio track played at half it's normal speed - so the single take video was nearly eight minutes long. Then Lia played back the footage at 200% that speed to achieve a delightfully surreal effect. .

Yes, it's the same effect as Garth Jennings used in Vampire Weekend's A Punk video all those years ago, and it turns out it also works very well with a bone fide pop showman like Mars. And, according to Jonathan Lia, it all came about by accident. 

“It was originally written as a completely different concept," he says. "We held a test shoot in LA, and weren’t getting what we wanted. So we turned off all the lights except one and he just danced; it was magical and we immediately knew that was the video.”

The literal approach to the choreography allowed Lia and Mars to map out a few of the animations prior to filming, however purposely left some frames unplanned to see what would best support the visuals in post. The team at GenPop in Los Angeles expertly handled the scope of animation work.

“This was very much a true co-direction,” says Lia. “Bruno is one of the most humble yet invested artists I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Despite his hectic schedule, he was involved every single step of the way. This video was very much a vehicle to just let Bruno be Bruno – you don’t need anything else.”

Credits

DirectorJonathan Lia
DirectorBruno Mars
Production CompanyGood Company
ProducerJeremy Sullivan
Director of PhotographySantiago Gonzalez
ChoreographerPhilippe Tayag
EditorJacquelyn London
ColouristMarshall Plante
AnimationGenPop
CommissionerPhil Botti
LabelAtlantic Records
Director's Rep (UK)Chloe Page at Lock It In

David Knight - 7th Mar 2017

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