David Hogan [Interview]

David Berlin CC

Does anyone remember music videos?  Or to rephrase that, when you could turn on the TV and watch a music video, rather than watching one to the confines of your MacBook?  Chances are that if you were born after 1990, you probably don’t remember that time.  Well dammit, I do!  There was a time when music videos were so exciting, MTV even had a show about making said videos, rather than spilling vile about “guidos” and pregnant teens.  There were amazing videos that earned an abundance of respect.  Video directors reigned king!

And despite even my own pessimism, the still reign as such!  Music videos have actually become even more relevant and true works of art, even if MTV doesn’t care to show them any more.  And few people have mastered the art as well as filmmaker and video producer David Hogan.  David has worked in the arena of music videos for many many years, directing videos for artists like Dave Matthews Band, Carly Simon, Barenaked Ladies, Elton John, Gin Blossoms (one of my personal favorite groups of all time, and the list goes on and on and on.  And his resume in the film world is absolutely impressive as well with credits including action films like film adaptation of the comic book Barb Wire and the Keenan Ivory Wayans fronted hit Most Wanted.  His career is as varied as it is brilliant.  And we are very fortunate enough to steal a few words with David about everything from his historical career, what the future holds, and…..how he knew Elvis?  It’s true!  Check it out, and as always, enjoy!

You have feature film credits for directing the adaptation of the comic book Barb Wire, as well as second unit director for Batman Forever.  Are comic books something you enjoy personally?

Seemed like fun at the time.  And they were.  And the pay wasn’t bad.

davidhogan1You also directed the Keenan Ivory Wayans fronted action film Wanted, and were an Second Unit Director on Alien 3.  Any chance we will see you in the adventure/fantasy world again? 

Unless it was entirely my project, I would prefer other genres. I had very little freedom on that film. Two words: “no fun.”  One word: “misery.”

Would love to do a western, comedy, or fantasy.

You’ve directed music videos for everyone from Shania Twain to Dave Matthews Band and back to Gretchen Wilson.  Is there a particular genre of music you specifically enjoy creating visionary tales for?

I enjoy working with all kinds of music. Blues is my favorite,  but those music videos rarely come along.

I am personally a HUGE fan of Gin Blossoms, and you happen to be the creative mastermind between three of their biggest hit videos.  Can you tell us a bit about what it was like creating these videos?  Any memorable experiences taken from this time?

I really liked their songs. They were nice guys and gave me complete freedom. They didn’t give a shit about music videos – just the music. Great guys.

Is there a genre of music you haven’t gotten into that you would like to?  If so, what genre and why?

Blues, soul, and R&B. Why? I grew  up in Memphis.

Do you fear for the future of music videos in a time where MTV chooses pregnant teens over videos, and YouTube is the only source of viewing?
I think You Tube is a godsend for music videos. It takes all the self-appointed record company experts out of the creative mix.  MTV became a hindrance, with all its arbitrary rules for new artists that didn’t apply to big stars.

What would you say is your most memorable experience in your long and prosperous career?

The opportunity to work with Carly Simon.

 Your incredibly deep and personal documentary Life In A Basket is extremely unique in so many ways.  Even tear-jerking, if you will.  What inspired you to make a film in this manner?

The concept was the late Paul Haggar’s. (Paul and Sheri Sussman were the producers.) Paul worked at Paramount for 54 years, and would see homeless people pushing their carts past the lot day in and day out. His fascination with what was in those baskets, especially items that seemed common to all–long sticks, plastic milk cartons, etc.–was the seed and provided the edifice for the piece. We felt that simply having the subjects explain these items might lead to some insight that might not be garnered by simply asking how they ended up in such harsh circumstances.

According to your website, you are working on a documentary about the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.  Everyone enjoys a good doc about the King.  Tell us, what is going to be particularly interesting about your depiction of Elvis?  Did you have some personal interaction with Elvis himself?

davidhogan2The doc has since evolved into a short.

Yes. My brother and I got to know him when we were kids. We were eight and six when he moved into his first house in Memphis. One day we made the three-mile trek on our bikes and knocked on the door. His mother answered the door, and there sat Elvis, on the couch, shirtless, watching TV. He smiled and pointed at us, “How you boys doin’?” Then his mother said, “You boys leave Elvis alone. He’s tired. He been on the road. Ya’ll go on home.” He always recognized us after that day, always waved or spoke when our paths crossed.

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

One Response to David Hogan [Interview]

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