Andy Klemm Interviews: Larry (Lawrence) Dolkart
With the huge amount of footage (videos and commercials alike) to
name, it would blow this interview out of proportions to name all of
it. So how if we´d break it down, and head back to the very start by
asking, how and when you have decided to pursue a career as director
Being native of Los Angeles, a child of the lost generation (A
generation between baby boomers and GenX, that really is a bit
different than both) in the heyday of Punk music was/is everything to
me. Running the streets of Hollywood had a freedom and the bright
lights and loud music made me feel hope. Being from L.A the film
business is just what we do. I have literally been working in Film in
some form or another since I was 18. Never having gone to film
school I worked my way up from P.A./runner doing many jobs along
the way, but gravitating early on towards lighting. Cinematographer
is a normal progression. Then moving to directing after moving to
Europe. Making pretty pictures is my passion, it’s like being in love,
very hard to say exactly when you fall.
Do you prefer a certain style, kinda like a red line that continues thru
the videos you make. Something like a trademark to Lawrence
Funny, I always think I don’t have a certain look , but have been
told I do. I guess if I had to say what might be my look per se, maybe
just my perspective on classic themes and the strength of my lighting
expertise (which is becoming a lost art). A video should compliment
the song and not the other way around. I never force feed my ideas on
the music. I want it to be a dance. I consider my images part of the
composition and it is essentially my way to be part of the band.
Alongside Indica, you have done videos for several other Finnish
bands (Barbe-Q-Barbies, i.e.). Is there a special bond to Finland from
your point of view?
I live in Finland now so I have done music videos for many
Finnish artists. Though I feel one of my specialties is photographing
women so being chosen to do videos for 2 great all girl bands such as
Indica and BBQBs did not surprise me. As for all the other bands and
artists I think they want what 30 years in film my experience brings to the
value in what are very small budgets these days. I pour my heart into
everything I do and they get the same guy no matter what the budget
may or may not be.
Can you tell us how you met Jonsu and Indica first time?
I met Jonsu after writing her about the bands upcoming work and
my interest in the band. Then I went with Niki Rock from the Barbies
to see Jonsu and Emppu play (J:E:D: Jonsu/Emppu/Duo which was
beautiful) and this is where we first met in person. Let’s just say I am
very impressed with her and believe she is a great artist. Then after I
had won the jobs from the record label with Jonsu’s help, the band,
Jonsu and I got together just for quick meet before filming started.
Would you like to take us deeper into the story and production of the
“Älä Kanna Pelkoa” video? What can you tell us about the time you
and the ladies spend making it?
As with many of my videos the stories are not literal, more visual
and emotional. Believe it or not most all my videos have stories
which is why they tend to work or I like to think they do. I prefer to
make people feel the story more then telling it to them. With “Älä
Kanna Pelkoa” it’s about freedom and not holding onto fear. What is
more fearless and pure than a sea of vintage white dresses and not
wearing anything? To tell a story with one image is tricky and to me
this represents the truest form of freedom, courage and vulnerability.
Plus Jonsu looks stunning! Then since this is to promote the band and
also feature every member we shot at a theatre museum. “All the
World’s a Stage”, just a simple idea to tell the story of living your life
to the fullest and not to let fear hold you back. “Kun Usko Ei Riitä”
which will debut this month is the second single. Great song, pure Alt
Rock genius and my take on the straight forward performance video
with a fashion twist. Fun, empowering and beautiful, but you’ll have
to decide for yourselves. To do any video in a day and make it special
is always a challenge. Specially with 5 girls to get ready. I think it’s
better to make less and make that more special than just a bunch of
random images that do not matter. For this job both videos were
shoot at same time in two consecutive days. The ladies are awesome
to work with and total professionals!
In the same vein: Where did you shoot the video?
The Teatterimuseo ( http://teatterimuseo.fi/en/ ) which were kind enough to donate their great facility for our use. In “Älä Kanna Pelkoa” it’s obvious we were there. Though we shot both videos in same building you would never know when you see second single video. The museum could not have been nicer and their help is much appreciated!
May I ask what equipment you used to shoot it?
I shot on the RED Epic for these videos as I am trying never to
use DSLRs again. Lighting is my secret weapon with over 20 years
of theory behind me, so I will decline to tell you that part (even
though it was quite simple). Almost always using filters in camera,
will let you speculate on those as well. I look to do as much as
possible in camera, many things contrary to popular belief can not be
duplicated with post production software.
Were there any special moments during the shoot (funny or stressful)
you´d like to share with us? Something most memorable?
There is always some stress and pressure to just get enough
coverage on one day jobs that most videos are theses days. Specially
as I put a lot of pressure on myself to excel at a higher level in a
market that is flooded with cheap content. Even if I am working with
same budgets as anyone else, I always want my work to far exceed
budget and client expectations. That being said the job was fast paced
though very fun for me. The image of Jonsu in the vintage white
dresses in one of my personal favorite images I’ve ever created and
think it’s just other worldly beautiful! The second single video might
be one of my favorite videos I ever made. Raw, beautiful and
powerful, yet simple and fun!
Naturally this brings me to asking, will there be more Indica videos
waiting for us in the near future?
Yes, as I have mentioned above, I shot the second single “Kun
Usko Ei Riitä” video at same time for this new Indica LP. I was told
that it will be released this month, but not sure which day. Usually
they release videos on fridays.
Regarding your personal taste of music: What do you think of
Indica’s new Album and what are your favorite bands/acts at the
Having a widely varied taste in music to me “good is good” and
always thought genre loyalty was silly. Though I did love punk as a
teen, Peter and the Wolf is probably my all time favorite piece of
music. I like the natural progression of Indica a lot. I think this is
some of the most beautiful works they have done. Without calling it
mature as they are all still very young. “Älä Kanna Pelkoa” is just
straight forward pop with a great message and a wonderfully skilled
delivery. To me “Kun Usko Ei Riitä” is like a mix of Garbage and
Duran Duran, Alternative Rock and it’s finest. Your Fairy Goth
Princesses are becoming ALT rock Queens!
If you were to pinpoint your most favorite videos amongst those you
have created, which would it be?
Wow I’ve done so many videos over the years. Just the ones
since I started directing as well as shooting, “Kun Usko Ei Riitä” is
definitely up there. I also think The Gambit feat: Justin Cameo “Jos
Sä Haluut Olla Mun Kaa” is pretty special in a different way, my
dreamlike take on the club style video. Them Bird Things
“Underground” since it is portraiture style something I really enjoy,
love the odd family style photo images in it. The Barbies “STFU”
video is my portrait of a rock club performance as I called it. You see
all of them being twists on classic video themes. As for total favorite
they are all so different so all special in their own way. I like
something about them all, even if no one else notices the special part.
Would you like to share with us what current projects you are
Let’s see, so I just shot a short movie in the UK for another
director/writer friend. Next week I will be doing another Gambit/Juno
video. Not much else planned at moment. Feel free to pass my info
along if you like.
With the “Golden Age of MTV” long since gone, I assume it´s hard
for music videos and directors as well, to actually create the vision
they/you have in mind. Forced to keep an eye on the budget all the
time, how hard is it to actually come as close to the vision you have
and bring it to life?
It adds a challenge for sure as I am also producing most the time
these days. Only out of necessity as I am not a businessman I’m an
artist. Prefer being part of a company and or have partners to take a
bit of the extra load off. My background and experience does help a
lot, keeping me focused and certainly long time skills help execute
my vision best as possible.
If you were to pick the three best music videos ever made, which
would that be?
3 best would be hard to pick as that is ever evolving. I love the
new Placebo “Too Many Friends” like an short movie more than a
video, extra genius. Then there is my mentor Samuel Bayer’s
Smashing Pumpkins “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and Garbage
“Only Happy When it Rains” or “Stupid Girl” all which I did lighting
on. We can call Sam’s work as special to me, being a great friend and
mentor and where I honed many of my skills in lighting and as
cinematographer. Then there is M.I.A. “Bad Girls” insanely awesome
on every level!
Trying to get to know a little more of Lawrence, what do you like to
spend your spare time with?
I love movies, music, art, long walks on the beach and kissing :)
Thank you very much for taking your time for us. I´d like to close
this interview with my favorite last questions: What message do you
have for the readers and fans?
Look for the good in everything.
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