05.07.2011, Words by Charlie Jones

Special Problems direct great videos

Special Problems are New Zealand based Campbell Hooper and Joel Kefali, who come from graphic design, fine art, film and music backgrounds.

They have an impressive archive of brilliantly creative music videos, including both live action and animation, made for the likes of Flying Lotus, Tame Impala and The Naked and Famous. Here’s a small selection of their most inspiring videos:

Tame Impala – ‘Half full glass of wine’

Flying Lotus – MmmHmm from Special Problems on Vimeo.

Jonathan Boulet – A Community Service Announcement from Special Problems on Vimeo.

The Naked and Famous – Girls Like You from Special Problems on Vimeo.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

Joel: Grew up in west Auckland, now live in central Auckland.
Campbell: I grew up at my dad’s sawmill in the middle of the nowhere. Now I live in Auckland in a neighborhood where couples wear matching workout tracksuits and have shitty kids.

Where did you study?

Joel: I studied Painting at Unitec Design School.
Campbell: I studied video and sound art at Elam art school.

How did you get involved in music video production?

Joel: Worked in Animation in my final year at uni. Made a video for a friends band in my final year, they got signed to a label and then things sorta snow balled from there.
Campbell: By accident really. I left art school and didn’t have a clue what to do so just started doing album covers for my friends bands. After a year or so I realized that I’d become a graphic designer. Then I started doing video work for their live shows, then music videos and fashion films.

What really inspires you?

Joel: Kevin Durant, Kevin Locke, Kevin Shields
Campbell: I go through phases of interest. For 6 months it’ll be all film or all fine art or music or whatever. I’ll spend every night watching films and taking notes and being all studious. Then I’ll spend 6 months seeing nothing and just do gardening or baking scones. If I’m busy at work, I’m generally switched off to the culture around me. I’m more aware of culture when I’m away from new Zealand. I visit galleries and go to shows and take pictures. Im at home and I’m in garden/scone mode at the moment. As I get older I’m drawn more towards works that hold a lot of space. Artists and composers like Morton Feldman, Arthur Russell, Richard Youngs, Antonioni. They make work that allows your thoughts as well as theirs.

What are you working on at the moment?

Joel: About to start on music videos for Unknown Mortal Orchestra and The Naked and Famous.
Campbell: And finishing off a short film. It’s about a guy who gets sucked out of an airplane and it’s just a monologue as he’s falling to the ground. It’s called 43,000 Feet. and a fashion film for british sportswear label Lucas Hugh

What next?

Joel: Writing for an animated short film.
Campbell: We’re looking at a commercial in the US, a film for jewelry designer Jessica McCormack starting the ridiculous task of writing a feature film, some more gardening, maybe some more scones.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Joel: UMO, The Karl Marx Project, Homebrew
Campbell: Colin Stetson, Six Organs of Admittance, Kurt Vile.

Special Problems

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