Cinematic Majesty in Music Videos with Nick Hasipov

Creating flight through VFX
Creating flight through VFX

The path of a modern day artist is less constricted than that of previous generations but it’s also more demanding. Creative professionals of just a decade or two ago would focus on one avenue to manifest their work and earn a living. These days, those like Nick Hasipov find themselves creating visual prestidigitation for a wide range of applications from film to music videos, advertising, and beyond. His skill in manifesting the unbelievable draws all types of collaborators and clients to Mr. Hasipov, and he’s delighted to be pulled in so many directions.

While you’ll find his work in award-winning films such as the APKIT Awarded Best Feature Film Silver Skates and others, Nick concedes that there’s a rush he gets from the quick production pace and energy of music videos. Each one comes with its own unique tone and visual identity, an aspect that allows this VFX artist to step into different creative scenarios on a nearly daily basis. Hasipov confirms that it’s all storytelling to him and he revels in it. Music Videos offer maximum creative control delivered in an extremely curt timeframe and thus have become a bastion of unique storytelling in regards to both aesthetics and narrative. 

Nick (far right) & collaborators on set
Nick (far right) & collaborators on set

J. Balvin’s video for “Rosa” is as cinematic as any feature length action film. A fan favorite, “Rosa” blends Japanese martial arts aesthetics, latin rhythms, dance routines, and a hyper-stylized sense of color. Deeply engaged in the 3D tracking and production coordination, Nick was key in elevating the visual tone of this production. From the cherry blossom garden scenes with cascading petals and butterflies to the ancient architecture which populates the rooftop scene for Balvin’s musical refrains, techniques spanning traditional mattepainting to state of the art CGI were all a part of achieving the stunning visual tone of “Rosa.” 

It would be impossible for the video of Russian artist Leningrad’s “Gold” to be experienced in its frightening final form without the artistry of Nick Hasipov. A verified megahit with nearly ten-and-a-half million views, “Gold” is a surreal horror set to modern music which earned a Berlin Music Video Award for “Best VFX.” While the demonic transformation of the main actress certainly is a point of focus, the scene in which a car explodes through the solid wall of a police interrogation room provided one of the most impressive bits of visual manipulation.

The symphony of effects coordinated for this one scene give insight into the vast organization of Hasipov’s work. He divulges, “This was probably the main challenge for the CG in Gold. To create it, we removed the back wall of the location and put on a chroma key. We created a special construct that imitated the headlights of the car and helped us create this effect at the correct scale, as well as saving us from problems with lighting in the scene.

All the light in the frame is real. Next, we scanned the car, slightly edited the model and textures and, using 3D tracking, tracked the movement of our structure in space,  which we later replaced with a 3D car. In addition, we scanned the location to rebuild the far wall of the room in 3D to simulate its destruction from the impact of the car. Lastly, we combined the resulting render with the original image.” As the car seperates the mid air tumbling police from their suspect, the optics rival any Fast & Furious film.

Loboda & Pharaoh’s “Boom Boom”, on which Nick served as VFX supervisor and leader of the visual effects production process, recently garnered the “Most Trashy” award at the Berlin Music Video Awards in addition to accumulating nearly 18,000,000 views. Director Misha Semiche Roman Kim offered only one request, “make weird even weirder.” A much more somber tone is what Hasipov manifested for Pharaoh’s  “Million Dollar Depression” which created the underwater environment that is the setting for the artist’s seemingly last moments in what will be his final resting place. 

The newest worlds are the ones which exist in the digital realm and those whom navigate and invest in them are personified in Nick Hasipov. He uses his skill to change our perceptions of reality. It might just seem like entertainment but ideas and perception are the tools which fashion the future.

Nick Hasipov
Nick Hasipov