Video queen: Melina Matsoukas
Posted Saturday, September 6 2008 at 22:01
At just 27, Melina Matsoukas is one of the most sought-after video directors in America. She has directed music videos for Beyonce, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo just to mention but a few.
Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Beyonce...You are high-flying girl...
(Blushing) It is just a job and a job I really love doing.
Where did all this start for you?
I wanna say that I am self-made, I educated myself in many of those things. At high school I studied photography but my interest tilted towards video recording. I joined New York University for film studies.
And that is where I got refined. When people were doing their research thesis in graduate school, my thesis was music video.
What was the first video you worked on?
I remember in 2003, I blew $3,500 (Sh238,000) of my own on a friend’s video and that did not go very far but I learnt.
In 2005, I moved from New York to LA and worked on a video Go Ahead for Ali and Gipp but the real breakthrough for me was Money Maker by Ludacris.
Was that enough to get you to the A-list artiste?
The people at Black Dog Film noticed my creativity and they signed me on. I also got a manager, Inqa Veronique who has been responsible for marketing me and finding me the right contacts.
I also played a role as a cinematographer in the 2006 film Gypsies and Tramp and Thieves.
Is Beyonce as pampered and bitchy as the press makes it sounds?
(Laughs) You should know you press people write all sorts. No, not at all. She is a hard worker, very creative and very talented and one of the best people to be on scene with.
I worked with her on four videos on the deluxe edition of her album B Day so I know her for sure.
How about Ludacris and Snoop Dogg, they surely are crazy?
I wouldn’t say so. Let us just say that they are different but they are very artistic. To make it where they are, you have to be creative and good.
What you see on video is not always what the artistes are.