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Meet Clayton McCracken of in Silver Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clayton McCracken.

Clayton, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My exploration of video synthesis began with the desire to make film a more tangible medium. Tired of the traditional filmmaking trajectory I had chosen in college, I began incorporating my hands into the medium with the help of analog video synthesizers and vintage video mixing equipment. Transitioning into live, improvisational performances and working with audio-reactive equipment has taught me to synchronize my ears and eyes. Since the shift from filmmaker to video artist, I’ve worked with many talented friends and clients such as Adult Swim, Nike, and Dublab.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
If not for the many obstacles and challenges faced on every path, I would never achieve satisfaction with the work I make. In this sense, I’m excited to conquer the unknown, to re-route and jerry rig solutions.

More literally speaking, I’ve encountered many frustrating situations–from clients dropping projects at the last minute, to pouring my heart out on unpaid, $0 budget projects while driving to set with two cardboard windows on my car. Much like driving with cardboard windows, it’s just about impossible to see the full picture in these challenging moments. I’ve found that, in exercising patience, limitations and creativity can be wrangled together to form the beautiful moments that define an artistic practice.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Focused on pairing audio-visual animation with film, I craft analog videos with the help of modular synthesizers, wacky vintage video equipment, and live action film. This work is often applied to live performances for musicians such as Beach Fossils or Washed Out–often in conjunction with video installations/stage design. The other side of this craft is directing music videos, branded content, and video art.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As a brand new resident to LA, my immediate future plans will be setting up my studio and meeting new creatives. Personally, I aim to explore the world of vector synthesis, where I’ll be working with audio to drive oscilloscopes and lasers. My recent work has been venturing into the 3D world and incorporating MIDI with software like Touchdesigner.

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