Kanye West surprised and confused fans last week when, out of the blue, he dropped a video for “Lost in the World” off his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But director Ruth Hogben tells MTV News that she and ’Ye actually shot the video together last summer.
Hogben, a fashion filmmaker, explained that she was introduced to Kanye through her SHOWStudio colleague Nick Knight, who thought that she would be a good fit to work with the eccentric rapper/producer.
The pair first began discussing their plans for the video around May 2011, and they captured all of the visuals in a two-day shoot later that summer. “I think he just wanted something that represented the song really well,” Hogben said, detailing the brainstorming session.
“He explained how he felt about the song and it was a really interesting process because he just talked to me about the song — how he felt about the lyrics, about the beat. He was really very concerned about how he felt about the track, so that’s where it started.
“It was a really strong collaborative process,” she continued. “The conversation was very organic — he says one thing, I say one thing, he sends a picture, I send a picture. So it was a creative conversation that just kept rolling. We had a two-day shoot and then we spent quite a long time working on the edit together, making sure that it was right. We’ve probably been tweaking and working on it for about six months.”
On first look, the black-and-white clip seems to play up the desperation of the Bon Iver-featured “Lost in the World,” with West and his dancers set against the dark, ominous backdrop, but Hogben describes the final product as “energetic.” She maintains that fans are supposed to come up with their individual interpretations of the clip. Even the dancers in the video were given the creative freedom to let loose. “It was actually their interpretation of the song,” Hogben explained. “Kanye didn’t say to them, ’Dance this way.’ We wanted an interpretation of how they felt about the song.”