Earlier this spring, Seattle music and film fans gathered at SIFF Cinema Uptown for the third annual Sync Music Video Festival. They sat in their seats, each holding a pair of red and cyan 3-D glasses, and took in two hours of the best music videos to come out of the Pacific Northwest. For the vast majority of the videos, the glasses were useless, but for the second half of Carlos Lopez’s dizzying video for the La Luz track “You Disappear,” they helped bring the director’s vision into focus, adding the members of the Seattle surf-rock quartet to the illustrious club of characters brought to multidimensional life on the big screen, joining numerous space aliens and Justin Bieber.
It was that kind of inventiveness and boundary-pushing—also seen in his videos for Gazebos and Shana Cleveland and the Sandcastles screened at Sync—that won over the festival’s select group of voters, who this week awarded the Seattle filmmaker the festival’s Grand Jury Award.
This was the second festival win this year for the 34-year-old filmmaker, who produced The Procedure, the Calvin Lee Reeder-directed winner of the Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (The film will premiere locally at the Seattle International Film Festival later this month.)
Lopez has more short films planned for the future—including one starring Gazebos singer Shannon Perry—but it was in his music videos that he got his start 10 years ago when he was asked to make one for The Dutchess & the Duke, the first band signed to Sub Pop offshoot Hardly Art Records. He has since made videos for numerous Seattle bands, including Mudhoney, Wimps, Kinski, and Say Hi, but this was the first year his videos were included in Sync.
“It was really exciting to see the work on the big screen,” Lopez told Seattle Weekly, which co-produces the festival with Artist Home and SIFF. “I normally just watch it on my 15-inch laptop, so on that scale you really get to see the work everyone puts into it. It’s really a gift to see anything in a theater these days; music videos are so rare to see on any screen! Really stoked this fest exists to allow for that.”
As part of the award, Lopez will receive a cash prize that consists of all proceeds from ticket sales to the festival. That, he says, will help with his next video, which we hope to see onscreen at next year’s Sync.
“I’m currently editing a music video for Sub Pop artist Kristin Kontrol,” Lopez says. “Kinda my most ambitious vid so far.”