You know the feeling. You look over your shoulder and realize the sun is coming up. You have no idea where your phone is, and you don’t care because you are watching the buildings around you turn pink and then orange. The delivery trucks, filled with groceries and goods, unload their daily offerings. The sound of shop gates rising echoes through the streets, punctuated by the occasional slam of wood pallet against concrete. The orchestra of a waking city is the sound track to your obligatory self-reflective walk home. This feeling is complex, but universal from metropolis to metropolis. Phillip Lopez has accomplished the practically impossible, by conveying an early city morning in his video Fred Astaire with a Stomach full of Corn Chips and Valium.

Photographer and director, Lopez has tackled large commercial clients like Free People, LF and Balenciaga. He even did a Pacsun look-book video featuring Kendall and Kylie Jenner. But it is his personal projects, like this video, that truly engender an emotional response. A lot of his success has to do with the personal nature of the projects. The dancers are his friends and, the streets and apartments they dance in are their own. in this one in particular, they woke up to film at 5 am together in order to capture the golden light on the buildings. There is something to be said about a collaboration that is routed in personal history. Nathan Mitchell was given 3 takes to complete this film. The spontaneity and ease of the dance must be a response to the ease of the relationship. What must be understood is that there are two artists present here, Mitchell and Lopez. Lopez himself states that “I just strongly believe that the camera should move with the dancer, and that needs to be a dance as well, especially when it comes to eye contact to lens.”

His method gives him three avenues to convey a feeling. One through dance; the next through film; and the last through music. Does it take that many components to describe that early morning stillness? We will let you decide, perhaps on a roof watching the sun rise.

view more of his work on Vimeo