Directed by Isaac Ravishankara, "Zero Dark Thirty" melds two visuals together -- a sped-up time-lapse of artist Justin "Coro" Kaufman painting a wall for 10 hours, and a real-time video of Aesop Rock sitting up against the wall that is being painted on. The video mashup creates a surreal time warp experience as Coro moves rapidly around the room while Aesop Rock chills. The shots from the time lapse move in and out of steps of completion; often retracing its steps to show the layers Coro used to build the piece.
Ravishankara made a name for himself as a precocious filmmaker at Harvard, and the video highlights his skills as a director. He placed six cameras strategically throughout the room, each set up on four-second shutter releases with a three-second exposure time, according to an interview with The Atlantic. This intricate staging allowed for multiple angles of the graffiti process to be shot, making the merging with the footage of Aesop Rock seamless.
"I've always wanted to work with Aesop, and one thing that I think sets him apart from every other rapper ever is just the crazy cadence and intricacy of his lyrics," Ravishankara told The Atlantic. "Nobody else is even close. So it was really important to me to create an environment that would showcase that as the subject, but something as cryptic, paranoid, and surreal as the subject matter of his songs."
Ravishankara's previous credits include Phantogram's "When I'm Small" and Kesha's "My First Kiss." Coro is a California-based artist and art-director of Massive Black studio.
WATCH Aesop Rock's video for 'Zero Dark Thirty' below: