Meet the filmmaker who directed Solange’s “Dreams” video.
Terence Nance needs no introduction. Currently best-known for the 2018 HBO series Random Acts of Flyness, which he wrote, directed, executive produced and appeared in, the filmmaker and director has just been tapped by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to direct the long-awaited sequel to 1996’s Space Jam this year, which is set to star Lebron James. More? He’s also making his own music, under moniker Terence Etc.
Hailed as one of the most talented, important and progressive artists of our generation, Texas-born Terence has most recently collaborated with none other than Solange on the accompanying video to her acclaimed album When I Get Home, for which he created a film for the track “Dreams”.
In the wake of the album’s release, we spoke to him about his relationship with Solange, artistic influences and what’s to come.
Do you remember when you became interested in film and the visual arts? What drew you to this industry?
No, but because my family is very artistic. I didn’t need to be drawn to it because I was in it. I don’t see it as a separate world.
Are there any overarching themes that you’ve been consistently drawn to over the years?
Just the challenge of embodiment and the human experience of time.
How did you get involved with Solange’s When I Get Home film?
After working on Random Acts of Flyness, she got in touch with me and asked me to do it.
As you were born in Texas, did you connect to the themes in the video on a personal level? Would you say there’s an element of nostalgia to the visuals?
Yes, there is. I’m from there, she’s from there. It’s inspiring to the community to see Solange on the world stage, but also knowing that doesn’t matter. You know, because it’s for them. It’s for Houston and Dallas.
Would you say you and Solange have a similar worldview and understanding of art?
Yes, we definitely have alignments. But think I am always inspired by her, and her mind, and how her ideas move through her. What she’s expressing is extremely evocative and I am also interested in that type of catharsis and healing.
The film’s colour palette feels very succinct and surreal. How do you go about developing colour selections?
Colour is emotional, so I try to meditate on the feeling at play. Then finding a colour that resonates that feeling. I usually do that with Shawn Peters, my DP, who is an emotionally attuned image maker.
Were there any key visual references or ideas behind the film?
The energy of the film “Take Shelter” by Jeff Nichols, some stills that I remembered seeing – not that the film was in my mind – but just something about that.
One thing I noticed throughout the film was the use of circles – in movement, locations, in jewellery. Would you say this is reflective of the “coming home”, coming full circle theme?
That’s a Solange question; you would have to ask her. I can say in her practice as a sculptor she has used many rings and circles and movement. I was definitely aligned with that.
Movement also feels central to the film – how did you want movement to feel for the viewer?
I didn’t have any desires or prescriptions about how the viewer should feel. There is, however, a desire to revisit and restore.
Can you tell us a bit about the music you make?
It’s mostly very meticulously constructed. Most of the songs have lasted over a decade. It’s an outlet to exercise some traumas and triumphs. It’s isolated more than anything else I do. It’s a place where making music is elemental and natural to me, more than making other types of things.
What are you working on right now we can look forward to?