Director Jonathan Lia is such an interesting tale. At a younger age he was interested in filmmaking and cut his teeth at a production company that largely did commercial work. He moved amongst the different film departments, and found himself learning more of the Producer side of things while pursuing a blossoming love of music that naturally steered him towards music videos. This ultimately led him to the unique intersection of commercials, music, producing, directing, and fashion, and to some of the biggest names in the business like Beyonce, Kanye, Madonna, and Bruno Mars. “That’s What I like” is a collaboration between Jonathan and Mars that doesn’t try to do too much. With someone as fun to watch as Bruno Mars, why should it?
During a test shoot they turned off all the lights except one and Mars just danced; it was magical and they immediately knew that was the video. Lia filmed Mars performing to the audio track played at half it’s normal speed – so the single take video was nearly eight minutes long. Then Lia played back the footage at 200% that speed to achieve a more kinetic and unique effect. .(Yes, it’s the same effect as Garth Jennings used in Vampire Weekend’s A Punk video) Lia and Mars mapped out a few of the animations prior to filming, however purposely left some frames unplanned to see what would best support the visuals in post. The team at GenPop in Los Angeles designed and animated the playful traditional cell animation overlays.