Frank Ocean’s Performance at the Grammys wasn’t the pyrotechnic blockbuster automatically attracts so many artists. Instead, the concept matched the intimacy of Ocean’s music. Though, it may appear simple in scope, the planning and development of the concept was ambitious at the very least. The Fader interviewed LA-based director Hiro Murai behind Frank Ocean’s minimal, yet innovative Grammys performance of “Forrest Gump”. Via The Fader:
What was Frank’s vision for the performance?
He told me the basic concept of the setup: There’s a big main wall and a small LED wall in front of his piano where his legs would be moving. He wanted to kind of replicate that scene in Forrest Gump where [Tom Hanks] is running, and there’s a mob following him down an open road. The weird thing about this concept is that when you explain it in words, it’s the most confusing thing ever. You don’t know what you’re talking about, whether you’re talking about the real stage-Frank or the video-Frank. We talked for half an hour on the phone, trying to find out what each other were talking about. But the basic thing he wanted was the gimmick of the leg on the front panel. I expanded it from there, went back and forth with him on costuming, color schemes and the general flow of the piece… He’s a great collaborator, because he has good instincts and good taste. But he’s also a perfectionist and he has very specific opinions about everything. That’s not to say he’s not open to suggestions. As long as you care as much as he does, he’s very open to new ideas.