The Story Behind How Warren Fu Became The Strokes’ Art Director

by Eric Van Dril · 8 comments

The Guardian published a cool feature on Warren Fu, who has most recently directed videos for Mark Ronson and The Ting Tings, and it includes a couple paragraphs about how Fu became a rising star in creating music videos and The Strokes’ art director.

If you don’t know Fu by name, you certainly know his work. He designed this t-shirt, the 11th Dimension logo, the new Strokes logo as well. His videos can be found at the bottom of this post.

My favorite thing about the story, before we get to the excerpt, is how Fu became involved in working for George Lucas’ production company and linked with The Strokes. It was, as you can read here, pretty much blind luck.

An avid music fan, he heard the Strokes’ You Only Live Once and “a picture of a graphic equaliser came into my head”. Taking the title of the song to heart perhaps, he cobbled together a 30-second clip of his vision and, with zero previous connection to the Strokes, emailed it to their manager. A message from Casablancas’s wife came back, asking Fu (ever the polymath) to design the Strokes’ website. He then met Casablancas himself “and we hit it off. He watched the clip and I got a phone call at 3am saying, ‘We have to make this.'”The rest is digitally recorded history. Fu’s video for You Only Live Once – all spaceships, neon graphics and those 80s sci-fi references – introduced his “retro-futuristic” style.

You can follow Fu on Twitter right here. This is his breathtaking video for YOLO…

The Strokes – You Only Live Once (Warren Fu Alt. Version)
Uploaded by potq. – Explore more music videos.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pat September 25, 2010 at 11:31 pm

In 2006, I remember seeing an early version of Fu’s YOLO video on youtube. At the time it wasn’t declared the official alternate video for the single. Does anyone else remember this? I remember reading the comments from the fans saying it should be the official video because the concept was just really great, Ize Of The World intro, and everything about it was just awesome. Sure enough, a couple months later a better quality version and official footage of the band was edited into the original and it officially became the alternate video for the band. And Fu seems to be still with them til this day, awesome!

p.s. does anyone have the original rough draft video I’m talking about? They took it off youtube a couple weeks before the official version came out.

2 Lisa September 26, 2010 at 4:38 am

Do you know where I can get that t-shirt???

3 Jordan September 28, 2010 at 9:09 am

Did he design Julian’s solo site?

4 johanna September 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

haha aweome eric! 2 days before it was posted on julian’s twitterpage!

5 Johhny September 30, 2010 at 9:17 am
6 Pat September 30, 2010 at 2:05 pm

This video version of YOLO is banned from the U.S.?

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