“We try to build little Marvel universes for every artist I work with,” he says.
Growing up in south Florida, the closest Christian Breslauer got to Hollywood was a nearby beach named after it. The cinephile looked up to renowned film director David Fincher, who also helmed music videos for Madonna and Billy Idol early in his career. After high school, he started directing clips for local artists. He moved to California in 2016 with sights set on working with London Alley Entertainment, a full-service production company behind award-winning videos for artists including Kendrick Lamar (“Alright”) and Logic (“1-800-273-8255”). Breslauer jokingly recalls that he reached out to founder/executive producer Luga Podesta dozens of times before first working with the company on a 2019 Cîroc commercial. However, London Alley didn’t start representing him until the following year, after Podesta saw the video for Roddy Ricch’s “The Box,” which earned an MTV Video Music Award nomination for best hip-hop video. “Our job as a company is seeing a director’s career long term instead of just per project,” says Podesta. “We strategize about who are the artists they want to work with and who manages those artists.”
Since then, Breslauer has become a go-to creator of visuals that are equally eye-popping and purposeful, working with superstars including The Weeknd, Doja Cat, John Legend and Lil Nas X (The latter’s “Industry Baby” clip with Jack Harlow won three VMAs). At the beginning of 2023, Breslauer directed the video for SZA’s “Kill Bill,” which has over 20 million views — and most recently, he helmed the ultimate Black girl superhero visual for Lizzo’s Special title track. “We helped [Christian] form the relationships with Lizzo and SZA,” says Podesta, also noting that the team “did four or five videos with SALXCO management and then finally got [him] to work with The Weeknd.” Adds Breslauer: “We try to build little Marvel universes for every artist I work with. That’s why artists like to come back and keep working with me.”
Tyga x Doja Cat, “Freaky Deaky”
After Tyga texted Breslauer about shooting a “futuristic” video for “Freaky Deaky,” a Doja Cat collaboration from his forthcoming album, Breslauer imagined a sexy cat-and-mouse game, with Doja capturing Tyga in various traps during a late-night rendezvous. The lyrics helped inspire some of them, including “Black Barbie, perfect and you gnarly,” which reminded Breslauer of a scene from Joe Dante’s 1998 film Small Soldiers when action figures punch out of their plastic boxes. “I put a lot of intention in breaking down the song,” says Breslauer. He often leans on artists to bring their own flair during shoots, noting that Doja Cat’s chastity belt lock featuring a phallic keyhole was an addition by her stylist Brett Alan Nelson.
Lizzo, “About Damn Time”
Last year, Lizzo’s team asked Breslauer to direct three videos for her Grammy-nominated album Special. But once the newly minted record of the year “About Damn Time” went viral and subsequently reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, that visual took priority. The two set out to make something uplifting, with Breslauer running with Lizzo’s idea to open in a support group setting. The visual won video for good at the 2022 VMAs, with Lizzo dubbing Breslauer “Tittylauer” during her acceptance speech. “We have so many funny moments. She brings such a bubbly energy where you just can’t help but love her,” he said, calling the recent “Special” video his favorite one from her album.