November 27, 2022


Behind the duo Tusk.

Photo credit : Tusk By Antoine Boucaut

First of all, who's Tusk ?

"Tusk is the two of us, Kerry and Olivia, a sparky two-headed monster in mid city LA who likes bolognese and weird looking dogs. Oh, and we’re a writer-director duo.

Tusk Creative is also our production company, led by us, Kerry and Olivia, and made whole by a legion of amazing collaborators who we hire on a project-to-project basis.

Whether we work as a writer, director, or creative director, or as the entire production company on a project, we tend to ideate creative with a dreamy, altered lens, coming-of-age themes & narrative elements. We work for pop singers, fashion & tech brands, and even…viral internet robots. We produce music videos, commercials & scripted series, and also creative direct entire campaigns or album rollouts for brands and artists. We’ve also made films that screened at at Tribeca Film Festival and sold a show to Freeform."


When did you start this adventure ?

"We officially became Tusk about 3.5 years ago, but before we made it official with an LLC we had been working together since we met in college in 2010."

You shoot music videos, films and commercials. Do you have a favourite format ?

"Each format scratches a different itch for us. Music videos often don’t have very big budgets but they let you go crazy and try new things, like bring an evil sheep to set or put singers on top of giant CGI martini olives. Commercials have a nice structured timeline to them and, usually, more comfortable working conditions (more $). And films really allow us to write from within and express ourselves without any boundaries. We can’t see a world where we’re not doing all 3."


Is the story, what your work tells, a very important element in your work ?

"Yes. We think it’s important to be hyper aware about what our work is saying. We want our messages to be uplifting and inspiring even if they tackle not so easy subject matter. For example in the Alessia Cara “Sweet Dream” music video the subject was insomnia and how painful it can be. The rough story showed Alessia trying and failing to fall asleep, the anxiety you feel by not getting enough sleep, and finally going to grave measures to get sleep. In the end, Alessia does in fact fall asleep after figuring out a creative solution that works for her."

Is this importance of telling a story with a beginning, a middle and an end something that differentiates you from other clips ?

"We are writers first and foremost, so whenever we approach a music video, commercial or script we’re thinking about a three-act structure. Not all music videos have a storyline to them but this is something we seek in our work. The three-act structure tends to sync perfectly with the three choruses in a pop song. A narrative element in a music video allows us to say something and also hold the viewers attention through the end."


You have worked several times with Tate McRae, but also with Camila Cabello, Madison Beer, Alessia Cara or Isaac Dunbar. Do you carefully select the artists you work with ?

"I think Tusk’s vibe attracts a certain type of client, and we try to prioritize projects that feel “on brand” or extra inspiring to us, but we are open to meeting everyone !"

And how was the Met Gala experience with PRABAL GURUNG ?

"The Met was a crazy time. The goal was to show off the creations that Prabal and his team had been working on for months. Each person, had a different personality we tried to capture and we had very little time before they needed to get to the venue, so we filmed with a few different cameras to get lots of coverage. We used a digital bolex with this crazy vintage zoom lens, super 8 and vhs. We even gave the vhs to Halsey to film herself which was fun. Then right after we shot we immediately started editing because people expect quick turn around for the Met."


Future projects to come ?

"We’re writing a few narrative projects and are very excited to transition more into long form scripted work. That being said, short form will forever have a piece of our fiery, fast-paced creative hearts."