Christian & Patrick directing for over 20 years
The director duo cut their teeth and created unusual animated images for artists like Bjork as part of Lynn Fox. They reflect on how architecture affects their work, what elements advertisements often overlook, and what the future of music videos will be
Christian Mckenzie and Patrick Chen became known in the early 2000s as part of the Lynn Fox directing collective, which was completed by Bastian Glassner. Together they created a deluge of animated music videos and visualizations, often sloping in the ethereal or spectral realm, brought to life with the burgeoning possibilities around CG. Her visual language was particularly well received by Björk, who engaged Lynn Fox for various projects as part of a longstanding creative partnership.
They also brought their taste for graphics and eerie graphics to brands like Audi before the trio split and Mckenzie and Chen started a separate directing company, Christian & Patrick. Since then, they've run ads for luxury car brands like Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, as well as spots for Thomas Cook and Dulux that play with movie machines in their own way.
The two initially studied architecture and met during their diploma at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture, which is known for its innovative approach. "Pat and I both came from very, very traditional architecture schools before – I thought all I was interested in was brick and building and something to do," says Mckenzie. Both have signed up with a unit that studies the links between architecture and film. "I was just drawn to the madness and the fact that they were doing these flying animations that felt like music videos in a way," he recalls. During this unit they not only found each other, but landed on the medium that would determine the next 20 years of their careers.