Looking Through the Lens of Rik Cordero

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 12, 2013

NEW YORK CITY – Rik Cordero may remembered for Sprite’s cinema and television ads for the company’s Spark campaign in 2010.

But this Filipino-American is not just any other on-camera talent. He is a respected filmmaker and prolific music video director, mostly for popular rap and hip-hop artists.

His first music video for American Rapper Jay-Z paved the way for a career in music video directing.

“I did it for free. I wasn’t quite sure the direction of it but I kind of just shot it and he loved it and put it out,” said Cordero.

That single free MTV led to more commercial work for Cordero. He later on found himself collaborating with the likes of Nas, the Roots, Q-tip, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg among major rap artists.

“It just happened by accident. When I collaborated with these artists, I think they recognized the fact that it’s something that I really believe in. Their song or their vision can be trusted with me because I’m coming out as a fan somebody who really feels the music,” he shared.

He also collaborated with Film Director Spike Lee — known for movies like “Malcolm X” and “Inside Man” that helped change the way African-Americans were perceived in Hollywood.

Cordero and Lee worked on a Nike documentary called “The World is Watching”, a series of documentaries about teenage athletes in New York City.

He came a long way from the first time he held his father’s camcorder as a young boy in New York.

“I ran around with my camera, got my friends to appear on my music videos. I didn’t really go to film school so that was my film school,” he said.

Last March, Cordero was nominated for MTV Video Music Awards in Japan for Best Hip Hop Music Video for directing AK 69’s “Start It Again.”

Cordero’s other recognitions include a nomination for BET Award’s Video Director of the Year, AAF Mosaic Award for a US Marine Corps National TV campaign and he was also named one of the 100 Influential Artists by Complex Magazine.

His first love however has always been filmmaking.

He won the 2009 HBO Best Film Award for a feature film called “Inside a cCange” — a personal project dedicated to a friend he lost.

“For it to be recognized artistically, felt very good inside that I was able to do this for my friend,” Cordero said.

The 34-year-old Filipino-American director said it’s time for him to move past music videos.

“Directing can’t be the only thing that you do. You got to be able to edit, to be able to write, you got to be able to move lights,” he pointed out.

Cordero said it’s time for him to tell his own stories through his own film…movies that may not make a lot of money but would mean something to him as a person.

“If i can grow like that, that’s all the matters to me right now,” he concluded.

For more information, you may contact Don Tagala at  don_tagala@abs-cbn.com.

One Comment

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  • jorge buesa
    14 July 2013 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Rik Cordero keep-up the good work, i’m glad to see a filipino is doing good in show business. I’m american filipino and wish you the best in show business.