Working on Spiral, Drake’s Biggest Music Videos

Spiral is now available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, and digitally. The Saw spin-off stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles and is directed by Saw II-IV director Darren Lynn Bousman in his return to helming the horror series. While it exists in the Saw universe, it’s very much its own thing and provides a fresh experience thanks to the work of director of photography Jordan Oram.

RELATED: Interview: Spiral Director Darren Lynn Bousman on Crafting a Saw Spin-off

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to Jordan Oram about working on the horror franchise, his music videos with Drake, and what’s next for him.

Tyler Treese: To the average person that has watched your work, how would you explain what exactly you’re doing behind the camera as a cinematographer and a director of photography?

Jordan Oram: I would say I’m a point guard for basketball. Ultimately what I’m doing is facilitating the director’s vision, bringing it to life. In terms of, the directors will spend more time working the actors, getting emotional referencing out in performance, whereas I’ll take the shot description, the lighting, and the orchestration on the floor into account in terms of how we successfully adopt a plan, or actually achieve the look and feel of the firm. So a lot of collaboration with production, design, makeup, hair wardrobe, AD department, production support, as well as the director/writers to ensure that everything on screen is facilitated through my lens. So managerial from working with the grip department to ensure that we have rigging and the technical stuff down to lighting and ensuring that there’s power distribution and all forms of consistency from a visual perspective on screen is all my priorities.

You’ve done so many videos with Drake in the past. I had read that you kind of manifested that. That you told him, “Hey, I’m gonna be shooting your videos.” Can you tell that story?

I had worked primarily in the videography space before I became a full-time cinematographer and I had worked on a project with Drake in 2008 and 2012, I believe. I remember just meeting him for the first time, and I just remember reciting words to him. “If I’m ever able to shoot one of your music videos, I’ll shoot the biggest music video that you’ve ever had,” and that was maybe six years before I ended up getting the opportunity to lens “God’s Plan.” A lot of it just came from the willingness and the determination that I had to successfully accomplish a goal that I’d set out prior to actually accomplishing it. Coming from Toronto, it’s one of the biggest goals that anybody that’s in the film space has because everyone, when you’re shooting these videos and everyone is saying to you, “When are you going to shoot Drake?” So it was really just about having a vision set out and accomplishing it. Now I’m still collaborating with him on main various projects and still have that consistent, ongoing dialogue that allows us to create, but now venturing into the long form narrative worlds and taking all of my past with me.

“God’s Plan” is such a legendary video and, you know, he’s giving out money during it. When did you learn about the concept of that video? How did you decide who got money?

We had , so pushing it back to 2021 release definitely reduced the amount of views that I could add on the project collectively, especially because it was only available in the United States. So most of my Canadian viewership wasn’t able to see the film, but now that it’s going on in digital, Blu-ray, it’s going to be nice to rerelease the film globally on a physical platform that people can watch around the world. I’m very excited to see and hear what people have to say about my work as well as the actors, performers, directors, and all the team involved.

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