One of the most sought-after fashion and portrait photographers today and director, Harper Smith, has signed to UK and US based Hound. Best known for capturing her subjects in a manner that celebrates their beauty, strength and vitality, and having picked up the camera later in life, Smith has worked with celebrity clients such as Kate Bosworth, Alexa Chung, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Bruno Mars, Jake Weary, Hilary Duff and of course, Midland – the wildly successful country band started by her husband, Cameron Duddy. Harper’s work has been featured in publications that include W, Interview, Harper’s Bazaar, and Marie Claire , and she has worked for brands like Charlotte Russe, Free People, Bass Shoes, as well as numerous record labels.
Ground Work’s director and photographer, Luke Casey has written and directed a surreal short film, ‘Moon’, featuring rising British rapper and producer, Brian Nasty, whose music is used as the soundtrack. As a demented moon wreaks havoc and destruction outside, Brian Nasty stars as a lone restaurant guest who continues to eat and drink while he waits out the end of the world.
‘Moon’ is part of a series of surreal shorts made by Casey during the Covid pandemic. ‘There was a lot of intense news and information I was ingesting through my screen’, says the director. ‘I wanted Moon to reflect that sense of anxiety a lot of people were feeling but tried to deliver it in a fun and surreal way.’
Ground Work are a Bristol, London and New York based production company, and are part of Crack Magazine – Europe’s leading music and youth culture publication.
Ground Work – the film division of Crack Magazine, Europe’s leading music and youth culture publication – has joined ENID. Having recently picked up awards at D&AD, 1.4, UKMVA’s,Kinsale, and more, their experimental and technical roster continues to gain critical acclaim at top industry festivals, competitions and publications. Ground Work has also developed Three Minutes; an incubator scheme for young directors from underrepresented groups wanting to break into music videos, funded by partners that include Burberry, BFI Network and Shure, gaining support from across the industry.
See a selection of directors below.
WILL DOHRN Idles ‘War’
Award-winning, London based Will Dohrn is best known for his thought provoking work around lived spaces, people and structures, using inventive and unique visual devices to create impactful, feeling driven stories and art. In his recent multi-awarded video for Idles, Dohrn employs a visual device to tell several parallel stories of life on the edge in modern Britain. The camera effectively becomes each protagonist, looking downwards at their own right hand as they go about their daily business, cutting kinetically between the stories, building up a tapestry of gritty lives, grim outlooks and, as the camera spirals upwards in the final stage, human tragedy. Dohrn’s work has received numerous accolades at top industry awards and festivals.
WILLIAM CHILD Trippie Redd ft Young Thug ‘YELL OH’
Designer, director and claymation master, William Child, has been making videos for some of hip-hop’s premier talents since 2017. Based in Bristol, and a self-declared hip-hop nerd, Child has his own animation studio and record label, Gravy Mercedes. His first claymation video was an 8-second clip of Donald Trump vomiting the word ‘BIGLY’, which landed him his first job – a video for the artist Da$h. From then on, Child has continued to work on various music video projects for the likes of Young Thug, Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Kenny Beats, 03 Greedo, Trippie Redd, Father, and KEY!, amongst others.
Independent conceptual creative director, art director, film director and creative consultant, Claire Arnold has worked with artists, brands, communities and causes looking to create forward thinking ideas and impactful communications. Her client list includes high profile brands, such as i-D, Chanel, Stella McCartney, and Maserati. Directing Ashnikko‘s latest video, ‘Drunk With My Friends’, Arnold imagined the artist and her friends as dissolute pixies in a virtual saucy playground idyll. She has worked with 2D artist Kane Lee to develop the initial character design, which was then brought to life by Carol Civre.
Christelle de Castro is a commercial director, photographer,and fine artist, as well as co-founder of Ground Work, heading up their New York office. She is known for her iconic images of musicians, artists, and muses, as well as her love of portraiture and devotion to social justice. Her photographs are uniquely intimate, whilst her films lean towards themes of empowerment and community, having been exhibited internationally, including in New York, Vienna, and Dubai. De Castro is also the founder of post-production house, Stoneman.
To view more of CHRISTELLE DE CASTRO‘s work, click here.
THREE MINUTES – Incubator Scheme Wretch 32 ‘little BIG Man’ by Edem Wornoo
Three Minutes is Ground Work and Crack Magazine‘s incubator scheme for unsigned directors aged 26 and under, with a focus on supporting talent from underrepresented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds. Funded by Burberry, the BFI NETWORK, and audio brand Shure, as well as the England European Regional Development Fund, the scheme uses music videos as creative springboards, with applications judged by a panel of artists and industry experts, such as Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Robbie Ryan (‘The Favourite’, ‘Marriage Story’, ‘American Honey’), video director, Kaylum Dennis, Warner Records’ Senior Marketing Manager, Oksi Odedina, and Partisan Records’ Creative Director, Theresea Adebiyi. Last year, London based Edem Wornoo was one of five unsigned British directors to win a place on the scheme, going on to work with iconic Tottenham rapper, Wretch 32. Shot on location in London, Wornoo’s 11-minute short film launched the artist’s surprise project, ‘little BIG Man’, exploring themes of work, community and performance, whilst establishing a parallel between theatre and reoffending.
Founded in in Bristol in the UK in 2009 by graphic designer Jake Applebee and journalism graduate Thomas Frost, Crack Magazine is a monthly independent music and culture magazine distributed across Europe. The publication has featured the likes of Björk, MF Doom, Lil Yachty, FKA twigs, Gorillaz, and Queens of the Stone Age on the cover, to name a few, and has launched their 100th issue with Radiohead‘s frontman Thom Yorke.
Curate Films’ duo, Greg & Jacob (aka Greg Hardes and Jacob Proud) have directed a feature documentary on England football team manager Gareth Southgate, which was launched this month as part of YouTube’s Originals series, ahead of the Euro 2020 championship. Titled ‘Raise your Game with Gareth Southgate’, the film sees YouTube creators ChrisMD, SV2, Yung Filly and StuntPegg explore the life and career of Southgate and the future of English football – each YouTube creator story breaks off from Southgate’s interview to tell a tale of an inspirational young person in the UK, linking back to one of his three core motivational beliefs of ‘Be Kind, Be Brave, and Follow Your Dreams’, demonstrating how his philosophies are being realised in the real world.
Known for their cinematic storytelling, Greg & Jacob’s first feature, ‘Fighting for a City’, premiered on Netflix to a fantastic reception, and they are currently in post on their second feature, ‘Sound of Family’, about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of techno.
CANADA London’s Lope Serrano‘s aka CANADA recently teamed up with Publicis Conseil to direct ‘Open for Big Things’for Renault Kangoo. The two-minute commercial film accompanies the development and success of a craftsman, when a young father decided to make a wooden chair for his little girl – the chair was a great success and very quickly a small family business developed. A repeated visual process referring to the side opening “open sesame by RenaultTM” accompanies us throughout the film, punctuated by the little girl’s voice telling us the different stages of the successful enterprise.
‘Get Smooth Again’is the latest commercial film from Los Pérez (aka Tania Verduzco and Adrian Pérez), for global retail bank, Klarna. Produced by CAVIAR and featuring A$AP Rocky, the campaign invites consumers to drop the lockdown look and ‘Get Smooth Again’. As part of the campaign, CAVIAR and Los Peréz will be releasing social content and a short film, later this summer, featuring a section of a new song from A$AP Rocky with the goal of inspiring consumers to rediscover their sense of style.
Curate Films’ comedy director, Laurie Smith, has collaborated with Mike Skinner from The Streets on BT Sport‘s Summer Brand Campaign, which debuted during the Champions League Final on Saturday night. Former Head of Creative at ITV, Laurie Smith crossed over to directing, soon becoming known for his unpretentious style and ability to draw genuinely comedic performances from sports stars and non-actors. An exceptional sport star wrangler, Smith has worked with some of the biggest names in football, whilst also proving he can turn his talents to a diverse array of sectors, through numerous well-received ads, idents, and short films.
CANADA London’s directing duo, Pensacola (aka Pau Suris and Pau Dalmases), have partnered with COPA90’s in-house team, to create Sports Direct’s new advert, ‘Never Just A Game’. Starring the sporting legend and Premier League Hall of Fame icon, Eric Cantona, the film is the first TV spot to ever come out of the football media company – it is a celebration of the unifying power of football, and features a host of pro footballers, including England’s Jack Grealish, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson, Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes, and Germany’s Melanie Leupolz. The campaign was first aired ahead of the Champions League final on BT Sport, and will be featured throughout the Euros across ITV.
London based Curate Films have signed directing duo + jacksonkarinja (aka Gareth Jackson and Mark Karinja) for UK and Europe representation. Despite having grown up miles apart – Jackson was born in Ecuador and grew up in Mexico, while Karinja comes from New Jersey – the two directors ended up meeting in film crews in New York City at a young age, establishing themselves as cinematographers, often collaborating and helping each other. They eventually teamed up as a directing/cinematography duo,and became known for their soulful storytelling, cinematic and dynamic composition, influenced by their early skate and surf videos.
To view more of + JACKSONKARINJA‘s work, click here.
Curate Film’s award-winning feature film director, Lee Daniels (‘Precious’, ’The Butler’), talks to the creators of HBO Max’s groundbreaking drama, ‘Veneno’, about trans visibility on-screen and their heady rise to the top. The Spanish biographical limited series tells the life and death of Spanish transgender singer and television personality, Cristina Ortiz Rodríguez, better known by the nickname “La Veneno”.
‘Precious’ (Feature Film Trailer)
‘Empire’ (TV Series)
Lee Daniels’ illustrious career went from casting director, to talent manager, moving into producing with Academy Award winning ‘Monster’s Ball’, and later on directing ‘Precious’, which received six Oscar nominations, including Best Director, and won two awards. Daniels also co-created and directed Fox’s ‘Empire’, starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Hensen – the show was Emmy-nominated and won a Golden Globe.
Read full article here. To view more of LEE DANIELS‘s work, click here.
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