This past week saw the much anticipated and critically acclaimed release of ‘Black Is King’, a film by 24-time GRAMMY® Award-winner Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, which has been described in the media as a love letter to the Black diaspora. This timely project is one which her long time collaborator and Cherry director Jake Nava (‘Crazy in Love’, ‘Single Ladies’, ‘Partition’) is very proud to have collaborated on, together with several other film makers and photographers. The new film is based on the music of ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ and reimagines the lessons from the 2019 blockbuster for today’s young kings and queens, in search of their own crowns. Nava’s imagery and choreography combine emotion and context, capturing an extraordinary line up of actors, dancers and street cast talent, against diverse landscapes.
Iconic Creative Director, Choreographer and Director, JaQuel Knight, has teamed up with Hound for exclusive commercial and music video representation. His first project with the trans-Atlantic production company is a three-minute film with Pharrell Williams for CBS’s John Lewis tribute, hosted by Oprah Winfrey. Pharrell sang his hit ‘Happy’ – one of the civil rights icon’s favourite songs – in a film that mixes civil rights imagery, footage from recent Black Lives Matter protests, and cameos from celebrity guests including Ciara, Usher, DJ Khaled, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Steph Curry.
Knight has created singular statements for N.E.R.D., Cher, Zara Larsson, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams, and Jay-Z, among others. He has joined forces with Beyoncé multiple times, from the creation of the instantly-recognisable dance moves in ‘Single Ladies’ to choreographing her Super Bowl Halftime Show, from creative directing her ‘Spirit’ music video, to choreographing her Coachella performances which have been described as historic. Knight was the Creative Director behind Shakira’s Super Bowl Halftime Show, incorporating everything – lighting, wardrobe, and choreography – into his vision. He has also choreographer for major television shows, such as ‘Dancing with the Stars’, ‘The X Factor’, and ‘The Voice’, amongst others. A self-professed “dance geek”, he has been profiled by CNN and was the first choreographer to ever be named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Founded in Los Angeles in 2016, Hound is a creative content studio that combines diverse brand work with iconic, high-volume music video production. The company opened officially in the UK last year, with the express goals of expanding its global reach and active recruitment of exciting UK and European-based creators.
Director and celebrated actress, Lena Heady, has directed a new video for ‘Miracle’, from the French artist and music producer Madeon’s album ‘Good Faith’. The video stars Maisie Williams, getting into a surreal, violent collision with another person and dealing with its aftermath. Lena Headey has been an actor for the better part of three decades and is best known for her portrayal of Cersei Lannister on the HBO drama series ‘Game of Thrones’, for which she has received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. As director, Lena’s short film, ‘The Trap’, which she wrote and directed, was recently selected for the BFI London Film Festival, and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best British Short.
Morgan Cooper‘s new film,‘Portrait of a Black Man’, was made in collaboration with Black Archives – a platform that focuses on the preservation and celebration of black life through archival photography and film. The piece features words by Tupac Shakur, James Baldwin & Martin Luther King Jr, and was awarded Vimeo Staff Pick. In recent months short films written, directed, and shot by Chromista’s Cooper have been selected for the Chicago, Atlanta, Pan-African, and Manchester film festivals. Last year Morgan Cooper’s short fan film ‘Bel-Air’, which he wrote and directed, based on the 1990’s sitcom ’The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ , became a viral sensation, having been shared across social media and receiving praise from celebrities such as Alyssa Milano and Will Smith.
Click image above to watch ‘Portrait of a Black Man’, and click here for a selection of MORGAN COOPER’s work.
Unilever’s bodyspray brand, AXE, has launched its new ‘Smell Ready’ campaign, created by MullenLowe London and directed by CANADA London’s Pensacola. Using humorous insight to make its point, the commercial film is a lively take on how young guys have coped with the Covid-19 quarantine from start to end. In the face of significant circumstances of life in a pandemic, production processes had to be adapted to cope with the lack of production sets and the basic tools, restoring to a clever combination of shooting and production techniques such as remote self-shooting using self-installed green screens, the use of existing footage and CGI.
To watch a selection PENSACOLA’s work, click here.
Made up of 100+ black creators, including Hound’s director Jason Harper, the Black Filmmakers Collective is launching a new pledge to increase representation of black workers across film and advertising production.
Read the full Shots article below, or click here to read online. View a selection of JASON HARPER’s work here.
Created in collaboration with FLY LDN and Puma, Chris Fowles’ new film aims to visualise the contrasts of modern life – and how yoga can be used to create a kind of pause in that. In-spite of what is going on around you, no matter how busy or loud, to stop for a moment and mentally go to another place.
Named one of BFI National Film Academy Scheme’s most promising filmmakers, HOI POLLOI‘s Fowles has also been listed for a BAFTA for his short film ‘Sleeping Dogs’, and most recently, his latest film –‘The Choke’ – has been produced in association with a number of leading mental health charities. Fowles has worked for high profile brands including the BBC, Converse, VisitBritain, and Shelter.
Hyundai has released a global anthem film for the all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra, directed by Caviar‘s Sergi Castellà. To reach a younger audience, the film takes a bold leap away from the traditional creative approach that auto brands have looked to for decades, featuring footage of the new Elantra and young people who illustrate the message conveyed by the narrator through actions like running, chasing, screaming, literally stepping up, playing basketball at night, and more
To view more of SERGI CASTELLÀ‘s work, click here.
Aiming to capture the responses and activities of UK screen, music, and theatre performers during the lockdown to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, ’62 Days at Home‘ features George the Poet, Liam Payne, John Taylor, James Bay, Andrew Scott, Helena Bonham-Carter, Thandie Newton, Konnie Huq, Steve Backshall, Myleene Klass, Matt Lucas, Brian May, Josh Gad, Romesh Ranganathan, Tom Chapman, Anthony Crank, Dr Peter Aitken and Bear Grylls as they lent their support, raised funds, educated, and entertained during the lockdown. The film was commissioned by the Creative Industries Council for the Createch 2020 at Virtual CogX festival, and was produced by Talent Republic, the leading European independent talent broker, with The Quarry providing the editing.
To view more of TALENT REPUBLIC’s work, click here.