At the end of a project, we simply want to walk away knowing we’ve done our very best work, creating the strongest film we could make. But between the start and finish, there’s nothing that simple. There’s the anxiety of pitching your vision to strangers, the unpredictability of production, and the tension of navigating post-production expectations from multiple stakeholders.
Ian Pons Jewell isn’t someone to mince words. As you’ll see right from the beginning of our conversation, he’ll say exactly what’s on his mind, which also says a lot about his creative work. There’s not much in the way of compromise. He’s directed surrealist music videos and short films, and translated that style into commercials that are equally as surreal, for brands ranging from Nike and Audi to Apple and Xbox.
Director Phil Wall works across the commercial and narrative space, with films like The Book Keepers, The Passing Game, and more. One of his commercial clients, GORUCK, is behind one of the most rigorous and challenging athletic competitions on the planet, called GORUCK Selection, which puts athletes through more than 48 hours of physical, mental, and even spiritual torment. So, when they brought up the idea of capturing the competition, Phil knew there was an opportunity. He just didn’t know what kind.
At Musicbed, we preach the importance of music every day, but sometimes we don’t have to preach at all. There are filmmakers who just get it. The creatives at Blue Ox Films know the weight and importance of music as much as we do, and we had the chance to talk with them about their work on The CW’s All American Stories.
Brands are always looking for the holy grail of advertising: Authenticity. But, it’s one of those tricky pursuits where the more intentionally you grasp for it, the more difficult it is to acquire. By its very nature, you can’t manufacture something that’s organic. And, that’s why brands bring in talented directors like Jane Qian. She’s quickly becoming a prominent name in branded content, through her work with Arm & Hammer, Nike, Paralympics, Chevrolet, and more, and a big part of that is because her work doesn’t seem branded at all.
It’s been 24 years since the last Bronco came off the line at Ford, so the iconic brand knew it needed to make a bold statement for the 2020 rerelease of its off-road workhorse. As their creative agency, Wieden+Kennedy’s internal team collaborated with Musicbed composer Ryan Taubert and Director Salomon Ligthelm to create a sound as epic as the campaign.
Before the lights, cameras, actors, and awards, there’s only you and your idea. This idea exists in the dark, constantly evolving and begging to be put into the real world, representing a million different possibilities before it takes its final shape.
The beauty (and terror) of creative projects is that things don’t always go to plan. Funding falls through, actors get sick, and you have to pivot your vision to something new. Then, you have the extreme version of that, which Director/DP/Editor Chris Murphy experienced during the production of YETI’s short film Kekoa.
As filmmakers, we all stand on the shoulders of giants. No matter how original or visionary you think your work is, odds are, you’re re-hashing an idea used by a filmmaker (or two) who’ve also borrowed that same idea from another filmmaker’s work a half-century ago.
Acclaimed director—and Filmsupply filmmaker—Salomon Ligthelm took us behind the scenes of his music video for “Easy”, by Ayia, affording us the chance to watch his creative process unfold in real-time.