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Director Daniel Skoglund on His Love for Visual Storytelling and Expensive Cheese


The Believe Media director speaks to LBB about appreciating the filmmaking process, why it’s easier to work with dancers and how setting goals can be a bad thing

Director Daniel Skoglund on His Love for Visual Storytelling and Expensive Cheese

Believe Media’s Daniel Skoglund began his early career directing content across industries, with spots for Ikea, Bosch, Adidas and Absolut Vodka, beauty work for Oriflame, Lumene and Nexxus, as well as fashion spots for clients such as Helmut Lang, Monki, JC, Åhléns and H&M. Daniel’s work ebbs seamlessly between the aesthetic and the human, between epic VFX magic and the minute details of quotidian life, crafting visual languages of several high-end brands including Baccarat, Louis Vuitton, Absolut Vodka, and for his most recent work for Volvo’s #XC90Recharge campaign.

Speaking to LBB, Daniel talks about his entry into the industry, what he does to recharge his creative batteries and the best advice for those taking their first steps in filmmaking. 

LBB> What sort of kid were you? Any clues that you were into design or creating stuff back then?

Daniel> A bit weird, I think. I loved animals and music, especially the band Kiss. I loved the title sequences for the James Bond films – I think that was my first attraction to film and design more than the actual Bond films. I made a little book where I re-drew the typography and all the end credits from the Bond films by hand. No idea why.

LBB> What were your biggest influences growing up?

Daniel> James Bond, obviously. Some weird Japanese cartoon caveman. Plus, my grandfather.

LBB> How did you get started in filmmaking?

Daniel> My friend from art school and I started doing title sequences for feature films and TV, but weren’t really interested in animation, so we drifted into commercials more and more.

LBB> You work in markets across the US, Europe and Asia. How has this impacted your work?

Daniel> One of the great things about production is that it has a similar dynamic on sets across the globe. The culture around it with both agencies and clients are, however, very different from each other - which is something that I’ve learned a lot from. Especially when it comes to artistic relationships between clients, creatives, crews, etc.

LBB> How do you approach your work now compared to when you started? 

Daniel> I appreciate the process much more nowadays. When I started out, the focus was only on the end result, and I didn’t really notice all the amazing people around me. The more you work with people, the more you discover their talents, and start to develop a creative relationship that is truly unique and can reach much higher than what was intended in the first place.

LBB> You work with a lot of contemporary dancers in your work? What draws you to the artists?

Daniel> Dancers are just easier and usually very straightforward, like athletes. No fuss. I love working with actors and models, too, but I’ve never had a dancer show up hungover, or even having a bad day on set. They always seem to have an endless source of energy, which is very contagious and pushes things forward.

LBB> What sort of things do you do when you're trying to get some distance from your work?

Daniel> I’ve always loved the art world, so I try to see new stuff at galleries as much as possible. I love wine, cigarettes, and expensive cheese. That’s about it.

LBB> What advice would you give those starting out?

Daniel> I think it’s a bad idea to create some sort of goal or look for a specific title to begin with. Visual storytelling just has to be something you love to do. There are no shortcuts or magic tricks to turn you into a director or photographer. You just have to start working. Shoot something on your phone or draw something - and don’t think about the future. If you’re any good, that will sort itself out. I think it’s good to be ambitious, but very bad to set up goals for yourself. They will never happen the way you plan anyway. Usually, you end up with something much more interesting.

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Believe Media US, Thu, 09 Jun 2022 14:40:00 GMT