Embark on an Evocative, Nocturnal Journey with This Leica Short Film

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Barney Cokeliss directs 'Like The Night' set to a glitchy rendering of Byron’s poem 'She Walks in Beauty'
Embark on an Evocative, Nocturnal Journey with This Leica Short Film

Sometimes thrilling, sometimes dangerous, some of the greatest moments happen at night. In 'Like the Night', award-winning director Barney Cokeliss brings all that after dusk has to offer to life for legendary camera brand Leica

Cinematic and dappled in darkness, the filmic spot serves to demonstrate the moving-image capabilities of the Leica SL and was launched with a special screening at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum on October 16th.

Shot in locations as varied as Soweto, New York, Berlin, Bucharest, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Paris, 'Like the Night' follows several photographers as they wander through nocturnal environments looking for a moment to capture. Set to a glitchy rendering of Byron’s poem 'She Walks in Beauty', the piece paints a cinematic scene that ranges from sultry to sinister, disorienting to arresting.

“For me, the night has always been a time of photographic fascination and atmospheric mystery. I didn’t want to tell a straight narrative story, but instead make something enigmatic, with lots of implicit storylines,” says Cokeliss. “I hope there’s an oscillation there that keeps people intrigued.”

Cokeliss says 'She Walks in Beauty' was the first poem that came to mind when contemplating the tone for the piece. “I reinterpreted it to mean a woman walking in the beauty of the night and with ‘beauty’ interpreted in a broad way,” he says. “There can be a certain beauty, after all, in nocturnal images of loneliness, or mystery, as well of course as more classically beautiful imagery in low-light. Walking in the street, finding beauty in what you come across is an essentially Leica activity. A Leica is the camera you’d take if, like, say, Cartier-Bresson, you’re looking for your inspiration out in the world and finding unobtrusively ways to capture what happens in front of you.”


The project itself came from a shared desire between Cokeliss and Leica UK to collaborate on a film.

“Leica has always been a story-telling brand, says Jason Heward, managing director of Leica UK. “We are known for the still images that have captured special moments in the last century and with our SL System we have the capability to tell our story through cinema-quality film. When Barney showed me his previous films, I could instantly see the creative fit. He immediately understood the narrative of the Leica brand and how to translate this to the big screen. Working with Barney has been an absolute pleasure: his creativity, vision and passion are all visible in ‘Like the Night’.”

“Being able to shoot at night and in the street are hallmarks of Leica’s small cameras and fast lenses,” adds Cokeliss. “Much of the film was shot on the famous Noctilux, which has an unheard-of maximum aperture of f0.95, so a film which journeyed through the night seemed right.”

Simone Grattarola, the colourist of the film, says: “What Barney has captured so beautifully are the emotional impacts of night-time, whether fearful, mysterious, seductive, or lonely. Colour resonates through the film as we shift from red lamps to sodium and teal and you’re taken on a journey through night with images that intrigue, haunt and thrill. The Leica SL's retention of all that colour detail in the low light is stunning.” 

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Client

Title: Like the Night

Client: Leica UK

Managing Director: Jason Heward

Production

Director + Writer: Barney Cokeliss

Production Company: Paddington Pictures

Director of Photography: Barney Cokeliss, Philippe Kress

Music: Anné Kulonen

Editor: Ben Corfield, Stitch Editing

Sound Design and Mix: Ben Leeves, Jungle Studios

Colour: Simone Grattarola and Myles Bevan, Time Based Arts

VFX: Duncan Malcolm, Glassworks

Production Service Companies: Bubbles Films (Berlin), Icon Films (Romania), Them Media (US), Kojak Films (South Africa)

Genres: In-camera effects, Scenic

Categories: Cameras, Consumer Electronics

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