Most recently, I shot Rebecca Ferguson (star of ‘Dune’) out in Iceland for a commercial for Copper, and directed MoneySuperMarket’s ‘Monster’. I have a background in visual effects and see it as an incredible way to elevate stories, never to take away or detract from the main idea. When I was invited to do this High Five, these films immediately came to mind. There’s been so much incredible work over the past few months but I’ve selected these films because they left a lasting impression after the first watch. Even though they’re all totally different from each other, they all have one simple idea at the heart, and all have an element of suspense and intrigue, with the visual effects carefully executed in support of that. You genuinely don’t know where they’ll end up, which makes them incredibly entertaining in my opinion! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Kudos to all involved!
Alt-J - 'Hard Drive Gold'
Production: Biscuit Filmworks UK
Post: Rascal Post
I can’t say enough good things about this film. I think I’ll have to use bullet points...
*Stunning cinematic portrayal of British suburbia. (I’m obsessed with suburbia)
*Amazing casting and performance.
*The way she runs...I could watch that on loop for hours.
*The film doesn’t need a storyline, but it happens to have a wonderfully simple and very punchy one.
*The one-legged Lycra costume.
*Her final vault...it’s all genius!
Burberry - 'Open Spaces'
Agency & Production: Riff Raff Films
This gave me goosebumps the first time I saw it. The whole film is amazing, but for me, the first scene in the wheat field is special. My brain has developed a real tolerance to mind-blowing VFX and this is just the antidote I needed. There is a tactile realism here that wakes me up like a waft of the smelling salts. Bravo.
Radiohead - 'Follow Me Around'
Production: Academy Films
Post: Time Based Arts
I like the ‘tingle factor’ of the simultaneous lo-fi, hi-fi hit this film delivers. It’s like tasting hot and cold at the same time. It’s a disarmingly familiar home video VHS look but with a distinctly fruity style of mind-bending camerawork. You never manage to adjust to it , so you’re cognitively always on the back foot which I’m sure is the intention. Mind games. Guy Pearce gives a great performance and I love the locations.
Airbnb - 'Strangers'
I love furry things, and this film has a family of them. It’s totally surreal but heart-warming at the same time. You don’t often find that. The direction - and misdirection - at the start is wonderful; effortlessly smooth and full of warmth. The cinematography is beautiful throughout. I love the forest scene. Oh yeah and the track is an unearthed gem.
Ford Ranger - 'Night Swimming'
Agency: AMV BBDO
This film subverts expectation and bravely waits over a minute before revealing the product it is advertising. This really is the perfect manifestation of 'less is more'. Like how a bond title sequence picture and sound dance together to create a stunning beautiful film that it is very easy to lose yourself in. It feels like a lucid dream from which you wake gently as the trucks leave the water at the end of the film.