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Ian Isak joins Sequoia Content for Representation in Canada


Sequoia Content takes a look into the work and inspiration of Ian Isak

Ian Isak joins Sequoia Content for Representation in Canada

Sequoia Content welcomes Ian Isak for Canadian representation. Here Sequoia chats to Ian about his life and work.

Why did you decide to make the move to your new company? 

I'm constantly on the look for new adventures and trying to develop as a filmmaker. And teaming up with Sequoia seemed like the perfect next step for me. I'm based in Denmark, but since I started this film journey of mine, I've always wanted to travel the world and tell different stories from far and near. I think Canada has a lot to offer and vice versa. 

What is it about the team there that clicks for you? 

Chemistry. It's always about chemistry.

How did you first get in the industry? What was your very first job in the industry? 

I was an intern at one of the big agencies in Denmark and worked mainly as an editor doing mood films, pitches etc. On the side, I was directing music videos, and one day they asked if I wanted to pitch in on a TVC for a large fitness chain. I ended up winning the job, and when we shot the film, I was the youngest on set. It was quite a mouthful, but perhaps the best way to get started. 

Where did you learn your craft (film school? Mentored as a runner? Self-taught?) 

Like so many other directors, I started doing music videos. It's the perfect playground for an aspiring director to experiment and learn. Starting out, I filmed and edited everything myself and learned a lot simply by doing. Later on, I was an AD before I decided to focus 100% on directing. I studied at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, where I mainly did short documentaries and learned interview techniques and working with "real" people in front of the camera.

Before doing what you do now, did you work in any other field/ have any different career path? 

I have always played music and would probably have ended up down that path if it wasn't for film. But, my longest career, so far, was working in my dad's one-man circus from I was three till about 20 years old. I started as an assistant and worked my way up to become a drummer, an acrobat and later on a driver.

And which creative talents in your field have inspired you in your career? 

There are so many gifted directors out there, and I love how different platforms across the internet make it possible to see everyone's work. But if I have to mention just one name, it has to be Romain Gavras. Since I started, he has been an inspiration, and his work is always surprising, edgy, and visually on point.

What was your first creative milestone in the industry – the project you worked on that you were super proud of? 

The first project that opened up many doors for me was my film for Le Fix called "Happy Nothing". It's basically a two minute documentary about a group of car and street race enthusiastic friends living in the countryside of Denmark. I'm proud of how we managed to create an energetic, raw and authentic depiction of a subculture mixing documentary with scripted scenes.

And what recent projects are you proudest of and why? 

That has to be "Go Where You Feel Most Alive." This film really took me and the team on a wild journey. We shot almost everything on the remote Faroe Islands during the coldest time of year and managed to pull off some crazy scenes with locals in front of the camera, risking life and limb. The film was created without an associated agency, so I came up with the concept and wrote the film myself. The team and I spend a long time on this film, and we only had a very limited budget at our disposal, and I'm really proud of how it turned out.

Do you have any personal or side projects on the go? What is it, what inspired it and why is it important to you? 

I'm almost always working on something personal on the side, and it's important to me to have these personal projects with creative freedom because they drive me creatively and take me to new, unexpected places. At the moment, I'm working on an audio/visual short film about the afterlife inspired by an intense and deep conversation I had with my close friend about death and everything linked to death. 

What really drives you creatively? 

The right idea! When that light bulb turns on and I suddenly can imagine a whole film from start to finish or an idea has appeared from nowhere — that energy is what drives me.

What are the aspects of your work that you really obsess over? 

I love the post-production process. To me, that's when the film really comes to life. And it's incredible how you can rewrite an entire film in the edit - that still amazes me. 

How would you describe your approach to your work? 

I like to mix different formats and genres, and I always strive to make my work feel authentic. That said, I approach every project in a new way as every film is different. I like the world-building process and matching the tone and feel with the concepts and story. 

When it comes to enjoying the creativity of others, what sort of thing excites and inspires you? 

So many things, and it changes all the time. At the moment I'm reading quite a lot which I haven't done properly for years. But naturally, visual stuff with an interesting story will always catch my attention. 

Outside of work, what are you passionate about? 

Family and friends. Cooking over an open fire. Travelling.

More of Ian's work can be found here:


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Categories: Media and Entertainment, TV and Radio

Sequoia Content, Thu, 27 May 2021 14:03:31 GMT