Crowns And Owls
Amazing minimalist set design by @wearemade.london for @herculesandloveaffair 's "Omnion". Now playing on our site, link in bio... _________________________________________________ #musicvideo #fashion #fashionfilm #lighting #epic #cinematography #filmmaking #cinematic #alexa #panavision #arrirental #arri #bts #artdirection #setdesign #london #cooke #anamorphic #framez
Find Out How Three Guys and Their Skateboards Eventually turned into Three Guys and Their Cameras.
You are an image making/creative direction trio. Where did you meet and what are your backstories?
We met through skateboarding. We were all involved in shooting skating to some extent as kids, which then led us all into studying filmmaking. By chance, we got chatting one day at a skatepark in Leeds, where we all studied. We realized we all had pretty similar taste so we started making work together. We often laugh about how something as trivial as standing on a plank of wood with wheels gave us our careers...
Since you have such a clear and consistent aesthetic, I have to ask: How do you divi up the work? Do you have clear roles within your threesomes? Do these roles shift with each client and job? How does the collaborative process work so successfully for you? I guess I want to know how you've managed to keep your online presence so consistent visually.
We've been through a lot together since we started this and because of that there's somewhat of a brotherhood vibe between us. There's a certain liberation that comes with that as it allows us to be very fluid in our roles and not feel like we're intruding on each other - we're not particularly territorial. We started as filmmakers and that's still a heavy part of what we do.
We had a very DIY approach at the beginning, purely out of necessity ... because of this we learned to do everything ourselves. We produced our own stuff, shot it ourselves, directed it, edited it... and still do to a large extent. We're still really thankful for those days as it schooled each of us in a pretty broad spectrum of knowledge, which is what affords us the freedoms we have now. We come up with all of our concepts as a trio - on set it varies with the job - we're regularly shooting photography and moving images simultaneously now - so often one of us is shooting each of those whilst one of us holds everything together. When it's just photography we always shoot with two cameras at the same time whilst one of us serves as a digital operator. If it's just moving images, two of us double up as directors whilst one of us becomes a cinematographer.
Ultimately it was a shared taste that started this journey for us, so we put a lot of trust in that every time we start a project and that continues to carry us through.
I find that your stills have a real cinematic undertone....are you film makers first and foremost?
Filmmaking still forms a huge part of what we do and it's our heritage as a trio - in fact, photography is a relatively new venture for us. As individuals, we've always taken pictures for fun and we're all into fashion. We were shooting a lot of fashion film and music videos so when we started shooting composed pictures on set, people seemed to respond really well to them.
We're trying to take the fashion industry a little out of it's comfort zone with our photography work. We want to build cinematic worlds that the fashions compliment and vice versa by stepping the camera back and trying to tell a story within the frame. Our shots are meant to feel like brand statements as much as they're about the clothes - and our clients seem to really embrace that as an ethos. It's a big departure from what a lot of brands are used to but it feels like there's a shift in the air now. We use film lighting to shoot our pictures as we're comfortable in that approach, we never use flash - we're very proud of that - it's such a huge part of our work.
I saw that you can do some amazing set design. What is the coolest set you've ever built in your opinon?!
Set design is a massive interest of ours. We're fascinated by theatrical set design in particular. It all came from us relocating to London. We used to be very location heavy, but like most major metropolitan cities around which the industry orbits - so much of London has just been shot to death. As a response to that, we started to push ourselves to be more creative in studio spaces with some amazing collaborators such as MADE Workshop and Thomas Bird.
We're really proud of a lot of our sets - particularly over the past year when we started getting bigger and bolder with scale. One set that is really close to our hearts was for a music video for Hercules & Love Affair in 2017. It felt like a very cathartic experience for us as that video captured so many of our interests in the worlds of minimalism and surrealism and on a scale we'd hoped to play with for such a long time. here's the video if you haven't seen it.
You recently shot a look book for paria/FARZANEH, in fact, that is how I found out about you... Who else would you like to work with in the fashion world?
It was such pleasure to be involved in the Paria shoot. She's a long time friend of ours and she's so bold and unapologetic with her approach that we knew we could all do something a little different together. The look book set also served as the location for the her first presentation in collaboration with Converse during LFWM. The response was insane - we're looking forward to what we can all do next.
For us, it's just about working with brands that are willing to be daring and trust what we do - we want to be hired for the way our work looks by brands that are willing to collaborate by marrying their aesthetic with ours. But then again who doesn't? Our default headspace as a collective is quite twisted, dark and strange - brands and publications that allow us to explore that headspace are always favourable.
How do you keep yourselves motivated? What are some techniques for staying positive and productive in such a competitive industry?
Watch, listen and read a lot of stuff. Social media used sparingly can be very effective too, but too much of it can render you very bitter. Reach out to people you admire. For us the most important thing has been learning to pick our battles: Deciding when to trust our collective gut and just shoot something and learning when to hold off.
If someone paid you a million dollars, would you photograph Donald Trump? What would be the price or What would the stipulations be?
Yes. As long as we could approach it with our aesthetic intact and he doesn't have to come out looking great. For example, we could have him in some kind of Eyes Wide Shut-esque occult ceremony with loads of people just pissing on him. We all know he'd probably love that shooting experience but wouldn't be so thrilled with the actual images...
Archive frames 001. When your dad's a proper bastard and makes you carry logs during a training montage. Throwback to another music video we shot for top disc jockey @toby_gale _______________________________________________ #musicvideo #cinematography #filmmaking #cinematic #alexa #choreography #artdirection #setdesign
Images courtesy of CROWNS AND OWLS
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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