Kids are increasingly exposed to inappropriate material from an early age. The average age boy is exposed to pornography at the tender age of 11, and the material gets more and more violent and sordid every year. Alongside pornography the sexualization and objectification of women (and men) is normalized at an alarming rate through social media and celebrity.

This commercial is about kids that perhaps didn’t develop proper boundaries between reality and what they’ve seen on screens since they were young and impressionable tweens. But, the responsibility is not on them, it’s on us, the parents, too often we choose to look the other way.

 

A continually and persistently horrifying problem around the world is gender based violence. This spot went viral in Iceland and earned over 300.000 views (Icelanders are 330.000). It sparked very loud conversations in the media as well as socially. It was not without controversy, it was criticized for getting attention because of the men in the commercial. That is part of the problem, and the solution. Men are the primary offenders therefore they are the ones we need to reach and to do so we chose to force them to look the consequences squarely in the eyes.

 

 

The multi talented Freyjólfur (Freyr Eyjólfsson) recorded an album in his kitchen in Brooklyn. Me and Halldór Gylfason made a music video for “Hann byr ekki lengur hér” on a sunny afternoon in Vogar á Vatnsleysuströnd. Good times.

 

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz gets his focus on in a busy diner with the aid of the BOSE QC35II headset. Fun fact: we shot the commercial at the “The Silver Linings Playbook” diner, where the central theme revolves around the rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys.

 

 

Iceland is in the FIFA Men’s World Cup finals for the first time, the smallest nation ever to qualify. 2 years prior the Icelandic Men’s National Team had captured the hearts and minds of football lovers across the world (England excluded) by reaching the quarterfinals of the European Cup. During that run the “Thunder Clap”, exhibited by the traveling fans, became a phenomenon and every woman, child and man in Iceland clapped enthusiastically in unison to cheer their team on.

Magnús Magnús Magnússon is the one Icelander who just can’t seem to get the clap and he got into a lot of trouble during the 2016 Euro Cup because of that. Now 2 years later he works at KFC and his Thunder Clap, well it’s still a bit of an issue.

 

Fréttablaðið, with the largest circulation of printed news in Iceland, is rebranding its digital presence under the same name as the physical paper. The campaign headline is “Stendur undir nafni” or “Worthy of the Name.”

Fréttablaðið means “The Newspaper.” In the age of anonymous content and fake news it’s a big, and important, claim that a newspaper’s news are just that, news.

 

Solgryn from OTA is an oatmeal which generations of Icelanders grew up eating as a morning cereal or porridge. Lately people have been making new recipes for it, more in line with our modern ways of living. At it’s core though, Solgryn is a great foundation for a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack, perfect to help with those New Years resolutions.

 

Every year 200 Icelanders die from premature, and very preventable, heart attacks. This commercial was made to raise awareness for a fundraiser to buy modern, state of the art, screening tools for every doctor’s office in Iceland to find those at risk. The headline for the campaign is “Finnum fólk í lífshættu” which translates to “Let’s find those at risk.”

 
 
 
 

Snaps from the shoot of a 32:29 long Single Take music video for Auður.

Auður just launched his debut album which consists of 9 songs that all flow into the next one creating a unified whole that can be looped endlessly. Auður had an idea how to make a music video that reflected his singular approach to the album. Me, DP Tómas Örn Tómasson, producer (and manager) Kári Sturluson and his team partnered with him to create this memorable experience for the album, which is called “Alone” and available where good music is sold.

https://www.facebook.com/audurmusic/
http://tomastomasson.com

The video is on YouTube at this link, for the full looping effect right click and select “Loop”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAJDaipWBpA

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My first VR project was for the delightfully wonderful and talented band Fufanu from Iceland.
The video was shot in downtown Reykjavík on the eve of the UEFA Cup final between Liverpool FC. and Sevilla (hence I was spared the misery of watching it).

The video is best enjoyed via a 360 browser such as Google Chrome or Firefox or better yet, on a mobile device with goggles like Samsung Gear or Google Cardboard.

Click HERE to watch it, but also check out the band’s great album released on One Little Indian HERE. ENJOY.

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Soffía Björg is a new and exciting musician out of Iceland. Her music is warm but haunting and her voice packs an emotional punch and power not often heard. Her first single “Back & Back Again” was released in October 2015 and I had the distinct pleasure and honor to film her first music video to accompany the release.

Due to scheduling issues and the short timeline to finish the video (it took exactly 3 weeks from first brief to release) I had to conceive, prep, and execute the entire job remotely. Yes, remotely, this production happened entirely through email, phonecalls, Facetime and Skype.

On the shoot day I was sat in front of my computer for 10+ hours directing the music video via Skype.

This may sound weird to some but in reality it was not that different from a lot of jobs I do. A big chunk of a typical prep takes place over the phone, email or Skype, looking at sketches, renderings, scripts, plans, casting, designs, color schemes, wardrobe, look references, lighting references etc. All of this is common place in a modern production, fast pace, lots of moving pieces in different departments at the same time.

Once the first shoot day rolls in 90% of the heavy lifting for any job should be done, we’re finessing at this point, honing in on performance, nuances in lighting, dressing, make-up, etc.

So how was it directing talent through Skype you ask? Well, me and Soffía had lengthy conversations over Facetime beforehand about the project. I had shot a technical test to explain the Stop Motion methodology to her, we went over, and developed, the script in detail, talked about intentions, emotional beats, correlation to the lyrics etc.

When it came down to it on the day Soffía was able and willing to trust my bearded face on a computer screen and take my advice and direction (we have never met). I on the other hand was able to let go of my impulse to micro manage every little thing on a film set and actually relax in the comfort of my home sipping tea and play with my kids in between setups.

The shoot would not have been possible without the great DP Tómas Örn Tómasson, the stoic and steady Producer Kári Sturluson and his team Tindur Kárason and Tómas Sturluson. We shot at Irma Sudio in Reykjavík. Steffi Thors delivered a marvelous edit and VFX and color grade was beautifully handled at Trickshot in Iceland by Kristján U. Kristjánsson and Luis Ascanio, respectively.

Below is the finished video and behind the scenes images by Tómas Sturluson (©2015 Tómas Sturluson)

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“CULTFEVER creates sound in 35mm and Dolby-surround, sweeping wide shots, urgent dissolves and auteuristic composition, reminiscent of the brooding, surreal worlds of Almodóvar, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and Tim Burton. You don’t just hear CULTFEVER; its music plays out before you like a moving picture, helmed by its dual directors, Tamara Jafar and Joe Durniak.”

– From Cultfever.com

Outtakes from a shoot I’m working on for BIG Magazine.

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My life started when I heard Rock ‘n’ Roll. I think it was Elvis. Shortly thereafter it was the birth of the Icelandic punk scene that captured me. Masturbation, Disappointment, Purrkur Pillnikk, Q4U and countless other stalwarts of that scene became my spiritual guides. From there on music has played a huge part in my life, especially my creative life. I started photographing bands when I was 14, I then played in bands, managed, produced, promoted etc. and of course the first thing I ever filmed was a music video, for my sister’s band Ensími.

Hence I was excited to get to do this project for Rock Band 4. I loved the concept, kids pretending to be in a real band in their living room (I used tennis rackets as a kid), then being transported into the real dream world of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

I am grateful to Harmonix and the wonderful team at Cole & Weber, shout out to Pat McKay, Todd Derksen, Pete Anderson, and Rebecca Potter, as well as the entire production community in Seattle, esp. Buzzy, Nate, Ralston, TJ, Damien, Trae, Bruce, Paul, Felipe, Elizabeth, Angie, Jason and all the other wonderful folks whose names I can’t remember, you know who you are.

And, last but not least, my amazing cast, Shelby, Woody, Ashton, and Aidan. You guys are real rockstars, I can’t wait for the reunion of this band.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It was a rocking good time (the spot is at the bottom).

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An ambient campaign I shot for Manhattan Mini Storage that’s currently plastered around NYC on billboards and subways. Fun project as always with Manhattan Mini Storage and they manage to become the talk of the town as usual.

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