A game trailer for Rock Band 4. Following an imaginary band from their living room to international stardom and back into their living room.
A simple spot for Converse exploring macro lenses and a very up close and personal POV and the Converse relationship to Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Music video for Icelandic artist Soffía Björg. The video was shot in Iceland but I directed it through Skype from New York.
The front page of Big Magazine December 2015.
Shout out to the lovely women of The Skins, Bayli, Kaya and Daisy. www.theskins.com
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)
“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.
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).
Drummer in front, singer in back.
The wonderful Damien Rice graced Brooklyn with his presence on October 17th. I have been busy in the edit suite since then so had not had time to post this. Oh, and he was joined on stage by the amazing Glen Hansard.
Gus Gus played a magnificent set at the Highland Ballroom in NYC on October 10th, 2014.
Shadows Fall from MA came through and played Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory along with a few local acts. Lots of hair and thrashing.
The mighty Fu Manchu at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. May 19th 2014. Hard Rock at its finest from California.
I shot these in LA at a fashion // model party. I don’t know what the band is called. I do know that the bass player is a fashion designer and was on Project Runway, his name is Jeffrey Sebelia. UPDATE: I have now found out that the band was called Sing Orpheus and has broken up. They were a great band.
At Music Hall of Williamsburg 12/02/2013
Anna Calvi is a musical force to be reckoned with. Her new album “One Breath” is just out on Domino Records and it’s fantastic. She’s currently touring and gives an amazing live performance. These pictures are from her show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 11th 2013. She was electryfing.
Music video for Lay Low to "By And By" from the album "Farewell Good Night’s Sleep". Lay Low floats above a miniature world with an air of amusement as she peeks down on the little people and things below her before she goes into space.
Honored with the "Award of Excellence" at the 2010 Canada International Film Festival.
Thanks // Lovisa, Kári, Billy, CO3, Sade, Pétur, Aron, Joel and Bev.
Unidentified river somewhere in the western part of the United States. This image makes me think of Bill Callahan’s song “Drover” from his beautiful “Apocalypse” album.
I shot this picture of Lay Low (Lovísa) after a gig at a small coffee shop in the East Village. This is shot in the middle of traffic on Park Avenue South by Union Square on a hot summer night. I later did a music video to one of her songs. She’s a wonderful artist and collaborator.
Nuutti is a friend that lives in New York City. As the name suggests he’s from Finland and he’s a rock star. This portrait was shot impromptu near his laundromat in the East Village. I was hanging out with him and a mutual friend doing laundry one day and we got this great shot of him. Photogenic guy.
Mínus are an incredibly tight and aggressive Hardcore band from Iceland. I shot this in Spessi’s studio Frystihúsið in Iceland circa 2007.