Peder, Ghost of a Smile

This was not a song, or an artist I knew anything about. I saw this video, slightly randomly the other morning when I was killing time and it has stuck with me. The slow moving track, that nods to some of the classic ‘crooners’ and the beautiful, contrasting visuals gives the video a fabulously melancholy feeling. To a first time listener you might almost expect a fifties setting, with a love story being played out in under-lit streets when you listen to a track. Instead Peder, who co-directed this video with Simon Bonde, has taken a route that is not dictated by the history of this style of song, but rather created a more disturbing story.
The little boy, left in the car, goes in search of his father. The setting, long industrial corridors, made me first thing of the old chemical defence plant on an airbase I once visited. That same sense of neglect and redundancy is evident, whilst there is also an element of threat.
Bare-knuckle fighting is not something I have much knowledge of, beyond having seen Fight Club a couple of times ages ago, but the masked opponent, the moments when the father (Peder) almost wins, created a great deal of tension. The true abandonment comes at the end, when the boy approaches and he doesn’t move. The boy is left, with the spectators looking on, as the dust begins to settle.
I don’t think I would have found this video so inspiring were it not for the beauty of the cinematography, the use of lighting and the gritty tale.


Tobias Marshall - DOP
These Streets
These Streets
These Streets
These Streets

Louis Hudson directed ‘These Streets’; it was an innovative idea. Louis wanted to project an image onto smoke to give 3D depth to the image with which the artist could interact with while performing.

So there were three elements, the artist performing, the projection and the smoke. The material for the projection was shot the previous day with the artist and her performance was live. That only leaves the smoke. Justin and Jess were brought into the project to advise on and assemble the smoke rig. Justin built the smoke box and also advised on the specific projector necessary to create the right illumination to be visible on the smoke.

“We found that the material for projection worked best if there were areas of contrast in the image, with a degree of depth for example a long corridor with windows, this would create a lot of depth that once you had a camera on a jib arm you could almost move through the image. As the light rays spread out further from the source, the smoke is wider nearer the camera than at the projector (we back projected) creating depth.” Tobias Marshall, DOP

All in all, a creative project with great technical requirements and it all worked fantastically!


Bo Keeney’s “Up in Smoke” music video focuses on an unknown individual who walks through the dying light across a desolate seaside terrain, toward a group of strangers round a fire. We never really get to know the character other than see glimpses, an outsider on a journey through the night.

Director Louis Hudson mixed the desolate seaside terrain of Norfolk with the ominous Buoys which light up as the character passes.

We shot the music video in sequence as we wanted to capture the golden hour of sunset, we calculated each shot with the light in mind and quickly moved from one location to the next. When the sun had set the crew could relax (a little) as the remaining shots required pure darkness!

We were lucky with the sunset, we couldn’t point the camera in the wrong direction! However, we had to move fast to get all the shots needed, we assigned a secondary team to control the buoys, inevitably everyone ending up in the drink at one point during the shoot, it was summer so the water wasn’t that cold…

Nice One Film was asked to shoot and grade the music video, using our RED ONE MX and graded using Assimilate’s Scratch, the effortless workflow between shoot, edit and grade helped deliver this project on time and on budget. It was a pleasure to work with Louis again on this lovely music video for Bo Keeney.

Hamley's Set up
Bear taped to the tripod
Stormtrooper keeping control
Rob Valenta congratulating the kid's effort
Tobias talking things through with the Hamley's Representative
Hamleys Summer 2013

We were approached by Director Rob Valenta to help make a film installation for the shop front of Hamley’s new Terminal 5 store at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The design is a big red London Bus with six TV screens for windows on the top deck, with children and characters waving out at the passing foot traffic of T5.

Sounds simple enough, but we had to go back to school, dust off the textbooks and revise Pythagoras’ Theory so that we could make it appear as if the characters were looking down from the top deck. Maths GCSE does have it’s uses.

We shot tests with Rob to figure out which degree would give us the impression of looking down on the customers. We decided that 15 degrees down at a distance of 10 ft would save us from having to build an immense 15 ft tall rig. All this factoring green screen too! Finally we had the figures we needed and we moved on towards the shoot.

Rob wanted to film three children / characters simultaneously so that they could interact with each other, but also be used in any of the six windows at any time. Everything had to match.

We decided to create three individual set ups with exactly the same lighting rather than try to use larger sources. That way we had greater control therefore duplicating the lighting was simpler.

We used 3 of the Canon L-series 50mm lens with Canon 5D’s so all we had to do was measure to align each camera exactly dead-on to the subject. Simple.

The really tricky part was keeping 30 children entertained, but with a little help from small toys and electrical tape, we strapped bears and creatures to the tripod to keep the children focused on looking down the lens! Failing that the Hamley’s bear and a Star Wars Stormtrooper helped keep them under control. Just.


How To Raise The Bar On Genius

To say this inspired and excited me would be a massive understatement. Not sure exactly what it did to be honest, but I thought it worth sharing as I came out of that good ol ‘dazed and confused.’


Started house hunting last month, but just couldn’t seem to find #THERIGHTONE …
Well not until I stumbled upon this place.




The Six Dollar Fifty Man from NZ Shorts on Vimeo.