“I don’t do nine-to-five.” Mikkel declared to us. “I’m not the usual editor. If I sign on, it becomes ‘The Project’. Every day, even weekends. That gives me the time to try different things, peeling away until I find the balance and simplicity that lets us talk to the audience.”
Nielsen is as dedicated to the project as he is his craft. Having already amassed significant credits with Madame Bovary and Beasts of No Nation, Nielsen was recently awarded a BAFTA for his work on Sound of Metal, as well as winning a Critic’s Choice award for best editing. And to top it all off, the film is currently nominated for a 2021 Academy Award for Best Picture.
We launched our Behind the Work series to feature incredible filmmakers and the skills required to produce great content. In season two, we’re pulling the curtain back on the creative processes that precede the work these filmmakers create. As we spoke with The North Face’s creative team about their short film Lhotse, we noticed gems throughout. In-between anecdotes of avalanches and 8,000-meter summits, there were so many branded content truths that extended beyond the project. It takes a lot of skill and experience to successfully produce a film like this one, and we wanted to share these takeaways with you. Here’s The North Face’s creative team on what it takes to make a film like Lhotse.
Behind the Work is a series that lives at the intersection of advertising and film, and pulls the curtain back to give you a firsthand look into the creative processes behind branded content and ads. Each episode is an opportunity to dive deeper into what makes these projects truly great—the challenges faced, the detail you didn’t notice in the final cut, and above all, the grit and resilience it takes to create brilliant work.
They say, “A bad carpenter blames his tools.” But, if you’re looking on the bright side, the right tools can be made even more effective when put in capable hands. We see it all the time at Filmsupply—creatives license our filmmakers’ incredible work and turn it into something new and incredible. We live for it, but we don’t often get to take a peek into the process behind it, this metamorphosis. Luckily, Michael Quinones and Ian Watt gave us this rare glimpse.
The past year has taught us a lot about what really matters, and the same goes for advertising. As productions were canceled or pushed back, agencies around the world were forced to take a second look at the brief and come up with something they could create with resources at-hand. What they came away with was the fact that you don’t need a massive production to tell a compelling story. You need a message and a creative way to deliver it.
From the time a film is merely a word document on a laptop screen to the second it graces the big screen—a producer’s work is never done. For one, the lengthy process of film production requires a meticulous eye for detail every step of the way. Guiding a nugget of an idea from its inception to becoming a full-fledged film is by no means a small feat.
We spoke with some award-winning producers and production companies, compiling a list of the best all-around tools to set your work up for success. Whether in pre-production, on set, or in post, here are some ways to keep each step of the process as streamlined as possible.
Several times during our conversation, Director Rune Milton Olsen literally jumped out of his chair and started pacing around the room when talking about the production of Life. DP Paul Meyers would laugh, as if this was nothing new, mirroring his enthusiasm. They’re the two minds behind the short film, made for Doctors Without Borders, and to say it was a passion project is quite the understatement.
Ultimately, any great creative is a servant to the idea. Egos disappear, collaboration happens, and the work becomes the main focus. But, this mindset also creates some obstacles, too—particularly when it means you have to produce 1,000 songs for Coca-Cola, at any cost. There are only a few people in the world who’ve faced this very specific problem and Noel Cottrell is one of them.