London Social Winter 2020
London Social Winter 2020
We shook off the January blues and kickstarted the next decade with a room full of creative talent, a lot of drink and plenty of laughter.
By now, you should know that the In Development crew like to keep things as casual and candid as possible, coaxing our guests to the edge of the stage for chat about some of their work. If there was a theme for this night, it was looking at how our artists dealt with the inherent – and sometimes unexpected – challenges in their work. In other words, what things go wrong and how did you creatively respond to that challenge?
For our first special guest, we had the privilege of meeting the award-winning colourist Nick Dalby from UNIT in London. Nick gave us an insight into his journey of becoming a colourist, his inspiration and a few hints of the unseen work he does to render the beautiful visuals we see on our screens.
Nick took us through a number of the challenges faced when realising a director’s vision, via some impressive Baselight retouching work in Sampha’s Blood On Me promo, through to the challenges of colour and light being brought together in harmony in La Roux’s vibrant International Woman of Leisure video. Nick’s impressive work and his relatable insights left us in no doubt that the skill and mastery of his discipline – like so many of the post-production arts – is often at its best when unnoticed by the audience. Nick and UNIT are definitely ones to watch in the year ahead.
Next up was cinematographer Nathalie Pitters, whose incredible range and bold visual style really caught our eye. Nathalie threw herself into our brief wholeheartedly and brought with her some full and frank tales of the technical woes and seemingly impossible asks that land on the plate of a young director of photography.
Nathalie walked us through the intricate and challenging process behind the graphic execution of Rika’s Hold on to Me promo, proving that it’s often the ‘simplest’ jobs that become the hardest. We also got to see a sneak preview of stills taken from her Graduation film Stratum Deep, which posed the intriguing challenge of shooting the largely subterranean scenes on 16mm film at iso 200. A feat which we are looking forward to appreciating in all its glory on release.
We also got a taste of Natalie’s recent work with Sega Bodega on the promo for Salv Goes to Hollywood, which tickled our own penchant for classic 90s music videos, with an in your face aesthetic that is sure to get Natalie noticed. We were thrilled to hear that Natalie has recently been signed for representation at WPA, so head over there and check out more of her work.
Our third and final stage sitter was director Thomas Ralph. Tom’s unique take on the brief was to talk about a single project which presented a whole raft of challenges. That project was Bodega Babies, a series of films for Adidas. And if you’ve seen them you will know what a strikingly fresh piece of work that turned out to be.
Through an entertaining, frank and generous conversation, Tom took us on the adventure he and executive producer Ore Okonedo embarked on as they found themselves on the ground in Queens, NYC. Despite the inherent challenges of shooting guerilla style, on location with non-professional talent, Tom used a mixture of instinct, an eye for a story and a calm mind to wrangle the chaos into something special and unexpected. The raw authenticity captured is the stuff of advertising agency dreams, giving the brand an edge that felt genuinely at one with it’s fans.
We’ve been following Tom’s career from the start, so it was a real pleasure to have him on the stage and to hear him talk so honestly about what can be a fraught, but ultimately rewarding process. We are looking forward to finding out what the new decade holds for him.
The rest of the evening was a blur of strange prize giveaway games, courtesy of our generous supporters at Five Points brewery and of the course the usual mass consumption of pizza and alcohol. As always we had so many great people in the room and it was a pleasure to meet people from among others Unit, Panalux, Knucklehead, Nomad, Snapper Films, Smuggler and Rogue Films, as well as a host of new friends who bought tickets on The Dots.
We are starting to build a core group of people who return time after time to these things. A huge shout out goes out to you guys for that ongoing support (you know who you are). The fact that people keep coming back, means we are doing something right, and that’s all the encouragement we need.
It is worth mentioning here that all our guest speakers, from the first event to this one, have given up their time and effort voluntarily in order to be part of this movement. It’s the generosity and positivity of everyone involved – from the speakers on stage, to our supporters and the people in the room – that has given our event an unique flavour that sets it apart from other industry events. We are incredibly lucky and eternally grateful for that, even if few understand what our role is…