You were involved in this project from its early conception. What steps are most valuable to your process here?
Working with Tom Dibb and the Creative Strategy team early on meant that we could develop both the creative and the production method in symbiosis. Rather than a script landing on the table and having to problem solve, we were able to take a fully developed and considered approach to the execution of the film. This made the production experience all the more focused and we were able to concentrate our resources, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this film with a small lead time, I really see this method of working as the future. It certainly raises the bar in terms of what you can achieve, production and creative working hand in hand to deliver the best possible film for the client.
Tell us about collaborating with your DOP Benjamin Kracun and how your vision for this piece evolved.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Benjamin Kracun before, on a commercial for Harry Potter Wizards Unite in 2018. So when the brief came in for Sea Mirror I knew Ben would be the perfect collaborator for the project. We wanted to create a feeling of living in a movie, a rich tapestry of cinematic moments. Ben’s experience in film and high-end TV mixed with his fashion and commercial work meant we could create a look that felt authentically cinematic. He is also a brilliant shot finder, which gave us a huge amount of flexibility, looking for ‘in the moment’ shots that weren’t in the storyboards. These found moments really added to the spontaneity of the shoot and gave the film a vibrant intimacy.
What are some of the key differences for you between crafting feature films and shorter commercials? What do commercials allow you that you won’t necessarily get from working on feature films?
Whether it’s a long-form project for HBO or Netflix or a short-form film you are still creating emotion and telling a story. But short-form has to be more direct. It’s all killer no filler. This means every shot has to count and punch through in a shorter time. The biggest difference on set for me is that we are looking for moments, a beat of 2-3 seconds that tells a story. Rather than covering a 2-3 minute scene. This enables you to be more focused on a moment and create an image that resonates in seconds. Every shot is effectively a trailer shot!