MARCUS NISPEL, SHANE MARTIN & HOWARD GUARD
Working in film you get to meet people from all walks of life, this is what makes it such an amazing Industry. We sometimes think the famous people are the ones that are special, but its a combination of the many factors that leads one to success and many peoples efforts starting with the writers and producers who conceive the idea, sell the idea, raise the capital, get the right team to make the film (and that’s from the runner to the Heads of Dept) each plays a significant role.
News update > Boomtown-Productions is my new home for the next few months. The company is one of the most formidable Production Companies in the Middle East and the CEO is someone who I would consider a mentor and film industry legend. His achievements are unparalleled and he has few peers who have achieved what he has. The work that Boomtown Productions does is world class, its footprint on the Global market as far as excellence is concerned is right up there. This is going to be a wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience again.
Difficult to leave the beautiful City of Porto for this period. I was especially looking forward to the colder weather and instead am heading to the desert and temperatures well above my comfort zone.
As the principal provider it is ones duty to do what’s best for your family and to provide their needs and requirements, this calls for sacrifice, and my sacrifice is 10 weeks away from home. This is one of the longest stints that I will have been away for.
The work in Dubai, is cutting edge, the creativity and execution has become next level. They hire the best directors, the budgets are good enough to execute excellence. I do look forward to this aspect of the journey and serving my clients that I work with aiming at excellence and nothing less.
Through the Middle East we have worked with legendary directors Marcus Nispel, George Rubia, Howard Guard, Roger Serrasqueiro, Shane Martin, Chris Bartle, Greg Francois, Bobby Dhillon , and Karen Cunningham .
Each of them has brought their own unique style and execution, each has brought their own nuances and sometimes their moods, some their humorous anecdotes and some their personality and warmth that showcase top class human beings that are supremely talented individuals. Amazingly we have only had woman director in this time, and she was a specialist with children. She directed McDonalds with us in Cape Town for the Middle East market.
Two of these directors really made an impression on me, Marcus Nispel and Howard Guard, two legends who have achieved the summit of our Industry and stayed at the pinnacle for years, an amazing achievement in the toughest most competitive playground where new creatives enter daily from film schools etc….
I will share a little about Marcus Nispel and the job he did with us in Namibia all those years ago.
Marcus Nispel directed an EPIC commercial in Namibia for Nadec. This was at the time the Biggest commercial done in Southern Africa. He led the team with military precision. He was totally in control, he was the most powerful director I have ever seen control a set, the agency, the client and the crew, cast and every aspect of the film. He is a creative genius. When you get to work with talent like this its wise to watch and take in whatever you can, as to watch his preparation and shooting style would cost loads at any University. On set schooling can often be the best. This commercial was done with Lebanese producer Ghassan Ziade, who is now a friend along with his wife Janine who was the major drive behind this epic.
The logistics behind this epic were enormous, the horses were shipped from South Africa, the banner handmade the size of a soccer field. This was an EPIC, and I am proud to have been involved in this spectacular work.
His nuance at the time was he only wore ORANGE, EVERY DAY, no other color.
Read up on him. He is an industry legend. His creative footprint is placed on music videos for superstars, feature films and high end commercials.
Marcus credits include > Friday the 13th , Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Conan the Barbarian, Pathfinder and The Asylum. He has directed music videos for Wet Wet Wet, Janet Jackson, Elton John, Amy Grant, Billy Joel, Terence Trent Darby, George Michael, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin. Not a bad CV eh?
Watching creatives solve problems deal with politics and breathe life into an idea is such an invigorating process, they paint the canvas (the location) with performances and story that is captured and magically an image is imprinted on the film which you only see days after shooting, these were the days of film.
To achieve this level of imagery, Marcus being the true professional he is, brought Jeffrey Kimball as his Director of Photography. Jeffreys credits include > Mission Impossible 2, Paycheck, The Expendables, Beverly Hills Cop and Star Trek. Imagine having a cinematographer with this level of expertise executing your vision?
His calm demeanour and ability to put the camera in the right place and capture this special commercial enhanced Marcus Nispels vision.
And much like these images he arrived in the desert and wore a white shirt, white pants and a white hat. A CHARACTER in his own rights. His images in the NADEC commercial bear testament to the value of a great cinematographer, or director of photography. To watch him quietly achieve excellence in an unobtrusive manner executing the directors vision was interesting to watch.
One needs to learn as much as you can, to achieve this you need to surround yourself with the best and most talented individuals and teams that you can. This is how excellence is birthed.
This is what the industry in Dubai is doing and this is being spearheaded by people like Shane Martin of Boomtown Productions in Dubai. This is where I will be for the next two months, learning from his and his team who are so committed to achieving the best they can offer the market.
Iron sharpens iron, so excellence is not always easy, its not a path all people choose as it requires a strong mind, the ability to negotiate in conflict situations, the ability to retain your vision yet achieve a team mentality.
In the meantime, Boomtown South Africa spearheaded by Craig Jones is working with one of the most astute producers Eric Daem, who also brings the most incredible DIRECTORS to execute his always challenging commercials that stretch our skills and enable consistent learning. Eric has also become a friend who we respect and admire for his tenacity and ability to consistently deliver excellence.
So in a world driven by money and deals, there is still place for the creative who adds such visual value to concepts and executes in a manner that intrigues audiences. Is this not a wonderful business ?
Signing out from Porto THE CITY OF ANGELS , next stop Dubai