It is unusual for me to write a collective post about different people’s work. I usually like to give the spotlight exclusively to this one piece that caught my attention on the web on that particular day. But then again, rarely have I stumbled upon such quality work that is as closely related like the one I’m about to present.
I also tend to blog about a lot of what is going on in America in the media domain, and tend to forget that some of the most creative people on the planet reside on the opposite side of the oceans. Well this is the case of the 4 artists I’ve been watching closely lately: Camille Marotte, Gunther Gheeraert, Dilshan Arukatti and Smog Films. Those incredibly talented people all reside in one of the world’s cultural capital, Paris.
Aside being from France, these guys have many things in common, and ironically, one of the main aspects is that their work is really different from what we usually see in directing and design reels. They all have a very human feel, with a lot of portraits that do not feel the least commercial.
The 4 reels also present very multi-disciplinary skills and styles, from sharp, modern-looking imagery, to washed-out, old-school-feel cinematography, without leaving aside some slick motion design work. And of course, this wide range of work is also cut to perfection, showing true mastery of editing, all this accompanied by the sound of immersive music.
Camille Marotte is the first that spiked my attention over 6 months ago, with his 2010 Director Reel. This minute-and-a-half resume demonstrates skills that will fool anyone who will eventually learn that this Paris artist is only 26 years old, because a lot of experienced, older directors can only dream of having reels that will match this one. I highly encourage everyone to look at his website and enjoy his portfolio, because there are some hidden gems in there.
Next on the list was Dilshan Arukatti, that I discovered through Fubiz and his piece The Rhythm of Space and Time. What really struck me though was his website, Immersive Garden. While not a big fan of Flash websites nowadays, I have to say that this one is impeccable. The theme, the music, the motion graphics just blend together to create a masterpiece of web design, for which Arukatti is nominated at this year’s Webby Awards.
Now I don’t know about the others, but what makes Gunther Gheeraert’s reel exceptional is that, according to his Vimeo’s description, every piece in his reel is his own personal creation. Now I don’t know to what extent this is true (and honestly, I don’t really care), but this is one of the most spectacular display of a one-man-band’s talent I’ve ever seen. The guy can do it all and can adapt to different styles while making his art look very professional in every shot.
Finally, the latest Paris-based artist that caught my attention is actually a studio, called Smog Films. These guys also fall in the “we-can-do-it-all” category, and they really can do it all very well. While their opening motion title is a bit deja-vu and unoriginal, as soon as the real reel starts, you forget what just happened and get immediately sucked in by this great amalgam of cinematography and motion design. With various large scale clients, Smog Films really show why these mainstream companies put their trust in them, by delivering over-par visual products.
Paris has the Louvres, the Eiffel tower, the Champs Elysées, but it also shelters some of the greatest, most creative artists in the world, and the work of those four I just presented backs this fact easily. Thumbs up to the work of these incredibly talented people.