Unsigned: Daniel Ryan

October 2, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

A college dropout with roots in bedroom videotape tinkering.

Daniel Ryan was a film obsessive from a young age. In fact, when he was a child he had two VCRs in his bedroom. He would make movies with friends on a miniDV camcorder and edit them together in real time from one VCR to the other, doing all of the edits, music and title sequences from his bedroom floor.

He went to university to study film, but eventually realised he was paying a lot of money and not really making anything, just studying the "right way" and "wrong way" to do things. After two years he dropped out, bought a camera and never looked back.

The risk of leaving school and forcing himself to make a living with a camera was the starting point on his journey to becoming a director. Meeting the right people has helped too, from DPs to producers, musicians or other artists to inspire him.

Having worked on numerous music video and art projects, he’s in the early stages of a couple of narrative projects and looking forward to seeing where those take him.

He lives in Chicago and has a fondness for hot sauce.

Watch some of his work here:

Signed: Georgi Banks-Davies

September 8, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

A director since the age of five, Skunk’s newest recruit has had a lot of practice.

Georgi was born in the middle of England, to a Dad who made cars (the ‘bond’ car no less) and a Mum with a very Irish accent and love of getting your ‘whites white’.

When she was five she went to the cinema for the first time. She left declaring to her mother that she wanted to make movies.

A Super 8 camera, reluctant ‘actor’ sister, and some very random ideas later – the young Georgi was on her way to making realising the dream. (Home movies took on a whole new meaning!)

At 14 she started training under the mentorship of the very talented director Helen Miller. Spending every weekend in her London studios, with a 16mm wind-up camera and a Steinbeck – learning the true craft of filmmaking and story telling.

This invaluable training sent her on her way into Newport film school, where she graduated with her graduation film being chosen to represent the class at the Cardiff Film Festival.

Georgi’s career as a director started shortly after in the BBC creative department, creating promos. Her deep passion for directing short form showed, and shortly after she was approached CNN international and asked to join the creative team as lead director. Here she created short advertorial films, idents, sponsorship bumpers and commercials for the Network, and its clients, including South African Airways, InterContinental Hotels, Orange, Fortis and Shell.

This role saw Georgi travelling the world, creating captivating short films which shared the stories of remarkable people such as noble prize winning Muhammed Yunus, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Architect, Daniel Liebskind, politicians, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Gorbatov, and HERO Martin Scorsese (a career highlight).

It was here that Georgi learnt the art of telling people’s stories. Connecting with amazing tales, however big or small, on a personal and intimate level.
Georgi also continued her passion for filmmaking, making short films, one of which, ‘Theo’ was supported by CNN, and played out on the network, as well as at film festivals globally. She also began development on a feature project with esteemed writer Ariel Dorfman, and his son Joaquin.

Four years ago Georgi left CNN (with a fully stamped passport!) to continue to pursue her passion for advertising and filmmaking. She combined the two and successfully began a career as a commercials director. In a relatively short time she has shot campaigns for Coca Cola, Nike, O2, AT&T and Chivas Regal.

She is now repped for commercials by Skunk in the UK... and her sister (and now nephew) are still reluctant stars in her films.

Watch some of her work here:

Signed: Cartwright Gantz

July 12, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

Kindred spirits from opposite sides of the North Sea unite at Blinkink.

Simon Cartwright and Nina Gantz grew up in Leeds and the Netherlands, respectively, but both spent their childhoods drawing incessantly. They also both decided they wanted to animate when they discovered the dark humour of European animators like Jan Švankmajer, Yuriy Norshteyn and Michaela Pavlátová.

Nina’s graduation film from art school did well for her and gave her some work in the Netherlands. Next to her job as an assistant illustrator on a children’s book series she worked freelance and did 2D animation for a feature film called Devastated by Love by Ari Deelder. Meanwhile Simon was learning the craft of stop-motion animation on a Channel 4 commissioned film.

The pair met at the National Film and Television School, where they realised that apart from their differing tastes in music (Simon loves it loud and Nina plays mostly French Chansons), they were kindred artistic spirits. There they developed a bond of trust that continues to this day.

Both of their NFTS graduation films made waves. Nina’s Edmond and Simon’s MANOMAN picked up accolade after accolade, from Sundance to BAFTA, SXSW, BIFA and Cannes.

Their success turned the right heads and now they’re represented by Blinkink and already working for commercial clients like Maynards Bassetts.

Watch some of their work here:

Signed: Loren Denis

May 16, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

A French model whose interests spilled over to the other side of the camera.

French born Loren Denis cut her teeth in New York’s fashion industry, both as a successful model and keen photographer. She travelled the world and worked with some of the best fashion photographers in the business (Tom Munro, Peter Beard, Satoshi Saikusa and Guy Aroch).

She went on to discover a passion for film and not one to do things by halves, she studied all aspects of filmmaking including editing and scriptwriting. Her passion for film naturally evolved into becoming a director, initially shooting the up-and-coming models she was working with at the time.

Since then she’s progressed to branded content and has been building an impressive body of work with projects for Rayban, Eastpak, as well as Camille Tanoh and the Paris National Opera, conceptualized and written with her long time creative partner Anthony Vibert.

Loren is the latest director to join the Rattling Stick's UK roster and it’ll be interesting to see how she fares with their weight behind her.

Watch some of her work here:

Unsigned: William Kennedy

April 23, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

A passionate filmmaker fuelled by the hunger of youth.

William Kennedy’s love for storytelling started while he was in school, writing play scripts with other young writers at London’s Soho Theatre. At university he splurged his student loan on a DSLR and started making short films from these scripts, all totally DIY projects with his friends. He was lucky enough to be studying English Literature at UCL, surrounded by a thriving community of creative people. He started making music videos for his friends there, experimenting with narrative form. He continues to collaborate with a lot of the filmmakers he met there.

After graduating a couple of years ago William started working more and more on music videos, enjoying the challenge of telling stories within the restrictions of the format, often working with Black Dog films. He’s continued working on personal projects too, introspective experimental short films mostly. Along the way he’s surrounded himself by a very small group of talented people, a creative collective called Messrs London.

He’s currently in America, shooting a couple of video projects. When he gets back to London he’s most excited about trying to get his feature script into development, having lived with it for over a year now.

Watch some of his work here:

Signed: Jono Hunter

February 10, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

Mind’sEye sign a Canadian ad director raised on Super 8 and punk rock.

Growing up in on the postcard-worthy coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Jono Hunter was instilled with a sense of beauty from a young age. His youth was documented with 35mm stills and Super 8 shorts, devoting the remainder of his passions to playing in punk bands.

After an inevitable stint in film school, he served as a production assistant on assorted jobs while continuing to make music with bands he and his friends put together. One production manager was particularly supportive, scheduling him on PA gigs in and around his band touring exploits. Meanwhile he took maximum advantage of the gear his production contacts had access to, shooting speculative ads and weird short films on the weekend.

His work has paid off so far, leading to a raft of awards and festival selections for his various short films, as well as an impressive reel of award winning commercial work, including a Young Director Award and a Bronze Lion at Cannes, a Webby and a Bessie.

Now he’s represented in the UK by Mind’sEye, so look out for his name on pitches, credit lists and awards announcements soon.

Watch some of his work here:

Unsigned: Fernando Lazzari

February 10, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

Trained in graphic design but obsessed with moving image, this director is worth watching.

Fernando Lazzari grew up in Buenos Aires watching tons of films from around the world. He didn’t set out to become a filmmaker but later on had the opportunity to use live action in some of the pieces he was creating, so jumped on it out of curiosity.

While studying graphic design, he started doing 3D animation and motion graphics, first working on TV idents and commercials. With a formal education in graphic design, he started with a strong foundation. He never took courses on animation or CGI, but learned by sitting down, watching tutorials and working hard on his craft.

He spent some time working at MTV Networks shooting a lot of live action in an environment that favoured experimentation, before he took several courses at film school as well.

Finishing the short piece Montserrat was quite big for Fernando’s career. It took him a while to fully develop a concept that married the live action, the type and the poetry, and articulate them on a two minute piece. But it was worth it. It ended up generating a lot of interest and was exhibited in many galleries and festivals. It was also the first project he did mixing 3D with live action, and since then he’s been exploring that path until recently finishing his music video for Reid Willis, The Slow Knife.

He plans to keep developing his style with a good balance between commercial and artistic projects. The constant advances in film, animation and VFX technology generate great tools to keep exploring new forms of narrative, whether for commercials, music videos, films or other exciting new formats. He’s interested in all of them.

Watch some of his work here:

Signed: Dropbear

January 15, 2016 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

Agile's latest signing has a vibrant reel of graphical, stop-motion delights.

AKA Agile Films’ newest director Dropbear (whose real name is Jonathan Chong) remembers being enthralled by the stop-motion animations that Sesame Street used to feature between segments when he was a kid. He’d wake up unreasonably early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons and always being loved being taken to the cinema. 

He studied graphic design at university and his love for film and animation laid dormant until his final year, when he discovered Jan Švankmajer, Hayao Miyazaki, the Bolex Brothers and Henry Selick.

After graduating he worked as a stamp designer at Australia Post for a few years and at other design studios, before deciding that he wanted to work more with moving images. He taught himself by making simple animated loops and experimenting with different techniques such as rotoscoping, stop-motion and motion graphics and found a lot of the techiniques of graphic design were transferrable. Over time he began to get more animation work and less graphic design projects until he became a full time animation director.

His big break came in 2009 after completing his first stop-motion music video for Hudson and Troop's track Against the Grain. An animation using coloured pencils, it went viral within days and was featured on a number of influential sites and blogs. The global exposure launched his career as a stop-motion animator and ever since he’s been thrilling the internet with his meticulously crafted music videos.

Watch some of his work here: