Noelle and I first met on the Film & Video course at London College of Communication and started working together full time around three years ago. After collaborating on my graduation film Sidney, we decided to team up as a duo and start a little company called allmyfriends. The name originated from the idea of running a small collective of filmmakers with whom we regularly collaborated, mainly fellow students who we’d built good working relationships with at film school. We like the group approach to filmmaking and enjoy what other members of the crew can bring to an idea.
After graduating, both with First Class Honours, we soon realised the financial implications of running a company, however small, were too great (insurance is a nuisance!) and thus decided to put the goal of becoming quick fire entrepreneurs on hold until the future. We kept the name of allmyfriends as a pseudonym for Noelle and I as a duo and went out there looking for work.
Our first two projects came through companies in Brazil. The first, a commercial job for an affiliated company of Microsoft which is based in Sao Paulo and the second another commercial for the city council of Fortaleza, which is a city based up in the North of Brazil. On both jobs we also worked on all creative and hired full production crews each time we arrived in the country. Because of the quality of post in London and the fact we both live here we decided to do all offline, sound and online back in London.
Both projects were a good starting point for us and allowed us to step up with our next project for UK charity the Helen Bamber Foundation. On Shoebox we teamed up with creative team Steph & Rory from Adam&EveDDB to make a two-minute piece for the organisation’s website. The Foundation wanted a film that not only communicated the brutality of human trafficking, both physically and mentally, but also aimed to convey the extensive support that the Helen Bamber Foundation offers. The film received great feedback from both client and public, clocking up over 600 views in the first few hours of being online and got good coverage from media sites. The budget was raised entirely by ourselves and the resulting film was made for just under £15k.
Shoebox was the first project that really allowed us to develop our creative style in the direction that we want to go. Being huge fans of world cinema, with the long term goal of moving in to features one day, we wanted to give Shoebox a far more cinematic feel, and therefore spent weeks developing the performance, intricate lighting design and camerawork and importantly a strong use of sound design. We were very fortunate to attract DOP Yves Cape (DOP for French feature directors Bruno Dumont and Claire Denis) to shoot the film for us.
Most recently we returned to Brazil and completed three more commercials for the same client who we shot our first work for. This time it was for a system that manages public healthcare. We teamed up with creatives David & Ollie from W+K London and developed the scripts together. As before we took on a lot of production duty and hired crews in Brazil including the brilliant Uruguayan DOP Cesar Charlone (City of God).
From our first jobs in Brazil where we pushed to work with a mix of professional and non-professional actors, to Shoebox, and now Siss we take great pleasure in working with actors. Strong performances is something we are keen to develop further throughout our work as is a certain kind of pace that is perhaps not seen in commercials too much anymore. We like to approach each project as cinematically as possible. All too often we feel commercials try and get as much story across as they possibly can. We like to approach commercial and music videos just as we would with a short film, developing the characters, story and textures.
We work very closely together in all capacities of the job from the very beginning to the very end and we will only make decisions knowing that both of us will agree. We rarely disagree and when we do so, we will take a moment to discuss it between ourselves in private. At the beginning, we bonded over a shared taste in film and soon realised that our views in approaching our work was remarkably similar. It’s a very seamless working relationship that doesn’t feel the need to be about defining specific roles for each other. For example, we’d never have one of us continually behind the monitor while the other stood on set. We both enjoy all aspects of directing and have trust in each other’s ability to be able to tackle any area of the job without worry.
We are now in the early stages of our first music video for East London artist Paco Sala. We have been after a music video for a while as we are keen to push our style in to more extreme territories.
See allmyfriends’ showcase in Related Content