Film

An interview with filmmaker Andrew Telling as his stunning new cycling film is released

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Filmmaker and composer Andrew Telling is a master of creating rich, immersive atmospheres. It’s no surprise that he’s trained in sound as well as visuals as his films marry both to create a compelling sensual experience. His just-released piece following the Rapha Condor Sharp cycling team on their Spanish training camp typifies this multi-layered brilliance and is as fine a three minutes as I have seen in a long time. He’s also just unveiled his good-looking new website giving us the perfect excuse to soak up his work in its entirety, and to ask him a few questions.

Hi Andrew, what was the thinking behind getting a new site?

Well it was well over-due an update and I felt I had the right balance between personal and commercial work where I had handled all aspects of the project from the creative, editing and scoring the music. It was important to get across that I make music as well as films. Showcasing the music as an album on the site allowed it to live alongside my films with equal importance and I’d like to say a big thanks to Chris Thompson for seamlessly bringing all the elements of my work together.

How long did the Rapha film take to shoot and what were the complexities involved? What atmosphere did you want to create?

I was with the Rapha Condor Sharp team for seven days in February out in Benidorm, Spain. I was included in all aspects of their training regime (apart from the massages much to my dismay) eating all our daily meals together, filming them whilst they rode long and hard and in the evening, team meetings where we all talked about our day.

I wanted the film to echo the constant pace of the riders on the bike but also mirror this with the normality of hotel life and down-time in the training camp. I felt it was important to show the physical and emotional stages they go through individually and how the training camp is about fitness but also building the team, mentally and physically.

The challenge from the first day was dealing with how fast the cyclists were as a team on the bike. The landscape of the mountains and rolling cherry blossom fields provided the perfect back drop but made for some interesting car tactics as we constantly tried to rush ahead of the team in the steep winding roads.

The best spur-of-the-moment was filming out of the support car’s open boot on the main descent from Sella which we attempted on the last two days. I got thrown around a lot as there was nothing to hold on to, but it made for some dynamic shots of the team and individuals, as they knew it was one long descent back to the food buffet from there.

You’ve just done your first music video haven’t you – how did you enjoy working in a new area? What were the biggest challenges involved?

I’ve just completed a short film (released on Friday) in collaboration with Felix (Lucinda Chua). I definitely enjoyed it, it was nice to get out of my comfort zone and to work with a great piece of music. The biggest challenge was taking my usual documentary aesthetic and marrying it with new narrative ideas that I had created working against the lashing storms on the open beach – the cheap umbrella that blew away in five minutes didn’t help either.

Do you get frustrated as a filmmaker knowing that a lot of people may only experience your work on their computer screen rather than a cinema etc?

Yes and no. The internet has allowed my films to reach a far greater audience and in some results has led me to talk and collaborate with my peers. My frustration is the quality of the screen, our diminishing attention spans and poor quality speakers which never fully reflect the work of editors, cameraman and composers. It’s a problem that I have been trying to factor into future projects.In an ideal scenario, I would like to present work in a controlled gallery/venue context, giving people the space to enjoy it but also allowing the audience to take away a physical part of the project; a cd/dvd or even an image or still from the film.

What’s next for you?

I am back on the road with artist Conor Harrington heading to the Scandinavian territories in July for the next chapter of our films. A follow up collaboration with artist and illustrator Hello Von is underway, I’ll be continuing my collaboration with the Felix as well as finishing some musical projects, rest of the time I’ll be sleeping in between and paying the bills…

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

  1. Main

    What’s more terrifying than a street gang? I’ll tell you, a Maori gang of islanders called the Mighty Mongrel Mob. In this haunting short film by filmmaker and photographer Tom Gould we are thrown into the personal history of famed ex-Mighty Mongrel Mob gang member Martyka Brandt, whose tattoo-covered and weathered face speaks volumes of his turbulent life. In this short film we learn about the perils of being in a gang like the Mongrels, the near-death experiences Martyka has escaped, and how a man can truly turn his life around to something rather magical indeed.

  2. List

    The Serpentine Pavilion is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on London’s cultural calendar and once again COS have created a beautiful film featuring this year’s creation. It’s the work of Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, whose shell-like cylindrical structure rests on quarry stones; seemingly at once both spawned from a prehistoric past and/or dropped from a future galaxy.

  3. Gplist

    When Gilles Peterson flew to Rio in January, he didn’t just gather a bunch of his Brazilian music heroes into one studio to make the album Brasil BAM BAM BAM. Oh no. He also made his first feature documentary.

  4. Main

    Err, where has Jenny Lewis been for the past few years? She could have been running some sort of underground, political guerilla group, or designing jewellery, or maybe she was just locked in a cupboard. What I’m getting at is that it just doesn’t matter in the slightest – because she’s back with a totally killer video that she’s directed, and we all know that 99.9% of the time a brilliant, timely music video is the perfect solution to a difficult comeback.

  5. Main2

    Considering Kate Moss’ notorious silence throughout her career, it’s exciting to hear her actually spill the beans on what it was like to be photographed on Camber Sands beach with Corinne Day, or be painted by Lucian Freud. Similarly it’s equally thrilling to hear Lily Cole speak of being photographed by Terry Richardson underwater for the 2012 Pirelli Calendar.

  6. List

    As artisanal skills go, the world of ceramics is one of my favourites to peer into, and it’s as much because I know I’d be as useless as Demi Moore if I were plonked in front of a potter’s wheel as it is about the beauty of the craft itself. Whatever admiration I have for potters has just been magnified tenfold by this wonderful short film by North Sea Air about French ceramic brand Astier de Villatte. Founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli 18 years ago, the pair pride themselves on their traditionally-inspired handmade ceramics, and the authentic olde-worlde aesthetic that inspires everything they do.

  7. List

    It’s no secret that Studio Swine are forever pushing boundaries in the world of product design, taking uncommon materials and putting them to universal use. But their latest project is extremely unusual, even by their own standards. For Hair Highway the pair ventured into the heart of mainland China to the epicentre of the global human hair trade. There they acquired enough human hair to use it as the basis for a number of luxury bespoke objects – the carefully-maintained strands preserved in deep amber resin, creating stunning patterns and textures. To top it all off they’ve made this lovely film to document their journey, the people behind this strange trade and the finished products themselves.

  8. List

    London-based artist Aleksandra Mir has been busy over the past month investigating the process of drawing in a collaborative experiment that invites participants to contribute to a giant collage of the London skyline, rendered entirely with Sharpies. The process of creating the work was part of the exhibition itself, with Aleksandra and her team engaged in drawing everything by hand during the first days of the show. But for those that missed it there’s also a beautiful time-lapse film of the process, providing context and insight to this giant piece of collaborative draughtsmanship.

  9. List-2

    It is a universal truth that Andrew Telling plus extraordinary cyclists equals fantastic films. The London-based filmmaker is a regular fixture at Rapha HQ, heading out on the road at the drop of a hat to produce stunning films that showcase both the brand’s expertly-made wares in action and the thrill of cycling itself. In honour of this year’s Tour de France, Rapha sent a team of cyclists out across Yorkshire to take in the sights and sounds of the race’s latest leg. Unlike this weekend’s Tour activities however, the pace on this ride is a leisurely one, drinking in the English countryside and stopping for the occasional pint of ale and piece of cake. Nevertheless the film-making is as beautiful as we’ve come to expect from Andrew, creating simple, satisfying narratives around what is essentially a leisurely weekend jaunt.

  10. Main

    If you’re working on your summer bod right now then you can either look away or take some inspiration from the guys in this music video. Some people are into the whole muscle thing, but I can tell you now that for me this is way more terrifying than it is a turn-on, I mean look at them! The shoulders of these muscle-men are the width of a small truck and their waists are teeny tiny, giving them a strange Donkey Kong look about them. Odd, but intriguing.

  11. Main

    The description of this video reads: “A dancing egg wreaks havoc when people can’t take their eyes off him.” I mean as far as concepts go, that’s pretty strong. Basically a guy in an egg costume (note to self: purchase an egg costume) goes around distracting people as they get on with their day. It was created by directorial duo A Very Successful Business quite literally for a laugh. “We created it just for the fun of making it, and to add a bit of surreal silliness back into the world,” co-founder Dulcie told us. Sure, this isn’t a video that’s going to go down in the top ten music videos of all time lists, but it made every single person in the It’s Nice That office laugh, and surely that counts for something. Well done, egg-lads!

  12. Main

    “This generation is not afraid, pay attention” – what a line to end on! This short film directed by the rather talented William Williamson takes a close look at residents of Lahore, Pakistan and contemplates their different, individual methods of expressing themselves through their clothing. From the transexual Hijra to confident policewomen in shiny new uniforms, this wondrous few minutes takes you on a powerful journey to loud, messy, jangly Pakistan and into the lives of people who are on the cusp of realising a fashion revolution. We take for granted what it means to express ourselves through what we wear, and it’s informed, intelligent films like this that are needed to remind us just how powerful that expression can be. Read a fantastic interview with William over on Dazed Digital.

  13. List

    I fear I’ve referenced this before, but one of my Desert Island Discs would almost certainly be Baz Lurhmann’s strange spoken-word track Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen. I like it for many reasons, not least the opening phrase “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99” which to a Midlands teenager felt exotic and American and important for ways I couldn’t really define.