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    Bookshelf: Daniel Brereton

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Bookshelf: Daniel Brereton

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Image maker Daniel Brereton, aka Dan Has Potential, is our Bookshelf contributor this week. The “maker” part involves anything from 2D upwards and occasionally he puts these makings into motion as a director represented by Partizan (see his crafty music videos for the likes of Django Django and Connan Mockasin.) Over to Dan…

1000 Record Covers Michael Ochs

I think I’ll start with where my creative meanderings began. This was the second design book I got when I was about 15 from my dad. The first was called A Graphic Eye_, but this one hasn’t stood the test of time with me as much as 1000 Record Covers. The reason I got into illustration and all that was because I wanted to make record covers, I still want to make record covers. And this book is full of really great one from the 1950s to the 1990s. I like that I have had it for a while and still look at it all the time.
www.amazon.co.uk/1000-record-covers
www.taschen.com/1000-records
covers.htm

Philip Guston Robert Storr

He is my favourite artist, I don’t know why but he is. I saw one of his paintings once in the Whitechapel gallery and it was profound, which sounds terrible. I nicked this book, which is also really bad.
www.amazon.co.uk/philip-guston
www.wikipedia.org/philip-guston

Sculpting in Time Andrei Tarkovsky

From my favourite artist to my favourite director, this book goes a long way into how and why Tarkovsky made films. I have to say that lots of it went way over my head, like his films you have to put a lot of effort in to get something out of it.
www.amazon.co.uk/sculpting-in-time
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sculpting_in_Time

Mantle Piece/ Home Thoughts Leon Sadler

This is a zine made by Leon. I guess I included it as I think zines are important to me and what I do. I like the way they are mini books with lots of ideas, and they keep things interesting and exciting. And I also like the way they are made by someone at home with a stapler. When he sent me this zine, he put lots of other things in with it, like a fake leaflet containing information on how to operate machinery in a hospital. Leon’s zines are really great, there are tonnes on his website.
www.snakzstock.com/mantle-piecehome-thoughts

Folk Archive

I was always disappointed that we didn’t have such a rich amount of folk art in Britain, but then this book shows I was looking in the wrong places. It celebrates a lot of the overlooked “art” we see everywhere, and makes me appreciate it even more, stuff like greasy spoon menus and handmade signs. There is lots of it in London, but there is just as much all over the country.
www.amazon.co.uk/folk-archive

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Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

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    Imagine turning up to work in the morning, checking your schedule and realising that the vast majority of your time is going to spent creating a zombie horse. That’s what the team at Montreal-based Rodeo FX did for Series Four of Game of Thrones, along with creating the slave city of Meereen, the Unsullied Army, a sequence with the White Walkers and most memorably the final (KIND OF SPOILER ALERT!) battle between Stannis’ army and the wildlings.

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    WARNING do not watch this if you are afraid of family members dying and then being messily devoured in front of your very eyes by OTHER members of your own family. Seriously, parts of this video were deemed unwatchable by most of the It’s Nice That editorial team, which I think is perhaps why I love it so much.

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    German design studio Hort prides itself on being an “unconventional working environment” and a “place where work and play can be said in the same sentence.” In this video by Analog Mensch Digital, Hort’s much-loved creator Eike Konig talks about their work and ethos whilst rolling paint and printing a poster. The camera wanders about the studio past leaning bikes and big white desks, scrolling up bookcases and dwelling on the Anthony Burrill posters gracing the walls. Eike is always worth listening to, whether he’s musing on the differences between international and German clients, traditional and digital work and the morals of design. He says: “Visual language is a strong language. We have responsibility in the use of this power.”

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    Every time a new music video by Us (AKA Chris Barrett and Luke Taylor) is sent round the studio I find myself stubbornly insisting that they can’t possibly have topped their previous efforts, and every single time the London-based directing duo seem to prove me wrong. Their latest creation for British singer-songwriter and producer Labrinth is potentially the finest yet in fact, combining what is becoming their trademark one-shot effect with a brilliantly simple storyline. The video follows Labrinth through the ups and downs of making a record, from TV interviews and squabbling record label execs to shooting videos in flash cars and performing onstage, exposing a side that usually remains concealed. It’s a natural fit for Us’ pared-back aesthetic, where cameras, ladders and extras are all included in the shot. Have they upped the stakes again? We reckon so.

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    “Can I email you back on Monday? I’m actually in the desert this weekend,” was the reply we got from Tom Gould when we got in touch to see what he was up to a couple of weeks back. It might sound like the filmmaker’s equivalent of the dog eating your homework, but in Tom’s case it’s a wholly credible excuse, and even more so now that we can see the fruits of his labour.

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    How refreshing to see a music video that isn’t three minutes of slowly buffering and ultimately mind-bending CGI. The videos we cherish are always a combination of great idea plus low budget – which is what makes this new one for White Fence so perfect. Why has no one thought about putting a lead singer of a band in a prison for a music video before? I love the idea that no matter how much we worship bands and frontmen, if you threw them in the clanger for even an hour they wouldn’t last five minutes.

  7. Haim

    This is great! Haim have actually had a really great back catalogue of videos so far, proving to everyone that this medium is still mega-important as to how a band is seen (Metronomy also do this well). Now I may not recognise many (any) of the trendy music names that star in this video, but what I do know a lot about is chat shows. The whole video is a pastiche of ubiquitous telly fodder like Jerry Springer, Jeremy Kyle and Oprah – the gross chairs, beige set-design and on-screen graphics that remind you of Saved by the Bell that we all know and love.

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    There can be no question that ballet is one of the most enrapturing art forms out there, but I sometimes wonder if the archetypal representation of the dance as graceful, pristine and effortless quite does justice to the physicality of it. How refreshing is it to watch a short film about a ballerina, that doesn’t airbrush over the fingerprints on the mirror, the beads of sweat on the shoulder blades, the tremble of a lip as a dancer exhales?

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    You know those CDs of whale music you can buy at the tills in garden centres? If, rather than listening to those, everybody in need of a couple of minutes of downtime halfway through the afternoon could just take the time to watch The Ridge, the world would be much, much better place. It’s kind of a spectacular bit of filmmaking; filmed for Camp4 Collective in Denali National Park, Alaska, the camera sweeps across mountains buried in fluffy snow, rocky ridges brandishing over barren expanses of white and mountain faces that look curiously like old men’s faces (watch out for the moustachioed bloke at 1.40).

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    You know how it is; you’re filming your latest music video, taking instructions from cue cards administered by an overbearing director when suddenly he’s distracted and is no longer showing you what to do. Do you stop what you’re doing and risk looking like a chump or just keep on dancing until the next cue card flashes up? This is the great existential debate at the heart of Ninian Doff’s latest video for Peace, which sees him taking this line of inquiry to extremes; crashing cars and terrorising families in the process. Fun times!

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    It’s always fascinating to see how different cultures take certain musical genres and shape them into something quite unique depending on what they adopt and what they re-imagine from the original. Scene Unseen is a new video series from Bose and Vice which explores this phenomenon through three examples; indie in Mexico, electronica in India and dancehall in Japan which is the subject of the first film.

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    Is anyone else slightly unnerved by how happy Bill Callahan has been of late? His songs no longer deal with loneliness and somewhat terrifying obsession and now dwell on nicer, every day things such as driving in the car with your loved one as a snoozing pillion passenger. Yes I know it’s nicer to listen to songs about that sort of thing, but I kind of miss wigging out to some of his earlier classics where he would, for example, go into stark lyrical detail about arranging a woman’s lingerie into the shape of a little dolly on the bed while she’s out.

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    Every friendship has its issues. A mate I used to live with once cooked baked beans in a wok; a culinary move so baffling that I can feel the irritation welling up every time I see him (it’s now seven years after the incident). Maybe we should have gone to therapy, because it seems to be working for Daryl and Joe, the stars of this terrific unscripted web series. In each short clip the pair discuss something about the other person they believe affects their relationship; from drinking to punctuality and a racist dog to an inability to pronounce a sister’s name properly. It’s the kind of thing the web does so well; giving life to content that couldn’t really live anywhere else. It might, might, even help me get over wok-gate.