Submit Saturdays: Vibrant and energetic videos from London-based Bark Films
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Bark films was founded three years ago by Rick Stanton and Penny Gabriel and is based in New Cross Gate, London. Its music videos and short films have an immediacy and energy that defines the portfolio of a small company that is starting to increase its creative ambition. We caught up with co-founder Rick Stanton to learn a bit more about the work.
How did you start Bark films?
We started the company three years ago. I was a videographer working at events and doing films for the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Universal and Sony. Penny was working as an events organiser for the likes of Coca Cola, delivering million pound projects. We decided to join forces as a producer and a director. We haven’t looked back since; our different skill sets make us work together really well.
How did you become involved in film making?
I left school at sixteen, but I got into editing using video cameras. Me and my cousins would make Kung Fu films in the garden messing around. That’s where my interest in editing began. After that I started to work at club nights, like Metro on Oxford street, and started to create a network of contacts. From there I started to make films for metropolis music and that moved onto Universal and the like.
What are your aims and goals for Bark Films?
We were doing a lot of work for brands and events, but last year was our aim to do more music videos – we completed about nine. This month we already have three more underway. Our main focus for 2016 is to make short films. We produced a film for the British Council for part of their Shakespeare project. We were commissioned to produce a piece called Starcross’d about Romeo and Juliette. We believe if you put it out there, the work will come. After we had made it our resolution to do more short films, by 5 January the British Council had approached us and we were making the film. It was a good start. We are currently looking for writers and scripts and are looking to producing as many as we can.
How do you choose projects to work on and who do you collaborate with?
We always work with friends, Starcross’d was written by a good friend of ours, our crew are often friends, our website was designed by a friend. We are a very loose collective. We don’t try to follow what new directors do and try to emulate them. When a project comes up we trust our instincts go with what we think is right. If, for example, there is a music video and we don’t like the track or don’t feel connected to it then we won’t pitch on it. You have to choose carefully what you do. We want to produce something that’s right for each project.
Which projects are you most proud of?
Starcrossed is the biggest thing that we ever worked on to date, 30 extras, ten crew members, everything involved from the location scouting to the props and costumes were found by us. The turnaround was three weeks as the arts council wanted it complete by Valentines day. It was an intense time. The fact we pulled it off has given us lots of confidence. We also produced a series of documentaries for Blu about DJs and the London club scene. Episode three is about how the London scene has spread over the years. With my background in music, this was a great opportunity to make a film about a subject I was passionate. In the same series we profiled DJ Marky and we went on to shoot music videos with him. We went out and shot London late at night and early in the morning when it was empty – going to Piccadilly Circus at five in the morning for three seconds of footage. It was a massive effort but worth it in the end.
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