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Friction blog

Some might call us passionate about all things film, some may say we are obsessed and some may just come out with it and call us downright geeks. None of it would be wrong.

We’ve created a blog to share our thoughts on new kit, software, movies, and basically all things film and media.

Feel free to read some of it, none of it or all of it. We’d always love to hear your thoughts so always feel free to jump in on any conversations.

 

Friction Collective Spotlight: Fin Davies

Friction Collective Spotlight: Fin Davies

A part of what makes working as a collective so great is having a team of creative minds ready to support you at the drop of a hat.  Whether it’s feedback on a project or input with generating ideas, there’s usually someone to ask. Everyone has their own area of expertise so pulling in ideas from every angle allows Friction Collective to be more dynamic, creative and cutting edge.

This week we’re shining a light on our Creative Director Phil Davies or Fin as he’s better known. Fin has a huge amount of experience in photography and film (35+ years!) and because of this he’s very much the backbone of the collective. We’ve asked him 19 questions (to be exact) about photography, film, getting into the industry and what he eats for breakfast, naturally.

Thanks Fin!

Fin and his baby, Nikon.

FC: What drives you creatively?  

Fin: I get inspired by so many things; it could be a new scene I see meandering through life, a news report that springs an idea or a subject that I feel needs to be exposed photographically. I’m driven by the desire to create both still and moving imagery that portrays, in some way, my feelings about those subjects. I truly believe a picture can speak a thousand words and create conversation through opinion and silence.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: How did you get into film / photography?

Fin: At around the age of 13, a good friend of mine was gifted a Hasselblad camera kit, which was and still is the pinnacle of quality in cameras (they took one to the moon..don’t you know!!). Because my friend wanted to learn more, he suggested we start a photography club at our school in Bristol, once called ‘Russel Town Avenue’ now the ‘City Academy’.

I didn’t have any experience of photography or anything better to do at the time so intrigued, I agreed to join. Through a mix of Saturday jobs and early morning milk rounds (yes I am that old haha!) I saved up enough pennies to buy my first 35mm camera, a Russian made body called a Kiev, it had a pretty good lens for the time. Subsequently Phil and I were asked to cover the fledgling St Pauls Carnival in Mina Road Park in Bristol, for the school rag. Shortly after that, I sold my first photo which was of a Scrambler rider for the Bultaco team at a local event, which I also processed and printed. 

I was hooked.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: Were you tempted by any other career paths?

Fin: I was also massively, and still am, interested and inspired by architecture. Had the photography not taken over I would have probably pursued that career instead. Architecture, form and structure still play a strong part in my imagery today.

FC: To anyone who doesn’t know what a Director of Photography is (DOP) how would you explain your job?

Fin: Essentially at the early stages of a video project, where the look and visual narrative of a film is being planned, I will advise and plan the visual look and lighting style with the director.

Once we start the project I work alongside the director giving him or her what they want in terms of look and style, with lens choice, camera movements, and lighting styles. I work closely with the gaffer (head electrician) to set out the lights and keep consistency between each clip of the film.

Because of my stills experience with composition, cameras, lenses, colour and lighting I was able transition to cinematography fairly easily.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: What jobs/projects give you a real buzz?

Fin: Anything that challenges me technically and visually. Something that has a deep meaning that the viewer will hopefully connect with. An interesting, challenging and positive story. Working with inspirational people as part of the team.

FC: What are you working on at the moment?  

Fin: RAW BEAUTY, which is a study of real people in real environments doing real things, to show the beauty in the natural and ordinary.

Photo: Part of a series for ‘Raw Beaty’ by Fin Davies

Fin: (Cont) ENERGY, a study of our consumption of energy in all it’s forms. 

Photo: Fin Davies

Photo: Fin Davies

Photo: Fin Davies

Photo: Fin Davies

(cont) ANIMALIA: A study of animals depicting them as heroic creatures. Plus many more. I always have several personal projects on the go at one time and attempt to fit them in around our Friction Collective work.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: As a photographer, how would you describe your style?

Fin: That’s hard to nail down as I seem to have a few styles. Ultimately I guess I would say a dramatic and opposing look at the ordinary

FC: What’s on the menu for breakfast?

Fin: Whatever’s in the cupboard. Mostly toast and either jam or Marmite, orange juice and coffee. Now it’s winter, porridge is fairly high on the list.

FC: What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday in Bristol?

Fin: Seeing family and friends, cycling, cleaning the house, watching films, doing bugger all. A day off from creating.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: Favourite place to eat in Bristol?

Fin: My new favourite is Franco Manca. Great pizzas, friendly knowledgeable staff and good value.

FC: What are you listening to at the moment?

Fin: Well right now whilst writing this, I’m listening to Melé, but mostly I listen to drum and bass, with a fair amount of Bicep thrown into the mix.

FC: What’s your favourite quote?

Fin: Weirdly ‘Life’s a bitch and then you die”… stays with me. It reminds of me how negative some people are and to not let myself get to this place and keep up the positive vibes. It also makes me laugh, whenever I hear it as it feels so British in it’s decent.

FC: What do you find really, really fun to do?

Fin: Snowboarding, photography, running a business, windsurfing, meeting with friends, skating, time with my kids, squash, directing, cycling, getting lost on a journey, seeing new places.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: What advice would you give to anyone starting out in film / photography?

Fin: Get started! It seems obvious but it’s the hardest thing to do. It doesn’t really matter how you get started just as long as you do something. The rest will follow. Have an idea of what you want to end up doing and how you’d like to do it and mould your plans around that. If you don’t have much kit or work to show then borrow some kit, do some samples and challenge your skills. Build a portfolio and gain some experience working for others. Get to know as many people as you can that will enable your quest. Stay enthusiastic and positive. Be tenacious and single minded. Be different. Be grateful.

Photo: Fin Davies

FC: Dream piece of kit right now?

Fin: Can I have 2?  Ronin 2 and Nikon D850

FC: Who inspires you to pick up your camera?

Fin: Josef Koudelka, a Czech photographer whose work I massively admire. You’ll see his influence in a few of my projects. His early work with panoramics was way ahead of it’s time; I love the grit of his black and whites.

FC: If you had to invite three people to your dinner party (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Fin: Josef Koudelka: I think he’d have some amazing stories and incites. My Dad, he died when I was 16 so I didn’t have time to get to know him properly. Elvis Costello: Quality opinionated musical artist and I’d also have to have Jack and Connie (my kids) there too as I love their company.

FC: If you could wake up tomorrow with a new skill what would it be?

Fin: Drum’n’Bass DJ

FC: Favourite.Film.Ever?

Fin: This is hard but if I had to say one then Ex Machina. It’s beautiful to look at and is sensitively directed. The film has a  dystopian and worrying look at what our future could hold. Also, Alicia Vikander…just saying!

Photo: Fin Davies

Thanks Fin!

Find out more about Fin and the rest of the team here

If you’re looking for a photographer, or you just have some more random questions to ask Fin (really? More?) contact Fin: Fin@frictioncollective.com

Photography Spotlight: Busy Bodies

Photography Spotlight: Busy Bodies

In this Photography Spotlight we bring together three different photographers who capture the female form in a natural and organic way. All of the photographers capture special moments of intimacy and loneliness that we all feel but don’t always share. These artists are contributing towards a body positive movement that is fuelled by honesty and realness which is natural and therefore attainable by all. We’re honoured to share these talented artists with you today.

CHANTAL CONVERTINI | @paeulini

Chantal Convertini is a young photographer based in Basel, Switzerland. Convertini’s work captures intimate moments on film. Her work emanates self reflection, anonymity and hints of loneliness that feel familiar. While there may be anguish or mystery there is always a celebration of individuality and beauty. Convertini has a skill for composition and an eye for form, capturing secret moments of magic that we might not normally see.

More about Chantal Convertini and her works here or on Instagram here.

Photo: @paeulini

Photo: @paeulini

Photo: @paeulini

Photo: @paeulini

Photo: @paeulini

Photo: @paeulini

HOLLIE FERNANDO | @holliefernando

Hollie Fernando is a portrait photographer from South London. Her work has a dreamy, ethereal aesthetic inspired by 19th Century Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Fernando shoots on film and mainly shoots the latest, most up and coming new bands of the moment, alongside her own personal projects. Here’s some of our favourites from Hollie’s portfolio which show the body in a positive, innocent way. There is a sense of adventure and playfulness that makes you want to frolic through a meadow or head straight to the beach. You can buy Hollie’s prints here or follow her on Instagram for more incredible work.

Photo: Hollie Fernando

Photo: Hollie Fernando

Photo: Hollie Fernando

Photo: Hollie Fernando

Photo: Hollie Fernando

KAROLINA HANULAK 

“I want to help women in how they perceive themselves, I want each of them to feel special”. Karolina Hanulak is a photographer from Poland whose work focuses on body and acceptance. “So many of us are struggling with public criticism. Almost in every step, we are given an evaluation, pressured to a perfect appearance like a museum exhibition.
My aim is to show that despite the differences, each of us is beautiful and unique. I wanted to expose real beauty that is not manipulated by the media. Nudity reveals the story that a person wears on their body: a story covered under a thick layer of  material waving in the wind.”

You can check out her Tumblr and Instagram for more wonderful photos like these.

Photo: Karolina Hanulak

Photo: Karolina Hanulak

 

 

Photo: Karolina Hanulak

 

Photo: Karolina Hanulak

Photo: Karolina Hanulak

Photo: Karolina Hanulak

18 Quick-Fire Questions with The Bristol Nomad

18 Quick-Fire Questions with The Bristol Nomad

Adie White is the brains behind The Bristol Nomad, an Instagram photography account and website that we stumbled across not so long ago.The Bristol Nomad is based around a fierce sense of wanderlust; Adie travels to some of the most far flung corners of the Earth. We love the fact that he continues to photograph Bristol alongside his other works and share his snaps with the rest of the world. You can take the Bristolian out of Bristol but you can’t take Bristol out of the Bristolian.  Who better to fire some questions about photography and our beloved city on a fine sunny morning…

FC: So first things first, how long have you been in Bristol?

TBN: Bristolian born-‘n’-bred, 41 years ago. Love to travel, but Bristol will always be home.

FC: What does Bristol mean to you?

TBN: Everything! It’s home and I’ll always do my best to show it off in the best possible light.

It’s not hard as it’s a vibrant, photogenic city full of great music, art and people.

Photo: @thebristolnomad of Bristol Harbourside

FC: What have you been up to recently?

TBN: I’ve just finished my first short film, Bristol 247•365, which is currently playing in the big screen in Millennium Square.

FC: Awesome! How do you go about capturing Bristol?

I’m not a take my camera everywhere, point n click kinda photographer. My shoots are always planned in advance. I generally know exactly what I’m aiming to capture.

FC: What are you listening to at the moment?

TBN: I’m an out-‘n’-out metalhead, why I can usually be found in the Hatchet. On the phone playlist at the mo is a bit of Slipknot, Stone Sour & Audioslave.

FC: Where are your favourite places to chill out in Bristol?

TBN: More often than not The Hatchet, but love King Street on a Sunny day. And anywhere with good live music and a good vibe.

FC: Let’s imagine (briefly) that you’re on death row (what did you do?!) what would you like to eat for your last meal?

TBN: Pizza, Pizza and more Pizza. If I stop eating Pizza I’m pretty sure the industry would collapse no pineapple though… that’s sacrilege.

FC: Who inspires you?

TBN: Anyone who looks at things a bit differently from the norm. People that challenge and push boundaries are generally the most interesting. And people with a fierce passion for what they do.

Photo: @thebristolnomad of Cheddar Gorge

FC: What’s your weapon of choice?

TBN: I generally stick to my trusty Nikon D3300. And once you discover the world of Adobe Lightroom it’s hard to go back lol.

FC: What kit is in your wishlist?

TBN: Wow sooooo much, but The Mavic 2 pro and a Syrp Genie come out on top. Fancy being me one for Christmas?

FC: Ha! Future plans?

TBN: I am off to Villa Honegg in Switzerland next weekend… been on the wish-list for ages.

FC: What stops you in your tracks?

TBN: I’m a sucker for a wild landscape. Anything that looks relatively untouched by man in thousands of years. Combine that with good light and I’m in heaven.

FC: How would you describe your style?

TBN: I shoot for me and if people like it, great. So I wouldn’t really say I have a particular style other than what I think would look cool to me.

Photo: @thebristolnomad of Bristol

FC: What advice do you have for anyone that wants to get into photography?

TBN: practice, practice, practice. Never get disheartened. And you don’t need to waste thousands on expensive kit & photography courses. I am completely self taught and learning from my mistakes is half the fun. Makes those moments when everything comes together that much sweeter.

FC: Most memorable halloween costume you’ve dressed up as / what are you dressing up as this halloween?

TBN: probably Pennywise the clown 🤡 that freaked a few people out. Nothing yet, no ones invited me to any parties!

FC: What did you have for breakfast today?

TBN: Never start a Saturday without a bacon sandwich.

Photo: @thebristolnomad

FC: What do you LOVE?

TBN: People that build others up

FC: What do you LOATHE?

TBN: People that push others down.

Photo: @thebristolnomad Blaise Castle

Thank you @TheBristolNomad! 

 

Friction 5 Instagram: Where The Wild Things Are

Friction 5 Instagram: Where The Wild Things Are

Recently one of our Directors, the unstoppable Jack Davies, took it upon himself and two friends Tim Lages and Tom Gurney, to cycle 1000 miles across one of the hottest, sweatiest and most ecologically diverse countries on Earth. Incredibly, Jack filmed the whole trip at the same time and so ‘Velo Malaysia’ was born. Velo Malaysia is a short documentary film covering the arduous yet exhilarating trip from beginning to end. An adventurous thread runs throughout the film and leaves you feeling restless and ready to go forth into the world and explore. During our film screenings we were amazed by the overwhelming reaction that people felt inspired to do a similar kind of trip.

You can catch the film here if you haven’t seen it already (do it!).

We’ve trawled instagram for our favourite adventure photographers whose work manages to make you feel as though they’ve handed you a one way ticket to some of the most beautiful parts of the planet. Enjoy, for a moment, being transported to the fresh, icy waters of Russia or to a dewy, damp morning in the mountains of Morocco…

1.@chrisburkard 

Burkard’s photography reigns within high contrast and high octane territory. This image captures life on the road and reminds us of that feeling when you’re travelling and you don’t have to ‘sweat the small stuff’. You can stop wherever you want, whenever you want.

“Did anyone ever take Sunday drives with their family as a kid? Those were some of my favorite times growing up, didn’t even matter that we never had a route in mind & always ended up at the same place. Home.”

2. @Hannes_Becker

Hannes Becker is a freelance photographer specialising in outdoors, adventures and landscapes from Hesse, Germany. In order to inspire the viewer and portray his experiences, he aims not only to document his travels in nature but incorporate his personal interpretation with emphasis on composition and mood.

“The most inviting place in Switzerland”

3. @nicolemagnolia 

Nicole Magnolia is a photographer, illustrator and web designer currently based in San Fransisco. Her photography gently elevates the viewer into dreamlike landscapes, capturing those elusive yet magical moments that we experience when travelling or exploring new places.

4. @anuarpatjane 

” I always look for images depicting strong meanings and emotions and do what I can to create visual stories with them, stories that show the power of empathy… stories that focus the attention into places and moments which usually escape unnoticed. I can not photograph the staged, the arranged, I just cant. I need reality flowing, that is my element and that is what I enjoy photographing”.

5. @alexstrohl  

In his own words, Strohl’s photography is “Experiential, Authentic (at least I strive for that), and Motivational.”

 

Behind the Scenes: Velo Malaysia

Behind the Scenes: Velo Malaysia

Why would anyone dream of cycling 1000 miles across seriously challenging terrain and climates? Our thoughts exactly, which is why we asked Jack (Friction Collective Director and Camera Operator) and friends Tom and Tim a whole bunch of questions before they embarked on ‘Velo Malaysia’ this year; a self shot adventure film doing exactly that. Turns out we’d quite like to go too.

 

Friction Collective: What’s Velo Malaysia all about?         

Jack (below): For me it’s about escapism. There’s nothing quite like the utter peace and quiet I get in the vast space between my ears when concentrating on threading a bunch of beautiful corners together or slowly heaving myself up a ridiculous incline.  Then it’s about the experience, nothing comes close to seeing a country on a bicycle, you’re so connected to everything around you, yet nothing passes too slowly and there’s always something weird round the corner. Because of that and my love of making films, I had to combine the two; to create a film where the audience understand the ridiculous nature of the adventure, it’s by no means hardcore or deadly serious, but it’s tough and hilarious and puts you in situations that unless you laugh, you might well cry. For me, that is the essence of the Velo film series, it’s about captivating the audience with drama and suspense that then, like most of our days, just end up in a fit of laughter at someone pissing in a coconut.. or similar.

Jack Davies, Director of Velo Malaysia

TOM (below): Our way of sharing a cracking country and its challenges with the folks back home. Plus a chance for me to cycle somewhere sunny!

Tom Gurney, Team Velo Malaysia

TIM (Below): Jesus. Aside from a 950 mile cycle across Malaysia? It’s 30C+ temp, 1000m of climbing, culture, adventure, love and life.

Tim Lages, Team Velo Malaysia / Karaoke Queen

Friction Collective: Why Malaysia?

Jack: The jungle!! We experienced our first taste of proper tropical jungle in Vietnam and fuck! It’s an awesome place. Hot, sticky, loud and not a single thing in there wants you to stay alive. Especially as a Caucasian, it’s the most alien place I’ve visited on this planet so far and I just want more! Also, the food looks great, the roads look beautiful, it has a growing cycle culture and we’ve heard it’s a beautiful country.

Tom: Three weeks is a short length of time for a cycle tour; but it’s a realistic length for those with commitments – be it family, career, budget etc. One of our main objectives from these trips is to show people you can do something fantastic within a short space on a tight budget. Malaysia kinda hit the mark here, along with its incredibly diverse culture to match.

Tim: The process for selecting places for our adventures goes through a cycle of think “crazy” and then get smaller with more practical considerations. We started this round off with: Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Cuba and Georgia as main contenders. Things like climate, safety and cost can knock a couple off the list but then it comes down to preference of the group and what experiences we want to open ourselves up to. Malaysia was a clear winner consistently hot, cheap when you are out there, amazing roads, diverse nature and full of culture.

Friction Collective: What are you most looking forward to?

Jack: Days and days of endless cycling.

Tom: The sun… The unknown obstacles awaiting at the next bend in the road and overcoming these. It’s like real life cranked to 11. But seriously…the sun.

Tim: The climbs and the air conditioning of the hotel rooms.

Friction Collective: What are you dreading the most?

Jack: Days and days of endless cycling. And Tim’s singing.

Tom: Jack’s snoring, Tim’s singing.

Tim: The climbs and Jack’s snoring.

Friction Collective: What’s in your kit bag?

Jack: Not much at all in terms of day to day essentials, I seemed to have swapped most items out for cameras. This time I’m bringing a very high tech but tiny drone with me, that will help boost our production in this coming film. Along with some better sound equipment.

Tom: Not much. This tends to be a bit of a competition between us all of which I intend to defend. A highlight include my trusty old hat, which I take on all tours – it’s cultivated it’s own colony now.

Tim: Ear plugs (see answer to question 4). I’m also carrying a set of cycling and non cycling clothing. 1 set of underwear….yup, one! DEET and a lot of sun cream. I’ll also have a small notepad to write up the journey.

Friction Collective: Where are you planning to stay during the three weeks?

Jack: Wherever Tom takes us! He’s been meticulously planning our route and is self appointed Ray Mears on these trips, whacking out his maps (and luckily, unlike Mears, not his left nut) more readily than an orienteering badge boy scout. It’s an awesome part of the trip because he’s so damn good at it, we just go where Tom points, I follow with my nose buried in the camera and Tim uses his frankly unadulterated lung capacity to blare terrible 90’s pop tunes.

Tom: Hotels/ ‘Homestays’ – they are so cheap; ~ £4p/night each, saves on lugging any camp gear too – one of the perks of Asia. They’re also cheaper than hostels; where most Western backpackers go and use as a meeting place…which is totally cool if you’re after that. But it kinda segregates you from the real mix of the country. Plus, I’ve got Jack and Tim. Yay.

Tim: Anywhere that will take us and our bikes. We are easy to spot so hopefully the places will pick themselves to an extent.

Friction Collective: How did you get into cycling in the first place?

Jack: I can trace the routes back to sitting on a duct taped piece of foam on the top tube of my dads bike as a 5 year old, shouting encouragement at him as he heaved us both up the ridiculous hills of Wiltshire. Since then it was in my blood and mountain biking was my first love. Once my testicles got tired of being continuously slammed into various pieces of my bike, I decided maybe road cycling could be a good alternative. Helped by the contagious perpetual energy of Tom. I still pride myself on owning every discipline of bike though and whether its MTB, BMX, Single speed, Road, Touring or shit-faced on a Boris Bike. I’m hooked.

Tom: I’ve been a swimmer since forever, briefly making Nationals. First bike love came at 10, tearing it up on my xc mountain bike; roadies were the enemy of course. This soon progressed into competitive triathlon, specialising in long course.  Just like that, I became a fully fledged road perv too.

Tim: As a kid I was constantly playing in woods building jumps and generally messing about on my bike but I was never a cyclist. The thought of the 3 mile ride down the road to the next village normally made me feel like a panicking Bear Grylls. Recently though my efforts on the bike have largely been thanks to Jack who really showed me the light. Now it takes up nearly every second of my life.

Friction Collective: Tell us about the team, who are you going with?

Jack: Tom who is a road biking monster, swims faster than a fish, could outrun an Ethiopian and has the humour of a 6 year old. Say ‘poo’ loudly whilst pedalling behind him up a steep hill and he’ll break out in such a fit of giggles you’ll beat him up it…probably. Tim – No man has ever been a more perfect embodiment of a great big, oversized puppy. Unbridled energy for exercise, feed him continuously or he’ll get grouchy, his excitement for absolutely everything is infectious. We’ve only been riding bikes together for a few years, yet in that time, mostly down to his unwavering commitment, we have put in enough miles to cross America, twice.

TOM: Jack and I met many years ago whilst working at a…quite frankly, barmy summer music ‘festival’.  The rule was if you wanted more crewing shifts, you had to cycle (my rule); cue lots of midnight racing, homeward bound. The music was opera, so we bonded over the bikes. Tim, I only really got to know from the (Velo) Vietnam trip last year. He promptly established himself as the comic of the group. Primarily for his antics; not jokes.  Truthfully though, he’s exactly the kinda guy you need on tour. Plus due to his gigantism, is naturally the one who draws the most attention from the locals and the wildlife. Both are absolute legends and I couldn’t pick anyone else I’d rather top and tail with on a Cockroach infested mattresses for the next 3 weeks.

Tim: We are a tripod. 3 of Britain’s finest cyclist. First off we have Jack, mentioned earlier for his addictive fascination with all things two wheels and engineless, and also his snoring abilities. Jack is someone I’ve very use to cycling with (having ridden nearly 3000 miles with him last year).  Tom is a friend from the last trip who I met through Jack. Without him neither of these trips would have been possible. He’ll hate me for saying this but he’s like the dad of the group. He has an uncompromising ability to organise and lead a trip. Plus I think he might be the closest thing physically to perpetual motion.

Follow our Facebook  to find out when there is another screening of Velo Malaysia or you can follow us on instagram: @frictioncollective for updates.

Check out the trailer here: 

14 Quick-Fire Questions with Nick Corkill

14 Quick-Fire Questions with Nick Corkill

Meet Nick! One of the many cogs that keeps our collective turning and one who keeps us all amazed with the amount of plates he’s always spinning. If Nick isn’t wielding a camera or surfing (or both!); he’s probably in a studio somewhere recording, I don’t know, maybe a voice-over for a Nordic nature documentary or a Givenchy advert, or something? With a voice in gravelly territory somewhere between Clint Eastwood’s husk of a voice and The Simpsons own Moe Szyslak, this man could certainly talk his way out of washing the dishes.

Nick hasn’t however, managed to talk his way out doing some fairly random quick-fire questions with me; what better way to while away a perfectly stunning summer afternoon?! It’s time to delve deeper into the mystery that is the polymath, Nick Corkill.

Nick has contributed to Friction Collective with his photography and his voice-over talents over the years. We’ll be shining the spotlight on the rest of the collective in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes peeled pals.

FC: Describe yourself in 3 words.

Nick: Curious , Creative, Cheeky 

FC: Do you have a Voice Over Inspiration?

Nick: Sean Pertwee 

FC: Where is your favourite place on earth?

Nick: The Seychelles 

FC: What’s your favourite word to say out loud? 

Nick: Hahaha! Jeez! um…. “BY THE BEARD OF ZUES!”

FC: What’s your typical Voice Over warm up routine?

Nick: Lemon hot water,  jaw exercise, scales….. the usual ridiculous looking stuff to be done in complete solitude. 

FC: Favourite job recently?

Nick: Givenchy Ad

FC: What’s your favourite thing to photograph?

Nick: The Ocean

FC: What can’t you live without?

Nick: Sunnies

FC: You’re suddenly propelled into power in this country – Congratulations! What’s the first thing you’re going to change?

Nick: Increase Government funding for Addiction treatment.

FC: From now on you have to eat the same meal three times a day for the rest of your life, what is it?

Nick: Nasi Goreng – pretty much lived on it for 2 months in Indonesia.

FC: Tell me something I don’t know about you…

Nick: I rock the Recorder

FC: What are you listening to at the moment? 

Nick: MorMor’s new signal ‘Waiting on The Warmth’ is a banger to get your day going! 

FC: What are you doing for the rest of the day?

Nick: Playing Tinder. 

FC: Sum up Bristol in 3 words.

Nick: Diverse , inspiring, big-village… ( can that class as 3 words?)

Thanks Nick!

You can check out Nick’s photography here or find out more about Nick’s Voice Over work here

You can check out his instagram @nicko_vo

Or If you want to help the amazing charity, Mind, you can donate here

Friction Five: Dancing in Transylvania

Friction Five: Dancing in Transylvania

Josh Williams (above), one of Friction Collective’s Videographers and Creative Directors went to Romania last year to film with the incredible charity, People Against Poverty. Josh also made this little film; an improvised dance piece filmed on the top of an absolutely beautiful mountain during sunrise. We had lots of questions so asked Yasmin (who heads up all things marketing for us) to catch up with Josh for a quick #frictionfive interview to find out a bit more. You can watch the edit HERE.

Yasmin: Where did you shoot First Light – Transylvania?

Josh: This has been asked before and the truth is I don’t think we ever actually knew the name of the mountain, though it is in Transylvania, Romania, which is a Beautiful part of the country. *Goes on a google investigation* I’ve had to just try and work it out, apparently it is called the ‘Ceahlau Massif’.

Yasmin: What project were you working on at the time?                                                            

Josh: I was there to follow the progress of a project to build a small farm which will support an orphanage in a small town called Perische in Transylvania, Romania. I’ve been on similar trips to make different videos for People against Poverty, the charity behind the projects. The projects have developed so much over the years (definitely check out the videos). After the building is finished the groups then explore some of the more picturesque parts of Romania. Going to this mountain is a new addition and involves a roughly 2 Hour hike each way. We are normally only there from sunset to sunrise. It’s so worth it for the view.

Photo: The Attila Project – which you can check out here.Photo: Some of the Children Josh met when filming The Attila Project.

Yasmin: How did First Light come together?                                                                                  

Josh: I had been up the mountain before and seen it at sunrise, which was actually the first time I got to fly my drone. Just incredible, but I have never particularly been into just filming places, I think I need something to be happening in that place otherwise it doesn’t really interest me enough to spend the time editing it. I was on the look out for a subject and became aware that Brad (Bradley Cull), who was part of the People Against Poverty program, was also very into his dancing. I asked him about it and he was keen from the get go, so we just had to find a spot, Make sure it was cool with the man in charge, then just get up and do it.          

Yasmin: How did you film it and where did you get the soundtrack?                        

Josh: I don’t want to spoil the magic too much but it was actually one of the presets from the drone app, to circle around a subject, I had the control to speed it up or down, or bring it in closer but other then that it just did it itself. Felt like cheating but there is no way I would have been able to get it that smooth and consistent otherwise. The only difficulty was that it doesn’t allow you to be close to the ground whilst doing it, I managed to get around this by taking off 50 meters away where my altitude was about 10 meters lower.  So I tricked it into letting me! One of my ‘go-to’ guys for music is an artist called Josef Efi, I found him on soundcloud a while ago and after getting chatting with him he realised we were actually in the same tutor group in school, which was nuts! He has a radio show on Balamii Radio and he seems to always be up to lots of cool stuff, one to follow! 

Yasmin: Awesome! And finally what are you up to at the moment?                                                                                  

Josh: I’m working on a documentary based on a Venezuelan skater called Jarpy. There’s a lot of crazy things going on in Venezuela at the moment so I’m trying to show a bit of that whilst also following Jarpy, his skating and daily life. It’s been really fun to work on but also incredibly difficult trying to edit a lot of footage which is in spanish…I don’t speak Spanish at all but am getting some much needed help. Very excited to get this video out there soon!

Watch this space! Thanks Josh! 

Friction Five: The Instagram Photographers You Should Follow Right Now.

Friction Five: The Instagram Photographers You Should Follow Right Now.

We had a bit of a mental whip round in the Friction Collective HQ to share with you some of our favourite Instagram accounts that we’ve stumbled upon so far in 2018. We’re constantly blown away by the never ceasing creative machine that is Instagram, which is always inspiring us with our own storytelling and image making. If you don’t already, come and follow Friction Collective @frictioncollective.

 

 

 

1.@Stevemccurryoffical needs little introduction; he’s been a photographer for over thirty years, creating some seriously iconic photography. We’re amazed by how much his photographs tell a story. The old Chinese proverb ‘a picture that says a thousand words’ sums it up nicely.

 

2. @RKRKRK is a Tokyo based photographer who is known for capturing the essence of Akihabara, a place in Tokyo, Japan. After the second world war, Akihabara was known as ‘Electric Town’. It was the place to shop for household appliances, as well as black  market goods. Nowadays it’s known mainly for it’s anime and manga, and video gaming.

 

3. I dare you to scroll through Tobias Haag’s Instagram @airpixels  and not get into some other worldly trance. You can see why global rucksack brand Fjalraven have championed Haag. It’s hard to choose a favourite; each and every one is as enchanting as the last and look like a Tolkien daydream.

4. In his new book, ‘The Last Testament’, photographer Jonas Bendiksen (@jonasbendiksen) documented men who believe they are the second coming of Christ. Over the course of two years, he traveled around the world to meet seven different men who publicly claim they are the son of God returned to earth.

 

5. Ross Symons aka  @white_onrice  quit his day job to make tiny, whimsical origami and we love it. The name comes from the adverb ‘Like white on rice’ which literally means to be as close to something as you can get. You can check out his website here where you can follow tutorials on how to make your own tiny creatures. It’s the little things in life…

 

When Friction Collective met Jasper Thompson

When Friction Collective met Jasper Thompson

An amazing thing is happening in Bristol and it’s culminating in the form of bright yellow painted, corrugated steel; Jasper Thompson, owner of Jasper’s Jamaican Diner is the founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless, a charity which has been converting shipping containers into living accommodation, providing shelter for those who are without somewhere they can call home.

Bristol has a the second highest number of homeless people in England; figures have doubled since 2011.

We went down to the diner to speak to Jasper and to check out the containers. The first thing noticeable thing about Jasper is that he is a busy man, running the restaurant and charity ‘Help Bristol’s Homeless’ is by no means breezy, though he is surprisingly calm in demeanour.

Jasper who is an ex army major, explains how he first began helping people around the streets of Bristol. “It’s funny, you don’t quite notice until you’re looking. I had a bit of spare time on my hands and I just thought to myself, ‘I’m going to do something to help.”

Jasper posted a call-out on Facebook asking if anyone could donate any spare clothes and along with his wife Tania, who now also runs the charity, they went onto the streets of Bristol and gave out soup, clothes and provided hot water for washing. Jasper continued helping on a weekly basis. As the number of homeless turning up increased, so too did the Facebook followers and along with it, the donations. Jasper came up with the plan to use donation money for shelters; at the same time a friend donated a shipping container – and they have been converting them into homes ever since.

Currently Jasper has a number of people working on converting the shipping containers, including some of the homeless people that Jasper has met along the way, all with the promise and incentive of living in them once built.

Jasper hopes to continue this business model across the South West and ultimately nationally.

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If you’d like to find out more or to help Bristol’s homeless and donate online click here.

Friction Five: Drones

Friction Five: Drones

We’re so excited about having acquired our very own drone at Friction Collective, that we thought we’d do a piece celebrating the best in the market. We don’t want to drone on all day though (sorry, not sorry), so here’s our top five selection for 2017.

 

1.DJI Mavic Pro

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DJI Mavic Pro The fold-up, fly-anywhere state of the art in consumer drones £1099

Exactly what UAV fans have been waiting for; a lightweight, portable drone that folds into a package the size of a milk carton, flies for 27 minutes for up to 4 miles away, avoids obstacles, shoots epic 4K footage from a stabilised, auto-focus camera no larger than a thimble, and then lands automatically in the exact same spot it took off from.
You can fly it via Wi-Fi using just a smartphone and gesture control, meanwhile, allows you to take selfies and make the Mavic follow you simply by waving your arms in the air.

2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro Compact prosumer drone gives high quality aerial footage £1546

With four-sided obstacle avoidance and a one-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing 4K footage at a phenomenal 60 frames per second this beauty is perfect those looking for high quality video and photography. The Phantom’s battery has been upgraded and will stay aloft for up to 30 minutes, sufficient time to take it to it’s four mile limit and then back again.

3. GoPro Karma

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GoPro Karma £899

The Karma is compact and collapsible with props in place, much like the DJI Mavic Pro. It’s not as small as the Mavic but still eminently portable. The front-mounted three-axis gimbal accepts the Gopro HERO 4 or 5 and the 4K and 1080p video those cameras produce is pretty good.
The Karma’s maximum range is 3km, not masses but enough for most pilots. Amazingly, users can also remove the camera and gimbal from the drone and clip it into a supplied Karma Grip for smooth cinematic ground footage.

4. Parrot Mambo

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Parrot Mambo £73.99

Cheap and cheerful, this indoor drone hovers in one spot perfectly. It also comes with novelty clip-on fittings that allow it to shoot tiny balls at a target or pick up items the weight of a sugar lump. Top indoor choice.

5. DJI Inspire 2

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DJI Inspire 2 £3000

Last but not least, the DJI Inspire 2. A professional, elite drone. This is definitely the best in the market.
The Inspire 2 is made from carbon fibre and magnesium and its dual battery system and huge motors will take it to a speed of 58mph and a flight time of up to 27 minutes. The landing gear is retractable, allowing pilots, or a second camera operator, to shoot a full 360º panorama. It also comes with forward, downward and upward-facing obstacle avoidance sensors for extra confidence when flying in difficult locations.

Friction Five: Drone Photography

Friction Five: Drone Photography

Instagrammers, photographers and filmographers around the world are using drone technology to capture breathtaking aerial shots of cities and landscapes. It makes for a refreshing and inspiring outlook on both photography, form and the world we live in. There’s so much incredible work out there, here’s just a few of our favourites.

 

Chongqing, China by Nick Chu

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Photographer Unknown

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Accra, Ghana
‘Rush hour lasts all day in Accra!’ – Ofentse Mwase

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A frozen river in the US.
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The Huia Dam in Auckland, New Zealand. Brendon Dixon

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Friction Five: Do You Speak Video?

Friction Five: Do You Speak Video?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or you have the will power of a saint and haven’t yet succumbed to the social media zombie habits that most of us have been all but consumed by,  you wont be surprised to hear how incredibly popular video has become online.

Entertaining, evocative and educational; video is a language which everyone speaks. In terms of engaging your customers, video does the hard work so you don’t have to, and in an insightful, personal way (if you want it to).

Here’s five quick, digestible reasons why video is the future and how it can help you and your business, whatever it may be.

1.Traffic

We’re not talking road rage, fumes and horns. This is the good kind; engaging humans. The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website that has a video, 50% of mobile traffic is used on videos. By 2019, 80% of traffic in the internet will be due to videos. This is more than 3/4 of virtual traffic. As a business owner, having a killer strategy and a flow of creative video content for your brand is key if you want to stay on top.

2. More clicks

When you include a video in an email, the click-through rate increases by 200% – 300%. This is why heavy text-based emails are replaced by simple yet engaging videos. Make sure to add “video” on your subject line.

3. More SEO

A study that was conducted on search engine results pages revealed that more people prefer video results than text. Videos prove to be eye-catching and interesting. It encourages people to stay longer in a specific site. When you are posting your video to YouTube, make sure that the title matches how someone would search for what you are posting.

4. More Viewers

60% of video viewers are likely to watch more than two-thirds of the video. When compared against text-based marketing methods, videos promise higher rates of retention.

5. Let it shine

And by that we mean your personality. One of the most fundamental benefits of video is to be able to tell your story. Video is a quick and effective way of creatively communicating your passions, your skills and your offer as a business or brand. With video there are a lot of aspects you can control which, when combined together allow your personality to shine through. For example the sound or song choice, the words or dialogue, the way your video is shot, what you choose to shoot or include in the final cut are all creative choices which allow your audience to get to know you a little better, and ultimately feel an affinity or appreciation for you or your brand.

Friction Five: The Rituals of 5 Highly Creative People

Friction Five: The Rituals of 5 Highly Creative People

All creatives know it can be hard to just BE creative on demand. There is no button we can push, no pill we can take. If you’re house is sparkling due to some very successful procrastinating and you’ve ran out of all other possible faffing avenues it might help to look instead at the habits of the creative greats and see how they keep their creative little trains choo-chooing.
If you love these, check out the amazing book by Mason Curry Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.

Stephen King

Writer Stephen King starts every day at 8 to 8:30 a.m. and doesn’t stop until he reaches his daily goal of 2,000 words, usually between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Before sitting down to write, he takes a multivitamin with a glass of water or cup of tea and makes sure the papers on his desk are arranged meticulously. “The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day,” he told his biographer, Lisa Rogak, “seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”

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Bernard Malamud

Bernard Malamud stuck to a disciplined routine from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day which usually resulted in a page or two of finished copy. He scoffed at the idea of mimicking the work rituals of great writers. “You write by sitting down and writing,” he once said. “There’s no particular time or place, you suit yourself, your nature…. The real mystery to crack is you.”

Twyla Tharp

Choreographer Twyla Tharp’s dance begins at 5:30 a.m., when she wakes up, throws on her workout clothes, and calls a taxi to her gym on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put into my body through each morning at the gym; the ritual is the taxi,” she wrote in her book, The Creative Habit. “The moment I tell the driver where to go I have completed the ritual.”

Maya Angelou

Author Maya Angelou’s solution was to go into isolation. She had trouble writing in her beautiful home because “I can’t work in a pretty surrounding. It throws me.” So she rented a small hotel room with a bed, a wash basin, and little else. “I try to get there around seven, and I work until two in the afternoon,” she told interviewer Claudia Tate. “If the work is going badly, I stay until 12:30. If it’s going well, I’ll stay as long as it’s going well. It’s lonely, and it’s marvellous.” On returning home, Angelou showered and prepared dinner, so that when her husband arrived, she wouldn’t be totally absorbed in her work. But sometimes after dinner she would read to him what she’d written that day. “He doesn’t comment,” she added. “I don’t invite comments from anyone but my editor, but hearing it aloud is good. Sometimes I hear the dissonance; then I try to straighten it out in the morning.”

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Garrison Keillor

Storyteller and radio host Garrison Keillor avoids the lure of the internet by writing on a legal pad with a rollerball pen. “I don’t think that one should sit and look at a blank page,”. “The way around it is to walk around with scrap paper and to take notes, and simply to take notes of the observable world around you…I think everything everything starts with the observable world.”