Totally forgot to post this article. It was sitting there, abandoned and neglected in my Unpublished bin. Here it is:
(header image by Jon Simo)
I have a lot of awesome friends who are incredibly creative and inspiring and I thought I would
namedrop share some of their best work from this past year as well as have a go-to playlist of their best work.
Mike Palmer & Jon Simo
Roaming Focus is a cool, ongoing photography series but this episode was on another level. An incredibly interesting discovery episode that takes a decrepit environment and shows it in a really creepy, cool way. Beyond being a showcase of Mike’s photography, it’s exploratory and Jon’s cinematography captures the eeriness of the setting. Mike’s work looks great but I dig how it also serves as a BTS for his process, sharing how he captures his images. Both Jon and Mike are photographers and both have pretty awesome Instagram feeds. You can follow Jon here and Mike here.
Made a few years back but it’s been on the festival circuit until now, my Maritimes actor pal Glen Matthews has finally shared his directorial debut with the rest of us plebs. It absolutely blew me away when I first saw it. As an actor, Glen really gets performance and how to squeeze an actor’s potential out of the camera. The performances are great and how they deliver Glen’s intense dialogue really honours the amazingly clever script. I mean, this script people. This script. Glen’s second short, Saving Face, is doing festival rounds and will be public next year so follow him on Vimeo now. It’s also great, I snuck a peek.
Cameron is the guy basically responsible for teaching me how to be a competent editor. He is also the king of Facebook feed comedic status updates. He’s also part of a sketch comedy duo called Bitches Leave, yes, that’s right. Oh, oh, wait, I’m not quite done plugging Cameron. He’s also the editor behind that WestJet Christmas video you all loved so much last year. Yeah, he’s the guy that warmed all your hearts. Now watch as he rips that heart out in this new NSFW skit he directed–yeah, apparently he does that too.
Aaron Gaistman & Andrew Cariboni
Andrew and Aaron understand music on such another level I just nod and agree with whatever they suggest or recommend. These are guys that don’t lean on what’s already working but are constantly trying to find new, cool ways to approach their own work and surprise their listeners. Their latest project, Identikit is some of their most realized work yet. They’ve got a bunch more to come in 2015.
Tristan and I know each other because of video games and a general disdain for retail. However, Tristan is also a much better illustrator than I am. He has proved this by giving me an awesome piece that has found a home on my wall. He has spent the last two years sharing his sketches and finished pieces. Too often, I find line drawings lack expression and personality, but Tristan’s are overflowing with it. Plus they are mildly disturbing. In September he had some pieces in a Simpson’s Art Show in Kensington where he made some baseball cards from Homer at Bat – how can you argue with that? You can’t. That’s how. I’ve included a few random pieces here because they all awesome.
Rob Scarborough & Matt Atkinson
These guys are like Deakins & Coens – they go together nicely and they seem pretty inseparable. Their work always looks and feels nice and textured, there is clearly a lot of passion here.
Sean co-directed a series of bizarrely genius spots for Oatmeal Crisp. I mean, just look at this! It’s madness! Sheer madness! I don’t know if this is actually 2014, and frankly, I don’t care. Sean is one of the nicest and most imaginative guys you’ll ever meet, and has a signature style that reflects it. Just browse through the rest of his goldmine of a Vimeo channel to see for yourself. Oh, we also did this little music video together, so why don’t you be a doll and click this big block of text to watch it. Cool!
Super Geometry / The Kingdom
The problem with Nate is that you can’t just plug one thing. He is a multidisciplinary artist who is madly prolific. Easily the most prolific person I know. Nate’s self-labelled title is “Professional Pervert”. Even his digital abstract art is named things like “Whore.” or “Fake tits/Cocaine (Miami)” I actually have no idea how you’d go about describing his work. It’s some cross-section between acid-glitch-porn-chic. Yes, I went to art school. He is amazingly unpretentious about his work. His abstract stuff becomes weekly Facebook guessing games of what everyone sees in the images and that’s brilliant. Oh, he has also sold out like a little bitch and started a company. Just kidding — his company, Huely Socks, (of course Nate would have a sock company of all things) is just as authentic and artist & culture oriented as his personal work. He never compromises on his perverted vision. I also dig his The Kingdom series on his website. http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-30639751/photos
Justin Brennon Smith & Nate Kogan
Justin and Nate are two crazy and passionate artists. Mostly crazy though. Both have their outlets but a shared appreciation for deep house (or something). Justin has a perfectionist streak and their frequent output continues to show growth and progress. This one is from mid-last year and no doubt Justin would say R+D has evolved tenfold since then. So imagine this times 10 by now. Great editing music.
My old pal Keith — remember, we did Van Gore together! — has been busy writing scripts on the daily. When he does get one to camera, he pulls out all his stops. He is a natural with dialogue and DPing his own work has really developed into a classy style. All of his work can be described as chamber dramas with a focus on character. Oppenheimer is an interesting figure and Keith seeks to reveal some of his humanity.
Kevin is a beast of a human. Every day is the best day of his life. And it really comes across in his work. He’s easily one of the most talented photographers and cinematographers I know and the least pretentious. I think he has taken photos of the majority of my Facebook friends judging by daily additions consuming my News Feed and how almost everyones profile photo seems to be shot by him! — hell, he will probably even take your picture if you ask him! Through his series you can really see him grow as a photographer which is a cool result of being so creatively active. Also, he has the best apartment in Toronto. (He also turned me into Doc Ock)
Simo makes yet another appearance on this list. This guy’s creative output is insane. He also explores different mediums from cinematography to photography to editing to music production. This ‘friends’ series is the epitome of Simo: creating cool shit and involving his friends for no apparent reason other than he likes to do it.