Arts & Culture

We’ve had the amazing fortune to work with contemporary artists like Christo, Olafur Eliasson, Michael Craig Martin, Cristina Iglesias, Tai Shani, Pae White, Elmtree & Dragset, Mark Wallinger, Matt Collishaw, Yayoi Kusama and David Tremlett, as well as curators, conservationists and artisans.

And then - collected over a decade like cultural badges of honour - we‘ve spent time filming with some of the most august artistic and cultural institutions in the UK and abroad, including The National Gallery, Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Sorolla, Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Tate Britain, Serpentine Galleries, London Mithraeum, The Creative Land Trust, The Hispanic Society of America, The Arts Council, the Royal College of Art and Central St. Martins.

We probably shouldn’t admit that we prefer working in one sector over another, but - truth be told - making videos about Arts & Culture is what we do most joyfully at NextShoot. Software as a Service videos, bring ‘em on. We’ll give it our all. But, we’re only human and we have our preferences.

With videos related to the Arts & Culture sector the content of each video differs, but there are common denominators. Whichever corner of the cultural landscape you visit, whether contemporary or historical, you find people with a passion for their work and with a strong desire to share their particular vision of the world. Of course, as filmmakers we can relate to this. These artists carry their personal stories into their creativity, which requires contextualising, and their output needs to be placed within a historical framework also. And then there are the techniques of fabrication, from the application of white paint to canvas with bravura brushstrokes in the case of Sorolla, to the transportation of glacial ice from Greenland to London with Olafur Eliasson’s Icewatch.

And through the interactions we have with makers, dancers, performers, curators and critics, we are reminded of the pursuit of truth through Art, reflecting our own efforts as professional filmmakers and simply as humans. And that’s not too shabby for a day’s work.
The National Gallery - Christmas Campaigns

NextShoot has worked with The National Gallery in London on their marketing and communications videos across a broad range of content including three Christmas campaigns - Angels, Stars and Gold! Each campaign explored Christmassy themes drawn from the gallery’s permanent collection, with four long films and a number of Social Media shorts created each year.

In the final campaign, with its exploration of gold in the paintings and frames in the National Gallery, we speak with not only curators, but heads of the Scientific and Restoration departments to understand more about historic gilding and burnishing processes and why we should all be reading Benvenuto Cellini before applying any gold leaf ourselves.

Each year we aimed to raise the bar with this arts video content. For example, we made a virtue of having to film against a backdrop for Gold! by carefully colour-blocking the outfits of each contributor to stand out against the warm background. As ever with video production for art galleries, the quality of the curatorial knowledge and the paintings themselves are what give the content its lustre. Our role is to shape that material, adding music and graphics and, in the case of these seasonal campaigns, a little Yuletide sparkle.

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The National Gallery - Christmas Campaigns The National Gallery - Christmas Campaigns
Creative Land Trust Creative Land Trust
Creative Land Trust

For young artists in London finding an affordable studio space has become near impossible, forcing many would-be fine artists to become graphic artists so they can work on a laptop from a coffee shop.

The Creative Land Trust was set up to secure long-term, affordable work spaces for creatives and artists to ensure a future for the capital’s ceramicists, sculptors and painters. We were invited to produce a video to mark the launch of the organisation.

We filmed interviews with artists, studio managers, investors, the Arts Council and the Office of the Mayor of London. These contributions were blended with broll and edited to paint a picture of the current landscape while underlining the invaluable contribution of Art to society and the national economy and the necessity of affordable space to support artists in creating their work.

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The Bloomberg Writing Tablets

When archaeologists from MOLA gained access to the site of what would become Bloomberg’s European HQs in the heart of the City of London (and at the edge of what was once Roman London), they hoped they might find one or two Roman writing tablets. In fact, in the damp earth 40 feet below today’s street level they found over 400, of which over 90 bore decipherable text. Dating from 50 to 80 AD they are the earliest written documents found in Britain.

The tablets were made of wood cut from the staves of enormous wine barrels into which an inset was chiseled and filled with blackened wax. It was into this wax that words were scribed with a stylus, a sharp metal tool. Today the wax has disappeared, but in some fortunate cases the words written in the wax two millennia ago have left an impression in the wood.

NextShoot was privileged to be asked to produce a film documenting the discovery, deciphering and preservation of these Roman writing tablets. Some of them have true historic significance. One tablet bears the first ever mention in the written record of London. But the deciphered messages paint a picture of Roman London from which threads are strung across time to our contemporary capital: a judge calls a pretrial hearing, one merchant berates another for the money he is owed, and a child practices the alphabet.

The tablets also provide 100 names of people of all different professions and social classes who lived in London at the time - from slaves and merchants to soldiers and politicians - and so with the discovery of the Bloomberg Writing Tablets we are also uncovering the voices of the very first Londoners.

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The Bloomberg Writing Tablets The Bloomberg Writing Tablets
David Downton, Fashion Artist David Downton, Fashion Artist
David Downton, Fashion Artist

Our video agency was invited by Chinese media giant Hantang Culture to produce a fashion film that portrayed the inspirations and work of fashion illustrator David Downton.

David Downton has produced portraits from life of some of the world’s most iconic women, including Catherine Deneuve, Iman and Cate Blanchett and boasts a commercial client list that features Chanel, Dior and Tiffany & Co..

Since 2011 David has been inking the portraits of guests from the world of style at Claridge’s in his role as its first ever Fashion Artist in Residence. We caught up with David at the world famous hotel, in the Fumoir Bar and later in a sumptuous suite, as he went about drawing his sitter for the day, former cult film actress and queen of vintage, Virginia Bates.

The format - a scripted voiceover captured on location, supported by highly filmic cinematography - allowed our DoP Tomas Frigstad to focus on lensing the most beautiful shots in the most illustrious of surroundings. He did not falter, he did not fail!

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The National Gallery - Courtauld Impressionists

NextShoot created a series of short films for the National Gallery’s 2018-19 blockbuster show ‘Courtauld Impressionists’ featuring paintings by Manet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Renoir and Van Gogh.

Major Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterworks from the Courtauld Gallery, bought in the 1920s by Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947), were on display. These were hung alongside paintings from the National Gallery’s own collection which the industrialist and philanthropist financed and helped to acquire.

We produced a series of five films: an introductory video, and then one film focusing on Cézanne, Manet, Renoir and Seurat, each of which explored two major works featured in the exhibition - one owned by the National Gallery and one by the Courtauld Gallery.

The show's curator, Anne Robbins, gave wonderful insights into each work, which we complemented with illustrative shots of the masterpieces including some innovative angles filmed on a motion-control slider. The end result is a series of elucidating long-form videos and Social Media shorts that successfully promoted the exhibition across all of the gallery's platforms.

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The National Gallery - Courtauld Impressionists The National Gallery - Courtauld Impressionists
Bloomberg London, Artists Bloomberg London, Artists
Bloomberg London, Artists

During the four years that we covered every aspect of the construction and fit-out of Bloomberg’s London HQs, we were fortunate to film with a number of the renowned artists whose works contribute to the interior and public spaces there. These included Pae White, David Tremlett, Arturo Herrera, Cristina Iglesias, Michael Craig Martin and Olafur Eliasson. We interviewed the artists, filmed the finished artworks and in many cases shot the fabrication process. The materials, medium and creation process used for each piece of art could not have varied more dramatically.

Our crew was in Ghent (Belgium) to see tests for Pae White’s tapestry ‘Pomona’. The final work, a suite of three tapestries spanning 40 feet that welcomes guests in the pre-function space, weaves together the artist’s fascination with historic textiles and the natural world and features a sparkling blend of metallic threads.

The film team also visited Bilbao (Spain) to witness how the moulds of branches and leaves for Cristina Iglesias’s piece ‘Forgotten Streams’ were cast in the foundry in bronze, polished and arranged as a multi-layered water sculpture. The artist drew inspiration from the ancient Walbrook river which once ran across the site, and so water ebbs and flows over the completed sculptures, positioned in two of the site’s public plazas,

We were also blessed to visit Friedrichsdorf (Germany) to film the milling and polishing of some of the 400 square metres of aluminum used in Olafur Eliasson’s ‘No future is possible without a past’. The work features in the building in two parts. The first crowns the Vortex, the dynamic lobby space, where its undulating surface of polished aluminium reflects the busy activity below. The piece’s counterpart, located directly above this on the next floor, sits at the base of a dramatic bronze-clad ramp that spirals to the building’s eighth floor. Eliasson’s piece shimmers like the surface of a pond, appearing as the topside of a body of water previously viewed from below.

Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project

The Louis Vuitton Young Arts project was a cultural and creative collaboration with five leading art institutions in London - Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, Hayward Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts, South London Gallery (SLG)- to promote a new cohort of young creative art students from across London.

NextShoot was there to film the launch event in Covent Garden and we then created the ongoing video content for the programme working in conjunction with SLG and the young artists associated with the project.

A part of our contribution to the programme was to guide and mentor the young artists in preparing for and conducting their interviews with artists, curators and conservators.

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Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project
Sergei Pollunin, Dancer Sergei Pollunin, Dancer
Sergei Pollunin, Dancer

In Spring 2019 our London-based video agency was invited to visit Belgrade in Serbia and later to Verona in Italy to capture material for a short profile film about the world-famous ballet dancer Sergei Pollunin.

The film, commissioned for the Chinese market, was for a strand with an established format: simply a voiceover from the protagonist, supported by beautiful cinematography. A filmmaker’s dream.

We joined Sergei in Belgrade, where he was rehearsing in the practice rooms of the National Theatre. We filmed his warm-ups and rehearsals on two Arri Alexa Minis with a set of Cooke S4s. At floor-level we set up ten metres of track allowing us to follow Sergei and his dance partners with quick, smooth movements. Besides dynamic dance shots we knew we would need a variety of sequences in the edit and so we also filmed Sergei walking through the theatre’s stark corridors on a gimbal, amongst the plush red velvet seating of the auditorium and on the terrace overlooking the city lights at night.

In the Summer we headed to Verona to capture more material of Sergei and his dance company performing, fittingly enough, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Roman amphitheatre. The footage was combined and edited together with the voiceover track into a film that not only captures the physicality and dynamism of one of the greatest male dancers of the century, but that reveals his inner thoughts on his art, passions and new directions.

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The Royal Shakespeare Company

Aside from putting on plays, The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is dedicated to making Shakespeare accessible and enjoyable for young people and to supporting pupils studying Shakespeare as part of the national curriculum. As part of this drive, we were approached by the RSC to structure, film and edit a series of educational videos to help students studying Shakespeare at GCSE and A-Level.

For each film, which would form part of the RSC's 'Shakespeare Learning Zone', we worked with cast members and the directors of recently staged RSC productions. Their group exploration of the text, rehearsal exercises and performances of key scenes gave students behind-the-scenes access to the creative process and illustrated how meaning can be drawn from the words and rhythms of Shakespeaere’s plays.

For our video production agency - which specialises in creating educational video content for schools, colleges, universities and institutions - the challenges were to find suitable structures for the videos, ensure there was ample video coverage of often large groups of actors, and to capture high quality sound from a number of performers working unrehearsed in a big space.

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The Royal Shakespeare Company The Royal Shakespeare Company
The National Gallery - Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light The National Gallery - Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light
The National Gallery - Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light

In 2019, The National Gallery opened ‘Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light’, the first UK show of Spain’s Impressionist, Sorolla, in over a century. Known as the ‘master of light’ for his iridescent canvases, this was a rare opportunity to see such a comprehensive exhibition of the works of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863–1923) outside of Spain.

NextShoot was commissioned to produce a series of videos in support of the exhibition, exploring Sorolla’s life and times and some of his most notable works, with filming in the UK, Spain and the United States.

The completed video assets included three introductory films to promote the exhibition in advance of its opening and for marketing use throughout its duration, a 20 minute documentary covering every aspect of Sorolla’s life which was screened in a cinema room adjacent to the exhibition, and a number of short-form vox-pop videos captured at the exhibition opening for use on Social Media.

We hope that these examples above - which feature every type of artistic output, dance, archaeology and theatre - illustrate the quality and depth of work in the Arts & Culture sector. If your organisation is looking for a corporate video production company in London that specialises in high quality video production for art organisations, galleries, dance or theatre companies then you need look no further.

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The National Gallery Company

While NextShoot has a great deal of experience in creating content about art and artists, we have also produced material that relates to the business activities in this sector.

The National Gallery Company (the NGC) is involved in a variety of commercial activities to financially support the Gallery: running the online shop as well as the physical stores within in the Gallery; operating its restaurants and cafés; publishing books about the National Gallery collections; managing spaces for hire by the public; and licensing reproductions and crops of its paintings.

NextShoot was invited to make a positioning video that explained the National Gallery Company's offering. The video included case studies with three companies that have licensed imagery from the Gallery’s collection. Refreshed over time to include relevant case studies, the video has kept the original structure: an introduction from Susan Foister, the Gallery’s Deputy Director; an outline of the NGC business model and introductions to each case study by the Buying and Brand Licensing Director, Judith Mather; and testimonial interviews with company reps from the featured case studies.

Besides the interviews, the videos feature packshots of the NGC products on offer and also video footage relevant to each case study. The end result is informative and engaging and supports NextShoot’s reputation as one of the best corporate video production companies in London in creating content for the Arts sector.

The National Gallery Company The National Gallery Company

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