Having worked with Luke for the past few years for clients such as Sofology and UCLAN, we're thrilled to have him as part of our official roster. Read all about the boy wonder below...
What do you enjoy most about shooting for brands?
I enjoy working with people who are incredibly passionate about the brand they work for. It’s nice making things for people who the films really matter to. I’ve had a couple of clients cry at the impact of my work for them now and it’s a wonderful feeling to know you’ve shared the experience of making something that goes beyond just selling a product.
Which project has been your most informative to date?
Every project is informative in some way. I recently shot a music video on film and that was a real exercise in disciplined storytelling. It keeps you sharp in pre-production and on-set when you know the camera is burning through budget every time it turns over.
Do you enjoy collaborating with other directors?
I tend to approach non-commercial projects with a relatively singular mindset, I see a massive benefit in putting ideas past creative friends that I trust, but when it comes to directing I think i’m too much of a megalomaniac to split duties!
How do you push a script to exceed client expectations?
I’ve always found the best way to exceed a clients expectations is to truly understand their expectations in the first place. This means I have a tendency to ask a million questions early in the process, i find that understanding why a client wants a certain something in their film allows me to suggest other, potentially more interesting solutions to the challenges of a brief. Ask, listen, understand, then get creative.
Which clients have been a dream to work with?
Where to start. BBC Creative were fun to work with last year, a really experienced but not atall stuck in their ways team. I’m a massive petrol head so the guys and girls at Jaguar really indulged me when I shot with them.
Have you had to work in any challenging locations? How did you handle it?
I recently shot a music video with the artist playing a piano in the North Sea, he couldn’t swim which he had kept quiet up until he was up to his neck in water. We still got the shot but never again.
What can film do that other media forms can’t?
Film is just a very complete medium for storytelling. Music can of course speak to different parts of you, but I find film can transport the viewer instantly into a whole new universe, it can speak to all of the senses, its very visceral.
Who is the most important and or influential person for you in the world of film right now?
Ooo, I’m not completely sure how to answer that accurately but I’ll give it a go. I think David Fincher is the blueprint, from commercials and music videos, through to Hollywood blockbusters, and more recently he seems to have cracked the VOD transition, all whilst maintaining a unique aesthetic.
What concept, idea or technique do you think is most underused? Which is overhyped?
I’ve seen the point of view, partners leading each other by the hand holiday commercial about a million times now.
What recent technological innovation has had the biggest impact on your work?
I like to choreograph very detailed camera moves long before the shoot day, so my drawing tablet really helps with prepping for that. On-set I love a bit of MOCO, it opens the door for some really interesting concepts that would otherwise be enormously VFX heavy.
Do you think filmmakers have a responsibility to make challenging, socially conscious work?
In personal work yes, I think any passion project you make should be trying to communicate something you have felt or thought. In the commercial world it’s a little more tricky to make something truly challenging or with a deeper message, at that point it’s important to just make sure you’re putting out work that you are morally and ethically comfortable with.
When inspiration is waning, when creativity is sapped, how do you stay inspired?
I like to switch to the logical side of my brain when creativity is low. That tends to mean obsessing over kit, speaking with my DOP about potential innovations and looking at things from a technical viewpoint, I find this tends to lead me back to a creative mindset.
How do you know when your story is finished and it’s time to walk away?
Ah, I’d love to know the answer to that, It’s hard not to obsess too much in the edit, it’s not something I’ve really mastered so working with a good editor who can tell me when I’ve gone down the rabbit hole is great.
What non-film medium inspires your work?
Books and podcasts mostly, I like reading old travelogues and obscurities that my other half finds infinitely boring.
Is the evolution of your style a conscious or subconscious process?
I’m a strong believer in the idea that the work you love is the work you do. Film making at a high standard is inherently difficult, time consuming and almost always brings you close to heartbreak so you really really have to love an idea enough to keep waking up at 3am thinking about it.
I’ve found the evolution of my style has come solely from making the work I love enough to stick with, creative darwinism I guess.
How do you balance meeting commercial objectives without sacrificing your art?
I find that what it all boils down to is always having the clients best interest at heart, If you think pushing the creative will give them a better film then do it, if you’re adding elements purely for your own sake then you aren’t serving the client and brief as purely as you should be.
Always having passion projects or music videos going on means I am creatively nourished.
What’s going on in your world when you’re not looking through a lens?
I can normally be found under an old car that is going to financially ruin me, I never learn though and wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m on my 39th car in less than a decade of driving, I just can’t help myself.
What’s your advice for emerging filmmakers wanting to make their stamp in the industry?
Have a stamp! It’s super cliche but you really do have to have a ‘thing’ that is yours. Don’t compromise on that in your personal projects. Make stuff, always.
What are you most looking forward to with your adventure with The Gate?
Working with a team that are a great laugh and enjoy what they do. Crew who know when to give me decaf because I’ve had too much caffeine. Office dogs.