The Lexus Short Films project is well under way with the announcement today that New Zealand studio Special Problems has been selected to create the third film in the series.
[youvid embded=’t’ vid=’nL3nTsjGfCY’]Based in Auckland, Joel Kefali and Campbell Hooper started out working in graphic design and fine art. They have created music videos, films and adverts for the likes of Alicia Keys, Hewlett Packard, the Naked and Famous, Flying Lotus, Tame Impala and the New Zealand Film Commission.
Hooper’s short 43,000ft premiered in competition at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Short at the Traverse City Festival. Special Problems’ commercial work has also picked up a number of international awards.
Hooper said: “We’re really excited about doing the Lexus Short Films series. In terms of having a project where we could pursue some sort of creative path without too much restriction it is a really unique opportunity.”
Hooper and Kefali describe their process as highly collaborative, with them often sharing and switching filming, editing and directing duties. Their work usually combines live action, animation, dazzling special effects and innovative editing.
Hooper said: “The fact we come from a fine art background as opposed to a traditional film school makes a big difference to the way we approach [film]. A lot of our visual vocabulary is almost about pushing it to [look like]… a painting surface.”
Kefali added: “The art direction is very important – the design, the lighting, all those formal elements, they inform the emotion I think as much as the performance would.”
The Lexus Short Films project was developed by Lexus USA alongside Hollywood powerhouse studio the Weinstein Company. It will see five up-and-coming directors create short films that express life as an amazing experience.