We represent incredible filmmakers. And incredible filmmakers make incredible films. This article is simply a celebration of that fact. Through a two part series — one surrounding advertising, and another surrounding narrative pieces — we’re highlight the best films of 2016 from our filmmakers.
There are more people making films today than there ever have been. More importantly, there are more people making great films too. That’s why you could throw a rock and hit a Filmsupply filmmaker who’s received some sort of award, be it a festival winner, Staff Pick, or anything else. That’s what made Part 2 of our ‘best of’ articles so difficult — there’s so much good filmmaking going on. The best, however, balance technical and visual panache with something that completely draws you in. All 5 of these films represent our case in point. Enjoy.
Abraham Joffe | Tales by Light
This incredible series from Abraham Joffe was large enough to deserve its own article on our sister company’s blog. It’s a massive undertaking that explores the story behind some of the world’s most iconic photographs taken across the globe. With the first season now streaming on Netflix, and the second soon to come, don’t miss out on what it means to make a great documentary in the 21st century.
License Abraham Joffe’s footage here.
Dan DiFelice | Carved in Mayhem
There’s a reason Dan DiFelice has become one of the most sought-after talents in our industry. It’s not his incredible style or knack for building a spine-tingling moment. It’s his ability to give a story exactly what it needs — not too little or too much. The Staff-Picked Carved in Mayhem, produced by the talented team at Neighborhood Film Co., is an exercise in both restraint and swing-for-the-fences filmmaking. It’s both chilling and inspirational. Something that’ll stick with you long after the first viewing.
License Dan DiFelice’s footage here.
Todd Martin | Nzinga
Sports can become a microcosm for something much larger. It doesn’t need to be pointed out or mentioned, but something understood. Todd Martin, who was the DP for this stark portrait of Olympic fencer Nzingha Prescod, how to frame this compelling story — about a woman who’s breaking boundaries not just as an athlete, but as a human being. What could have easily been a simple portrait of an athlete turned out to be so much more, thanks to the clean, visual style and camerawork from a filmmaker with a vision.
License Todd Martin’s footage here.
Brooklyn Aerials | Balance
It would be easy to say there’s no narrative at all in Brooklyn Aerials’ Balance. It’s simply a montage of New York City from every imaginable angle. The production team is doing drone work that no one else has seen before, and they used it to their full advantage. But this hypnotic, Staff-Picked piece seems to have something hidden underneath the surface. From the scripted first frame and throughout the ominous overtones, what begins as a simple exercise in aerial footage quickly turns into something that completely changes your perception and depth of field. Maybe that’s the entire point.
License Brooklyn Aerials’ footage here.
Elle Ginter | Why We Wake
Some things are difficult to talk about. Those exact same things are even more difficult to make into a film. Director Elle Ginter found a way to turn the subject of depression into a beautiful, heartbreaking portrait of a mental health disorder for her short film Why We Wake. You may be thinking that it may be difficult to watch. But with Elle’s gentle approach and skill for framing an artful scene, she made this film not only something that can be watched, but something that should be watched.
License Elle Ginter’s footage here.
Bonus: Variable | Before Mars
This incredible piece didn’t really fit into a category, probably because they invented this particularly category. But it was so good that we had to include it in our ‘best of’ list. Variable and National Geographic teamed up for this groundbreaking new form of narrative — a cinematic precursor leading up to the release of the network’s massive Mars series premiere. It’s a new form of how content can be promoted, through a full-on narrative story. Call it advertising. Call it branded content. We call it great.
License Variable’s footage here.We know. We know. Everybody has a ‘best of the year’ list in some form or fashion. But this is our small way of saying that we’re damn proud of the filmmakers we represent. They’re seriously talented artists and incredible people. It’s an honor to work with them on a daily basis, and we can’t wait to add more of their work to our ever-growing catalog. Until next year.