NYC-based post house Nice Shoes collaborated with a talented array of filmmakers and creatives on five pieces in competition at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival. Projects included feature films The Incomparable Rose Hartman, The Dwarvenaut, and collective:unconscious, short film These C*cksucking Tears, and the title sequence for the 2016 Nitehawk Shorts Festival.
Nice Shoes Creative Studio developed an animated narrative deconstructing the brand elements of the Brooklyn-based boutique theater Nitehawk Cinema to craft the opening sequence for the 3rd annual Nitehawk Shorts Festival. The piece, which pairs a classic story of predator VS prey with subtle references to the history of film, was a finalist in the Excellence In Title Design competition, and screened Sunday, March 13 at the Alamo Ritz 2.
Nice Shoes Colorist Chris Ryan lent his talents to two films in the documentary category, The Incomparable Rose Hartman, directed by Otis Mass which made its debut March 12th at the Alamo Lamar B; and The Dwarvenaut, directed by Josh Bishop and produced by Nate Taylor, which also debuted March 12th, at the Alamo Ritz 1.
On The Incomparable Rose Hartman, Ryan worked closely with Mass to infuse the footage with the energy of the iconic photo imagery captured by Hartman over the years. “There was a lot of color in Otis’s footage, and we worked to accentuate that, giving the interview scenes a high fashion feel that fit in with Rose’s famous photography,” explained Ryan.
“I’ve considered Chris both a friend and my favorite colorist for many years,” said Mass. “I knew working with him we’d be able to create the poppy explosion of kaleidoscopic color across the screen that would let every interview mirror the colorful story and take the viewer on a visual journey. His eye is unbeatable and I’m so fortunate to have worked with such high end talent on this film we are very proud of.”
A Dungeons and Dragons fan himself, Ryan was immediately drawn into the concept of The Dwarvenaut, a film about artist Stefan Pokorny and his quest to bring his most ambitious miniature sculpture project to life through a multi-million dollar Kickstarter campaign. Ryan worked with the filmmakers to develop several distinct looks for the film. “We created one that made the macro photography of the miniatures feel as though they were sets from the Lord of the Rings, as well as another look that amped up the drama of footage where Stefan was playing D&D,” said Ryan. “We created two more looks for the live action footage captured around Brooklyn and Venice. We played with a more natural, muted look for Brooklyn, and for Venice we went with something that accentuated the beauty of the city - they wanted it to look like an old master’s painting.”
Director Lily Baldwin, who worked with four other filmmakers on the omnibus feature collective:unconscious, enlisted Nice Shoes colorist Sal Malfitano to grade her film entitled Swallowed, in which a suburban mom's life is upturned by a parasite growing inside of her. “We used color to build a world where everything feels normal, while subtly undermining that normality. It all needed to stay very close to reality, aside from a dance sequence, which Lily said was the ‘parasite personified,’ where we created a very stylized look that fully breaks from the world we established earlier,” said Malfitano. collective:unconscious premiered as part of the Narrative Competition on Sunday March 13th at the Vimeo Theater.
Colorist Ashley Ayarza collaborated with director Dan Taberski on These C*cksucking Tears, a short documentary that explores the life and career of Pat Haggerty, a country singer who wrote and performed the first gay-themed country album in 1973. Taberski worked with Ayarza to add a “grit and nicotine stain” to the footage of Haggerty going through his day-to-day, while bringing out lavender colors in the performance footage, appropriate to Haggerty’s band name of “Lavender Country.” The film screened on Sunday March 13th at the Tofer Theater, and was honored with the Documentary Shorts Jury Award.