During summer of 2011, a Chicago-based filmmaking collective called Scenic that I founded with longtime collaborators Mark Wisniowski and Ryan Sievert had just finished a series of independently-produced music videos. We were all agency creatives, motivated to spend our free time working on passion projects for artists we cared about. Tim Navis, an incredibly talented LA-based fashion/landscape photographer, had casually reached out to discuss the idea of shooting a process piece in Iceland with Danish photographer and peer Kim Holtermand. The idea was to show how both photographers could shoot in one location and be inspired to depict their experience in completely different visual ways.
We began searching for a music producer to come along for the ride – to travel alongside the imagemakers, documenting the sounds that accompanied the sights. We enlisted producer and composer Benjamin Wynn, aka Deru, to score and curate a full LP’s worth of contributions from the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Shigeto, Loscil, Son Lux, Eskmo and more. When the crew grew to 7, the concept for this process piece transformed from being about two photographers' journey to that of a team of creative artists meeting for the first time in a foreign land. To collectively and collaboratively document the experience, and transform the resulting material into some sort of cultural record that people could hold in their hands.
Crowdfunding via Kickstarter
In order to achieve the level of production quality we wanted in both the physical packaging and the film itself, we decided to raise funds on Kickstarter. In 45 days, our group raised over $48k via 500+ backers. Response was incredible, but it took considerable effort to convince so many people to help send us on a journey with no real script or concrete themes. But thanks to the power of the internet, we set out for Iceland in October of 2011 for under 9 days – armed with field recorders, digital cameras, Super 8mm, Polaroid, medium format, 35mm, notebooks, and an aggressively-planned route around Ring Road.
The result: an intimate road trip meditation about 7 artists meeting and collaborating for the first time in a foreign land, outside of their element. A documentary film, musical score, book of postcards, art prints, and live audio-visual performance.
Physical box sets of the film and score were a limited-edition release of 500, and are now sold out. However, digital copies of the film are available in 1080p and 720p. Follow us on Facebook to for the latest.
"Black Beach" by Deru
Teaser Trailers 1-3