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International Motion Art Awards: Sandro Miller Interprets Artist Nick Cave

By David Schonauer   Thursday May 22, 2014


Earlier this year, we featured Chicago-based photographer and filmmaker Sandro Miller’s International Motion Art Award-winning short piece Ecstasy, an unsettling nightmare featuring actor John Malkovich as a drugged-out nightclub denizen named Vinny—the absolutely last person on Earth you’d ever want to party with. This week we’re back with another IMAA winner from Miller. Titled Nick Cave: Dream Bigger Dreams, it is a compilation of eight video pieces created to accompany an exhibition by the noted artist at the Fantastic 2012 art extravaganza in Lille, France. “I created images of ideas that came from his visionary imagination,” notes Miller. “The process is truly one of getting into an artist’s head and seeing and thinking as he does. Collaborating with Nick was like a journey into fantasia and the surreal world.” Here, Miller describes how the work came about.

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International Motion Art Awards
Nick Cave: Dream Bigger Dreams
By Sandro Miller

After establishing a booming career as a commercial and fine-art photographer, Sandro Miller moved into motion a number of years ago, after Nikon hired him to create a piece with one of the new DSLRs it was then introducing—cameras that shot both stills and high-definition video. Among his efforts was an avant-garde video called Butterflies, featuring a friend and longtime portrait subject, actor John Malkovich. The work earned Miller the top spot at the 2011 Saatchi & Saatchi New Director’s Showcase at the Cannes Lions International Film Festival, and, as he notes, “It’s been no looking back from there.”

Later, Miller and Malkovich teamed again on the International Motion Art Awards 2-winning short Ecstacy. But he also won another IMAA 2 award for Nick Cave: Dream Bigger Dreams, a compilation of eight video pieces created to accompany an exhibition by artist Nick Cave at the Fantastic 2012 art extravaganza in Lille, France.

"In 2012, I directed eight art films for Cave. I then did an edit for this piece,” says Miller. “The visual ideas all came from Cave’s visionary imagination, which I in turn interpreted to create the films. The process is truly one of getting into an artist’s head and seeing and thinking as he does. Collaborating with Nick was like a journey into fantasia and the surreal world.”

Miller worked with the Chicago-based post-production house UTOPICon the compilation. Film editor Jan Maitland, he says, “was perfect for the gig, as he truly felt the vibe needed for the piece. The Yessian sound studio created the sound design, and I can say these guys never let me down. They lock and load to kill it with the most mind-blowing sound design every time I work with them. Everyone on the post side just rocked it for me.”

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