6 Passion Projects That Need To Be On Your Radar

As artists, everything boils down to our creative statements in the world — the driving force behind our voice and why we create. Passion projects are vital in getting closer to what we want to say and how to say it. By balancing time and energy with our projects that often pay the bills, our time to experiment with storytelling furthers our craft and each passion project gleans something special in our art while maturing it.

Over the last few months, we’ve asked our community of filmmakers to submit their passion projects and have been blown away by all of the amazing work being done. We’ve compiled some of our favorites and distilled them down to a list of six. Let us know what you think by commenting below. Enjoy.

1. Cinematic London by Matteo Bertoli

There’s a special thrill in visiting a new city, and this film definitely captures that same awe. Initially steeped in a heavy dose of grays and blues found in the stoic shots of the more industrial, business side of the city, the film picks up speed and burst with color right when the music hits. Over the course of the film, more and more details appear: street art shows up and the smiles slowly come out, giving the sense that the more time you spend in a place, the more you see. The soundtrack “Light” by Dr. Toast adds a really nice pop of personality, and when paired with the visuals of street ads, food carts, carrousels and tourist attractions as the couple explores London, it feels really curious and heartfelt.

2. Frozen Fortress by Mike Sutton and Julian Tryba

There’s something automatically majestic about natural, giant sheets of ice. Filmmakers Mike Sutton and Julian Trybe visited the ice castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire late last year and left with stunning time-lapse footage of their adventures. Simultaneously calming and awe-inspiring, the footage fits perfectly with the ambient sounds of “Fleeting” by Kevin Matley, as colored lights magically illuminate the turrets and icicles. The song builds with slowly ascending arc, with big drums and a haunting, lonesome violin line backed by supporting strings and piano, all to create an emotion almost as epic and inspiring as the ice structures themselves. Read our interview with Mike Sutton HERE.

3. Make That Money Honey by Cyrill Durigon

This film takes a step into the filmmaker, Cyrill Durigon’s brain, where the real world meets imagination. It starts off simple enough, with slightly hazy, out of focus shots turned upwards towards freeway overpasses, bridges and buildings. But creative elements are slowly added in, with imagined chalk outlines streaking across the shots, creating flourishes to his pen, twinkles to the  lights, and at one point, stars glimmering in the night sky. There’s a magical quality to it, dripping with imagination and a subtle determination brought on by the sleek, steady vibes from the Kye Kye remix. Read more about this project HERE.

4. 83-Year-Old Mississippi Bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch by Brent Foster/Foster Visuals

In Brent Foster’s new “While I’m Still Here” project, he chooses unsung heroes and gives some due time in the spotlight. Filled with rich, vibrant colors, there’s a lot of life in this film.  Alternate perspectives go between closer cuts and then beautiful aerial footage– it’s a charming and inspiring little snapshot of Leo “Bud” Welch’s life as one of the few remaining Delta Bluesman.  Matthew Morgan’s “Sun Through the Clouds” pairs nicely with his inspiring and hopeful speech at the end about his wish to sing the blues for as long as he can and wanting everyone to recognize his name one day. Read more about this project HERE.

5. #TheSocialMedium Episode 3: Ray Neutron by Stone Alvaro

This powerful series from filmmaker, Stone Alvaro explores the storytelling concept of “showing not telling.” In each episode, we get a chance to see life through another artists’ eyes.  In this stirring and important episode, Ray Neutron documents Ferguson protests in Atlanta, Georgia. His photos are haunting and striking,  aided by post-rock ambient vibes of the music that create a hazy, atmospheric feeling. “People were waking up, people were being shaken out of a slumber,” Neutron says. There’s a much bigger emphasis here on what he’s saying — the music just supports the mood, and supports it nicely. Read more about this project HERE.

6. Alaska in Perspective by Preston Zeller

Alaska holds a majestic beauty that words are at times impossible to explain. Filmmaker, Preston Zeller captures the mysterious and wild nature in a series of mind-bending photography. This project consists of photos taken over the course of two weeks in Alaska in 2008. While focusing in and out, these shots feel like they’re growing and shrinking, and the music tinges everything with a feeling of nostalgia and an epic sense of discovery. There’s a lot of natural wonder here, from the bears and sled dogs to the people living and working in these cities. It’s like a collage that you make as a teenager, only not cheesy and it moves. Read more about this HERE.

What do you think about this list? What would you add? Join the conversation and comment below.


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