This week we are excited to introduce not one, but two featured members! Meet Alfie Biddle, Director of Photography, and Kim Roden, concept developer and Director. Alfie and Kim are a London based duo who have been working together for 4 years. They started working on Zooppa projects in order to add more commercial work to their reels, already stacked full with music videos and short films. When Kim and Alfie aren’t busy experimenting with new visual genre’s you can find them enjoying the array of food London has to offer and, on occasion, throwing one back at the pub.
Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
Kim: Alfie and I are a London based creative partnership and have been making videos together for the past four years. I devise the concepts for our videos and direct them and Alfie is the director of photography. I would certainly triumph the benefits of a close working relationship between director and DOP. Alfie and I discuss all video ideas together from start to finish and his input and opinions always help to shape the final outcome of what we create in a way that transcends the visual aspects of the film.
What brought you to the Zooppa community?
Alfie: We both had a number of music videos and short films on our reels and were looking for opportunities to create more commercial content. Zooppa provided the perfect opportunity to jump straight in and make original, creative works in our own style, for known brands.
What do you like most about crowd sourced film contests?
Kim: We enjoy the creative freedom that crowdsourcing allows. It can, on occasion, be difficult to build a clients confidence in an idea that is very different to what they may have seen before. The crowdsourcing format enables us the opportunity to move straight to the stage of visualizing our concept. Presenting a complete and well-put-together video is a much easier sell, while we are still building our showreels and profiles in the commercial community. I also think that brands come to zooppa looking for something a bit different to what they might find elsewhere. So we feel it makes for a very happy marriage in relation to brand and filmmaker satisfaction.
Name 3 films/directors that have influenced your work.
Kim & Alfie: We are naturally inclined towards films that combine a very cinematic aesthetic and a strong, character-led concept. At the heart of these often lies a long-standing director/ DOP relationship. Some of these partnerships that have inspired us include, Alfonso Cuaron with Emmanual Lubezki, David Fincher with Jeff Cronenweth and Stephen Spielberg with Janusz Kaminski.
Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?
Alfie: I studied on set from camera trainee to clapper loader and then went on to attend the NFTS. A combination of working on high profile feature films and academic training has enabled me to understand and respect traditional and modern film practice. The beautiful thing about filmmaking is that everyone has their own opinion and unique style. My experience has given me the practical tools and courage of conviction to develop my own style.
Kim: I studied film & theatre at the University of Bristol. The course’s focus was primarily an academic, analytical study into these subjects. My education has given me a grounding, and deep respect, for filmmakers throughout film history and the different story-telling techniques that they have utilised. When developing a concept, I always look to filmmakers that have gone before, for inspiration and guidance.
What is your favorite genre of film to create?
Kim & Alfie: We enjoy working in a variety of different genres: always keen to experiment. The overarching signifiers of our work are an emphasis on beautifully crafted visuals and an engaging, character driven concept.
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
Kim & Alfie: We often find ourselves on shoots and recess on a Saturday afternoon. When we’re not making videos, we try to get to the cinema or explore some of the many excellent world food restaurants London has to offer…and on occasion, you will find us in the pub.
Choose 5 words to describe your art.
Cinematic, story-driven, emotive, unique
What projects are you currently working on?
Kim: Alfie is currently working towards lighting his third feature film. Our next combined project will be a commercial for surrey based luxury vehicle and classic car company “Source Luxury.” We’re looking forward to the opportunity to tell a story that shows off the beautiful cars this company houses. We are also in development on a number of music video projects.
What drew you to participate in this campaign? i.e. – did the brief catch your attention, the prize money, the love for the brand?
Kim: The brief for this competition caught my eye. I was intrigued by the line explaining that Shell was looking for videos that could sit on platforms such as “Vice or National Geographic”. I was compelled by the challenge this presented; to create something factual and informative and also encompass some of the typical Vice signifiers, such as being current, cool and slightly bizarre.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your fellow Zooppa community members?
Alfie & Kim: Be persistent and don’t get downhearted if your videos don’t win competitions in the early stages. Try to look analytically at each video you complete in relation to the brief and also which videos were successful in that competition. Keep making videos and be true to your own style.
10 years from now where will we see you and your films?
Alfie & Kim: We hope to have made a John Lewis Christmas commercial.