Prettybird Signs Director Mitch Stratten
Prettybird has signed South African commercial director / artist Mitch Stratten whose boundary-blurring work has collected accolades at events including Cannes, CLIO and Hugo Awards for brands including Turkish Airlines, Vision Express, Toshiba and MINI.
A graduate of the National School of Arts in Johannesburg, Stratten moved to London and quickly gained attention for creating memorable, genre-defying work. He immediately hit the ground running with the breakout success of his music video, “Oh Diamond” by Nodern (a haunting yet sublime track from Stratten’s very own debut album.) “Oh Diamond” delivers us to the broken outskirts of a city as woman in a leg brace dances and frolics in its decaying streets. Meanwhile, a repulsive, wild dog picks up her scent and quickly sweeps in to attack.
“I wanted to make a wildlife clip of a stray dog running through the fields on its way to attack something,” explains Stratten. “I needed somebody to create a primal, evil creature but it was going to cost an outlandish sum of money to make, so I decided to learn animatronics and puppetry myself and ended up creating three different models that I used in the video.”
The success of "Oh Diamond" led to Stratten's entry into the commercial world, his first big spot the widely acclaimed "Time Sculpture" for Toshiba through Grey, NY. The work showcases Stratten's ability to combine physical performance with large-scale mechanical engineering and computer technology. New filming techniques were used in the spot – including a 360 degree rig fitted with 200 cameras to capture 20,000GB of data – to garner the world's first moving image 'bullet time' commercial.
Stratten's reel features subtle, if any, visual effects. An advocate of old-school cinema and in-camera capture, he only uses digital to massage analog intent. “I think it’s very difficult to be convincing because of the way physical matter moves,” he notes on his careful use of effects. “Even if you polish the work your subconscious still recognizes that it’s not real, even with top notch CGI. I keep effects to a bare minimum because then you can’t tell the difference between camouflaged and real.”
“I’m excited to be here," wraps Stratten on joining PRETTYBIRD. "Production companies are mostly rigid and structured in their approach, but what's refreshing about PRETTYBIRD is the opportunity for me to do so many different creative things. It’s an exciting opportunity. Wherever you land the chemistry is so important - and I felt comfortable and understood as an artist and filmmaker right from the beginning.”