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Home / Barney Cokeliss Takes Leica on an Evocative Mocturnal Journey in “Like the Night”

Barney Cokeliss Takes Leica on an Evocative Mocturnal Journey in “Like the Night”



Sometimes thrilling, sometimes dangerous, some of the greatest moments happen at night. In “Like the Night,” award-winning director Barney Cokeliss brings all that after dusk has to offer to life for legendary camera brand Leica.

Cinematic and dappled in darkness, the filmic spot serves to demonstrate the moving-image capabilities of the Leica SL and was launched with a special screening at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum on October 16th.

Shot in locations as varied as Soweto, New York, Berlin, Bucharest, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Paris, “Like the Night” follows several photographers as they wander through nocturnal environments looking for a moment to capture. Set to a glitchy rendering of Byron’s poem “She Walks in Beauty,” the piece paints a cinematic scene that ranges from sultry to sinister, disorienting to arresting.

“For me, the night has always been a time of photographic fascination and atmospheric mystery. I didn’t want to tell a straight narrative story, but instead make something enigmatic, with lots of implicit storylines,” says Cokeliss. “I hope there’s an oscillation there that keeps people intrigued.”

Cokeliss says “She Walks in Beauty” was the first poem that came to mind when contemplating the tone for the piece.

“I reinterpreted it to mean a woman walking in the beauty of the night and with ‘beauty’ interpreted in a broad way,” he says. “There can be a certain beauty, after all, in nocturnal images of loneliness, or mystery, as well of course as more classically beautiful imagery in low-light. Walking in the street, finding beauty in what you come across is an essentially Leica activity. A Leica is the camera you’d take if, like, say, Cartier-Bresson, you’re looking for your inspiration out in the world and finding unobtrusively ways to capture what happens in front of you.”

The project itself came from a shared desire between Cokeliss and Leica UK to collaborate on a film.

“Leica has always been a story-telling brand, says Jason Heward, managing director of Leica UK. “We are known for the still images that have captured special moments in the last century and with our SL System we have the capability to tell our story through cinema-quality film. When Barney showed me his previous films, I could instantly see the creative fit. He immediately understood the narrative of the Leica brand and how to translate this to the big screen. Working with Barney has been an absolute pleasure: his creativity, vision and passion are all visible in ‘Like the Night’.”

“Being able to shoot at night and in the street are hallmarks of Leica’s small cameras and fast lenses,” adds Cokeliss. “Much of the film was shot on the famous Noctilux, which has an unheard-of maximum aperture of f0.95, so a film which journeyed through the night seemed right.”


Credits:
Title: Like the Night
Client: Leica UK
Managing Director: Jason Heward

Director + Writer: Barney Cokeliss
Production Company: Paddington Pictures
Director of Photography: Barney Cokeliss, Philippe Kress
Music: Anné Kulonen
Editor: Ben Corfield, Stitch Editing
Sound Design and Mix: Ben Leeves, Jungle Studios
Colour: Simone Grattarola and Myles Bevan, Time Based Arts
VFX: Duncan Malcolm, Glassworks
Production Service Companies: Bubbles Films (Berlin), Icon Films (Romania), Them Media (US), Kojak Films (South Africa)


About Leica Camera
Leica stands for craftsmanship, design and experience. With over 100 years of history, the brand represents a beautiful combination of art and engineering with the future of form and functionality. Based in Wetzlar, the original birthplace of Leica, the German company is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. Leica’s legendary status is founded on its long tradition of excellence and supreme quality found in their cameras and lenses. Leica are committed to supporting the creation and preservation of iconic photography, past, present and future and the artists behind them.


About Barney Cokeliss

Barney Cokeliss is a multi-award-winning director and an accomplished photographer, whose films have been selected for festivals including Sundance, and Venice. His latest short, ‘Night Dancing’ has just won its tenth international festival award after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and being selected to screen at NYC’s Lincoln Center.

In the realm of advertising, Barney has directed spots for clients including Lexus, Peugeot, Credit Suisse, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Prints of several of his images shot on the Leica SL will be on display at Leica Store Mayfair, 64-66 Duke Street, London, W1K 6JD.

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UMe Starts the Holiday Season With New Animated Videos Featuring Iconic Christmas Songs


This holiday season some of the most well-known holiday songs will receive the gift of their first-ever official music videos. UMe, Universal Music Group's global catalog company, has partnered with legendary artists and estates to create vibrant new visuals for songs that have never before had a video.

"We are especially excited for the holidays this year, with a series of newly-created animated videos for some of UMG's most iconic Christmas songs," says Bruce Resnikoff, President and CEO of UMe. "This year we are bringing eight of the biggest holiday songs ever recorded to life with first-ever official music videos. There are beloved seasonal staples from Brenda Lee, Bobby Helms and Burl Ives; favorites from Rat Packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin; and soulful Christmas songs from Motown's finest, The Temptations, The Supremes and The Jackson 5. These songs were chosen for their enduring popularity year after year, and the new videos will allow us to deliver them to fans and new audiences alike across digital platforms. We are also planning to use the videos in marketing and advertising campaigns to achieve even greater engagement with fans."

The videos will be rolled out this month, with the first two – Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" and Frank Sinatra's "Jingle Bells" – launching the initiative.

"When I recorded 'Rockin'' in 1958, I never could have dreamt that it would become a Christmas standard that would be listened to year after year and loved by generation after generation," says Brenda Lee. "I always loved the song and knew it was great, and that was the main criteria for me and Owen, but we never imagined it would become the quintessential Christmas song it has become, it's been an amazing journey with this song. I thought 'Home Alone' was a pretty darn good video so I never brought up the idea of a video but I'm honored that Universal has created 'Rockin''s first-ever video."

"Frank Sinatra's holiday recordings have been spreading joy and cheer to listeners for decades. We are happy that Frank's recording of 'Jingle Bells' now has an official video and that it's part of UMe's holiday campaign," says Frank Sinatra Enterprises.

Frank Sinatra - Jingle Bells


For those who want to get right into the holiday spirit now, UMe's Christmas playlist features some of the most popular songs and artists across the holiday music canon, pairing timeless classics with contemporary favorites. The hours-long –and ever-expanding – playlist is available now for streaming on Spotify and Apple.

Three distinct looks, encompassing "Classics," "Rat Pack" and "Motown," each with their own unique style, art direction and vibe, have been created by three different animation studios to celebrate these classic tunes, all chosen for their enduring popularity and sustained performance on both radio and streaming platforms year after year. In addition to creating new content for the digital age, the video assets will also be deployed across UMe's holiday marketing and advertising campaigns for a cohesive look and to achieve greater engagement across a broader audience.

Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree


Created by Ingenuity Studios and inspired by the style of vintage UPA cartoons of the 1950s and '60s, Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" soundtracks a merry trio of musicians as they perform throughout town and encounter scenes from popular holiday movies. The resulting video happily smashes the nostalgia button for modern viewers with its clever Easter eggs, in a stylized treatment that looks as though it could have been released when the song debuted in 1958. This style and trio carry over to the videos for Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock," which echoes back to Hanna-Barbera's old "Wacky Races" cartoons, and Burl Ives' "Holly Jolly Christmas," which plays with the madness of holiday shopping.

Created by animation studio Fantoons, the new videos for Frank Sinatra's "Jingle Bells" and Dean Martin's "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" were hand drawn in the painterly style of Christmas cards and decorations of the 1940s and '50s to conjure a timeless feeling. With "Jingle Bells," Sinatra hitches a ride with Santa on his sleigh for a tour around the world, traveling through Los Angeles, London and Paris and fittingly ending with Ol' Blue Eyes performing in Las Vegas. For "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," Martin sings and celebrates with family and friends at a magical holiday gathering complete with all the traditional festive accoutrements.

To create the new videos for The Jackson 5's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," The Supremes' "My Favorite Things," and The Temptations' "Silent Night," creative agency Ride Or Cry drew inspiration from classic Motown branding and imagery, as well as 1960s and '70s animation classic television series. The engaging videos all feature big, bold colors and a vibrant animation style, mixed with live action for a nostalgic, period-setting salute.

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