Behind the scenes - Film director and practical FX sensation Craig Murray | Guest at Catalyst Berlin NoBerlinale festival

Short Film & Practical FX Sensation Craig Murray Shares What Fuels His Creativity

Posted on 2021-03-29T22:00:00+0000 in Catalyst

As part of our NoBerlinale student festival, film director Craig Murray gave a guest session on practical FX for narrative, music, commercial and experimental videos. Find out what fuels his creativity.

As our Film Production students learn from year one in their ‘Microfilm’ assignments, short films are like elevator pitches. You only have a few minutes to ‘sell’ your creative vision, so that the viewer craves to see more after the ride is over. In the case of music videos and commercials, making an impression is more important than ever. In the oversaturated media environment, it’s easy to miss a good artist or product. Connect a compelling visual narrative and you can not only garner attention, but create a sensation. Add hand-crafted visual effects to the picture, and you've got a sure-fire explosion.

Short form is where film director Craig Murray is in his element. Check out his wow-worthy Vimeo showcase (above), and you’ll get lost in visceral FX-infused music videos, atmospheric analog camera experiments, beautifully macabre hand-drawn pencil animations, and more. His original approach has seen him work with the likes of the post-rock/metal bands Mogwai and Alcest, as well as high-calibre companies like Samsung. Not relying on computer-generated special effects, he works with real elements in order to encourage a greater potential for connection. The visceral, emotive and otherworldly result could galvanise anyone out of content fatigue.

Hosted by our Visual Effects lead Matthieu Schmit, Craig graced our NoBerlinale programme with a guest session on practical FX for narrative, music, commercial and experimental videos. Our NoBerlinale festival was our response to the cancellation of this year's Berlinale in February. With the help of our film team, events and student experience lead Hannah Deans filled our students’ calendars with an exciting line-up of alternative events, from guest sessions to remote filmmaking to exclusive screenings.

Taken away by Craig’s exceptional art, after the session, we asked him what catalyses his creativity. Here’s what he told us.

“If it doesn’t work with their music, it generally doesn’t go in, even though it’s always for another band or client."

“Probably the band Godspeed You! Black Emperor…I build and initially edit most of my films listening to them. If it doesn’t work with their music, it generally doesn’t go in, even though it’s always for another band or client. I guess it creates another layer and tone for me? I also don’t have a dream to work with them. They already have a long-time collaboration with a person who does their live 16mm projections. But perhaps that’s also because in some way I already do work with them.”