Today we chat to Nicolai Amter, a London-based Danish director and photographer. He directs music videos, fashion films and documentaries. And is also a photographer of note.
You are both a photographer and director, which came first and which is your favorite?
I started out photographing in my mid teens. Later on I got into photography for the music industry. Through that I started to direct music videos and things kind of evolved from there. For many years, directing was my main thing. But over the last few years, with the new cameras that are able to shoot both video and stills, Photography has found a revival with me and I can’t say I favor one over the other.
Where do you draw your inspiration from and how would you define your style?
My inspiration is hard to pin down, but I should mention someone who inspires me, masters like Irving Penn and Anton Corbijn. In directing, Stanley Kubrick and Steve McQueen (the director). I prefer to work with a small crew on simple setups, using natural light as much as possible.
Both when I photograph or direct.
Please can you tell us about the “Kibera, Nairobi” and how the project came about?
I was directing a shoot for BBC World Service and part of the shoot was in Kibera. It was such an alien and very imposing place, so very different from my normal environment that I had to go back a few days later to explore. I spent most of my day, filming and photographing people who lived there.
What are you working on at the moment and what are your hopes for the future?
I’m currently finishing another fashion film and also have a few music videos that are about to go into pre-production. My hope for the future is to do more music videos and I also have plans for a couple of drama projects I would like to get started. And of course more travel! I love traveling with my work!
We have a large amount of young talented photographers and directors in South Africa, what is your advice to them with regards to the industry?
Don’t take no for an answer. Keep making films or whatever you do and them the way you want to do them. Don’t think you can be successful doing what you love, if it’s not your main focus. Don’t believe that one particular job will make you an over-night success. One job might do that, but only because you have a track record that shows you can deliver the goods. Ok, a lot of don’ts, now DO!
Where can readers view more of your work?