This week 'We Sit Down' with Creative Director Steve Lucker of Slider
Meeting with Steve Lucker is always a fun affair. He's always on great form and his manner has you at ease in seconds. This talented chap from Yorkshire has enjoyed a varied career, which has led him to Australia, Japan, New York and back to London.
Over the years Steve has won multiple awards and as a Creative Director and filmmaker he has worked across brand strategy, design, animation, and film. After studying film at the University of Derby he spent time in Australia and Japan before taking a position in New York at the global agency Attik.
For four years he worked with brands that included MTV, HBO, The Box Music Network, Discovery and Kodak.
In 2002 Steve returned to the UK becoming a founding member of the creative agency Social. Over the following 10 years the agency would go on to work on a long list of high-profile campaigns and brand identity projects. Here he built a film and animation department which produced music videos, short films and TVC’s. Then in 2014 Steve formed Slider.
Slider's small core team hand-pick talent that best suits a brief. So they are able to gather award-winning filmmakers, designers, illustrators, producers, copywriters and animators to create the perfect mix to service each challenge.
They have gone on to produce creative work in film, animation and design for clients including Hilton, Thunderhead, Lego, Warner Bros, Rewilding Britain, Habitat and Discovery Networks.
So before we reveal any more let's hear from the man himself...
What movie inspired you to be a DP/Director?
I think I’d struggle to say a single movie did it. That said, I was pretty taken by True Romance when a mate of mine played it to me on Laser Disc. That movie, at that age, ticked all the boxes. Sexy, violent, funny, well acted, well written. It made me feel cool. Shortly after watching it I applied to study film. At university I went mad for the French New Wave stuff, perhaps slightly superficially because it looked so amazing. I’m not actually sure I fully understood all of Godard’s movies, but they made smoking look pretty cool. Imagine them Vaping....different movies.
What other mediums do you draw inspiration from? (e.g. paintings, photographers, writers, etc)
I love good writing. I know I’m not exactly original in suggesting that good writing is a key difference between good and bad in film. Advertising, Hollywood, whatever. Design and animation are a big part of my life too since a lot of my role when I’m not directing is creative direction in these areas at Slider.
Who is your favourite Cinematographer?
I don’t have one in particular. Different styles come in and out. I remember watching The Insider which Dante Spinotti shot and thinking that was amazing. I love Allen Daviau because I grew up watching a lot of those movies and they felt very evocative. But then I like the less epic stuff like Eric Steelberg shoots too and of course Raoul Coutard was my hero at uni.
Are you interested in making long form?
I am, but it’s a confidence thing. I’ve half written about ten scripts and then lacked the conviction or got overly busy with day to day. Pretty sure I’m not on my own there. I always expect I’ll just know when the time is right but it’s such a commitment and then who does my other job when I’m making the movie? Bills to pay! I’ll get my head into it one day.
What piece of advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers?
Get a good script, good actors and make time to do it properly.
Do you still prefer to shoot on film?
Not really. I was a junior in New York and I had to run reels around for transfer and that was pretty rubbish. I didn’t really ever get to shoot on film personally so although I get the romantic side, digital is pretty amazing these days.
What is your favourite piece of kit to use in your work? (Camera, crane, etc)
I still like MoVI. I always like the look it gives and its not too slick but we just did a shoot on a boat in Italy and the drone guys were very impressive.
What projects are you most proud of?
I imagine I’m not alone in being in love with a fair few projects that never saw the light of day. I once spent two weeks building a miniature city set that we were going to shoot macro style on table-top for a crime network in the states. The idea never quite made it and got watered down, but those two weeks were like a dream. Being paid to craft something. Otherwise, I’m often particularly proud of the work I do on smaller budgets. When I have to be thrifty and imaginative with my locations and limit what I reveal in frame I tend to really enjoy that. I love working on Idents for that very reason. Short, snappy and fun with simple writing. The bigger budget stuff is great since you often get to travel and have more scope in production, but often those shoots take care of themselves with more emphasis on pre-pro. With the budget stuff you kind of have to see what you can figure out which is a buzz.I’ve really enjoyed working on movie titles in the past as well since they are artistic in their own right.
What are your latest projects?
We’re working on a campaign for Save the Rhino that could be pretty powerful and a head turner. They’re great people and we’re passionate about the subject. We’re also working on sponsorship idents for our friends at Hampton by Hilton on Channel 5 and some social films for the guys at Batiste, the dry shampoo.
Lastly after a long day of working what do you like to spend your spare time getting up to?
I still attempt to play football, I have nine year old twins who keep me busy, I do a bit of mentoring with teenagers through the council and I’m still really sociable so I need to get out a couple of times a week or I feel like I’m missing out.
You can contact Steve and his team at:
8 Percy St
+44 (0) 203 627 4894