Starring Dutch producers Illuminati AMS (who also provide the music) and featuring outfits from fashion designer Phillip Lim, All:Expanded’s multi-faceted debut Providence marks them as a creative force to be reckoned with right out of the gate as they blur the lines between fashion, music promo and narrative short for a film which is certainly more than the sum of its parts. We get in at the ground floor with brothers Duncan and Stuart Winecoff – who filled the roles of director and cinematographer respectively – to find out how they established such an impressive toehold and where they plan to take All:Expanded in the future.
Duncan Winecoff: The project really came about because of how inspired I felt when I met Nianga, Naleye and Jaziah of Illuminati AMS. They are a music production group from Amsterdam who I became friends with about a year ago. I wrote the script knowing these kids and the bond they share in real life. I wanted to take that to the extreme and create an alternate reality that showcases that friendship. I asked them if for my first passion project, I could write a music video for them. However, throughout the collaborative process of writing the script it became something much larger then a music video. While finding funding, we got in touch with Phillip Lim the fashion designer, who said he was interested in supplying us with wardrobe from his new collection for the film. So what was originally going to be a music video turned more into an abstract narrative with a hint of a fashion film that Illuminati AMS was going to score.
On top of it being my first stab at filmmaking, it was also perfect timing because Stuart, my little brother was finishing up film school at Tisch School of the Arts. I had always wanted to find a way to collaborate with him creatively and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Since doing this piece we formed film production company All:Expanded and over the last six months we have been doing pretty well for ourselves.
Once the script was written and everyone was excited about doing it then came the interesting part, actually producing the film. We had about 6 locations including 2 night clubs (one of which needed to be filled with extras), a wintery landscape that called for snow and fire, a luxury apartment, and the streets and subway of New York not to mention a wolf and a helicam. Just finding the right wolf was a 2-month process and he actually ended up being sick on the day of production but still managed to pull it off. It was really a huge learning experience for all of us.
Stuart Winecoff: The actual shooting of the scene upstate with the wolf was definitely the most up in the air for me in terms of actually pulling it off. It was one of the first days of production and we needed Alex, the sick wolf to run out of the woods at a full sprint while timing that perfectly with a helicam that couldn’t stay in the air for more than a minute because of the 20 degree temperature. Somehow it all worked out though and after that the rest of the 6-day shoot somehow seemed a lot more manageable.
This was the biggest production for all of us including myself and that was what made it so exciting. Apart from the helicam, for which I used a RED Epic with Zeiss EF mount still lenses because of the weight limit, I shot the whole film on an ARRI Alexa Plus with Cooke S4 prime lenses.
The score is something that is very special to me. It’s jarring at points and revealingly cinematic in others.
DW: Once we finished shooting, we had an interesting post production process. Once we were picture locked we worked with Realise Studio in London for the VFX and Illuminati AMS for the original score. The score is something that is very special to me. It’s jarring at points and revealingly cinematic in others. It’s definitely abstract but it was a pleasure collaborating with Illuminati AMS in creating something original.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this process as a new company was exploring distribution and how this film will live in the world. Obviously, there is a very powerful emerging genre of film that is blurring the lines between fashion, music and narrative. We ultimately decided, and were thrilled with the opportunity to host the premiere of this film with V Magazine, one of the worlds leading fashion magazines. V covers traditional fashion but is also a leader in exploring the new frontiers of artistic mediums. As a company, All:Expanded has made it a goal to also explore this blended genre of filmmaking.