The brainchild of Stevie Oxton and Andy Day, Swish is a new, Auckland-based studio offering creative services including content production and branding. Pulling on their collective experiences in graphic design, PR, advertising, videography and photography to offer varied expertise and the ability to call upon a community of creatives, the duo was approached by Leah Mizrahi of Inside Out Productions with a concept to create original videos for our Denizen Heroes Gala — and the result was nothing less than spectacular.
Using the medium of paint as their starting point and deciding to hire a Phantom camera to shoot in slow-motion, Swish started experimenting. While working with paint often requires dilution (a cost-saving exercise), in this instance, Swish was able to use paint straight out of the can thanks entirely to generous support from Resene. Utilising a number of vibrant pigments ensured the resulting shots were vivid and appealingly textural. Resene also helped keep the production’s eco-footprint at bay by giving around 80 litres of white paint from its PaintWise recycling programme — where unwanted or surplus paint can be taken back to Resene and disposed of responsibly or recycled.
Rigging their Grafton studio heavily with lights thanks to Fat Lighting after establishing a paint-friendly space by laying down Resene drop sheets and paddling pools Swish (alongside DOP Ray Edwards) spent a day capturing the incredible footage that graced our screens on the night of the gala. Four especially patient models had paint splattered and poured all over them, with the Phantom shooting all the action at 1000 frames per second — around 40 times slower than the human eye.
A particularly memorable moment of the final video — the Chivas bottle being engulfed by an undulating, golden cloud — was shot using a blacked-out perspex tank, custom-made with help from the Blink Boys. The whisky was submerged, before a syringe of paint was injected into the water behind it, causing the billowing effect that framed the bottle and offered a breathtaking visual that became one of the pivotal shots.
Combining innovative ideas with the technical skill required to carry them out, Swish and Inside Out Productions took a simple notion and created something truly remarkable. Helping us set the scene for our Denizen Heroes Gala, the final cut was a joyful tableau of colour and movement, perfectly encapsulating the artistic sensibility that sat at the heart of the Heroes concept.