Myles Bevan at Studio RM: "A premium, beauty-focussed approach has been applicable to a lot of music videos I work on.”
David Knight - 25th Oct 2023
Since joining Studio RM earlier this year, Myles Bevan has gone from strength to strength. Ahead of the UKMVAs, where Studio RM will be sponsoring Best Colour Grading, we talk to Bevan about his influences, inspirations and recent work that has included grading the latest Troye Sivan video.
It's just a few months since Myles Bevan joined the London base at Studio RM, the grading and finishing studio known for its high end, artistic approach across fashion, music and advertising - but it's already looking like a very good match for both parties.
For the colourist, who has worked his way through the ranks at two respected colour departments in London's post production world, he continues to work on high profile projects, particularly the luxury fashion and beauty brand work for which Studio RM is renowned. Meanwhile the facility has seen a steady influx of loyal collaborators that Bevan has gained over the past few years while grading numerous music videos.
As a result, Bevan has been very busy indeed, and continuing to grow his reputation as one of the best of the new generation of colourists in London. That was already signposted when he won the Best Young Colourist award at Kinsale Sharks in 2021. But joining Studio RM has highlighted a particular and special skill: bringing the aesthetics of fashion film into his work on music videos.
In recent months, Bevan's work includes the UKMVA-nominated video for London Grammar & Camelphat's Higher, the luxurious Ibiza-set promo for Peggy Gou's Nanana, Romy's The Sea, and the Troye Sivan video for One Of Your Girls, directed by Gordon von Steiner, one of the hottest talents around in fashion film and photography, now Sivan's creative director. That follows the colourist's first project for von Steiner, an ambitious (and relentlessly gorgeous) fashion film for French fashion mag M.
I was taught how to grade from both a technical and creative perspective.
It's all a far cry from Myles Bevan's upbringing in rural Dorset in the Nineties and Noughties. From an art scholarship at school to studying a BA in Film production where he thought he would become an editor, he got a start as a runner at Electric Theatre Collective's colour department and the rest is history.
Working his way up to Colour Assistant at ETC was followed by a move to Time Based Arts, to assist its Head of Colour Simone Grattarola - which allowed him to start working on his own projects on the side - including fashion film work for British Vogue. "Simone had so many clients, they would trickle down a bit," he says.
That became far more than a trickle in the last three years of his time at TBA, when Bevan graded dozens of music videos, for directors including Samuel Douek, Ali Kurr, Elliott Gonzo and Matilda Finn. "That enabled me to submit a portfolio to Kinsale," he points out.
When we met him earlier this month he revealed he had new objectives in mind: one is a projected move to New York, to work at Studio RM's growing operation over there. But we began with his move to Studio RM, and what it has meant for him.
On joining Studio RM earlier this year:
MB: I'd been following and admiring Studio RM's work for a long time, so I knew I would be in good hands when I made the move over. I've always been drawn to the type of work we do here, so it felt like the right fit for me creatively, and I was excited by the chance to work at a post house that also offers stills retouching as that wasn't something I'd had exposure to previously.
And with the studio being based in both London and New York I felt that presented a great opportunity to broaden the spectrum of directors and clients I work with.
On growing up, his art scholarship at school, and studying film at university:
MB: I think being immersed in art from a young age helped me to embrace and develop my creativity in general, and on a more subconscious level has given me an appreciation for visual storytelling and aesthetics.
Studying art at school and then film at university introduced me to colour theory and composition, whilst also placing an emphasis on analysing and critiquing your own work as well as other peoples - which is a fundamental and healthy aspect of my job today.
On important first grading projects, including for British Vogue:
MB: Some of the first projects I was lucky enough to work on were for British Vogue and this introduced me to some fantastic directors, producers and DOP’s.
Max Bartick, Isaac Lock, Joseph Delaney and Barbara Anastacio are just a few of the directors that I met through Vogue and we continue to collaborate on music videos, fashion films and commercials.
Working on these films has had a lasting impact on me and the way I approach colour on the whole and more specifically beauty and skin tone. I’ve found that a more premium, beauty-focussed approach has been applicable to a lot of the music videos I work on.
On working with and learning from top colourists:
MB: I’ve been really fortunate to have worked at three of the top post houses over the last 10 years. During which time I crossed paths with countless inspiring and visionary colourists, directors and DOP’s.
My personal journey began with assisting senior colourists and it was during that time I was taught how to grade from both a technical and creative perspective - so I’m super grateful for that experience!
I’m still so passionate about music video as an artform.
On his first important music videos:
MB: Little Mix's Love Sweet Love was one of the first music videos I graded for a major artist, after Heartbreak Anthem. I remember the excitement of working on something that a lot of people would see, and also the immense pressure!
When I was younger I’d watch MTV's Making the Video religiously and I’m still so passionate about it as an artform, so being able to work on these projects is a dream come true.
The trilogy of Rina Sawayama videos directed by Ali Kurr that I graded was really special. There was a unique opportunity there to help craft the visual aesthetic of that album.
The challenge was giving each video it’s own identity whilst maintaining the feeling that they’re part of the same body of work. This Hell went on to get a nomination at the MTV VMAs which was a cool way to round off that era!
On being inspired by movies:
MB: I’ve loved the string of coming-of-age drama/social realism films that have come out recently, the likes of Aftersun, Blue Jean, Scrapper and Close.
I find the narratives captivating and they tend to appeal to me the most aesthetically. There’s an emphasis on beautiful and photographic cinematography that immediately invokes nostalgia and that’s the kind of imagery I connect with the most.
On his first year at Studio RM - and its impact on his work in music videos:
MB: It's always great to work in an environment where standards are so high because it pushes you to do the best work, and I've been impressed by the attention to detail that goes into the projects here across stills and motion.
In the few months since I started at Studio RM I've graded a handful of global campaigns for some of the major fashion houses including Gucci, Givenchy, Calvin Klein and Moncler. There's often room on these projects to push an interesting look, while maintaining the premium and glossy feel that's synonymous with many of these brands. I tend to approach promos in the same way, experimenting with a look that compliments the video and making sure the talent looks great!
On recent music video work:
MB: The footage for the Peggy Gou video was really striking - shot on 35mm in Ibiza by Nikita Kuzmenko and directed by Tom Hardiman. The footage had some amazing colour contrast naturally so it was fun to lean into that and also play with the blues/cyans to heighten the balearic summer feel. The result is really eye-catching and I think it captures the vibe of the track well.
The London Grammar x Camelphat video by Waxxwork cleverly uses match cuts between live action and both real and AI artworks. So we needed to bring them into a similar world to avoid the cuts feeling jarring. The darkness and strobing of the video helped aid this - and Adam Singodia’s cinematography is always a joy to grade!
On collaborating with Gordon von Steiner:
It was a real honour to grade two projects for Gordon and Stuart
MB: Gordon and DoP Stuart Winecoff are so influential in the fashion and music video worlds so it was a real honour to be able to grade two projects for them in both of those categories this year.
The short film for ’M Magazine’ takes place across multiple set ups and vignettes, each with their own look and feel It was a lot to get through in a short space of time but the end result is one of my favourite pieces of work to date and ticks all the boxes for me.
We collaborated again recently on Troye Sivan’s One Of Your Girls, taking place entirely in a white studio. With the styling, choreography and cinematography all leaning into a Y2K aesthetic not dissimilar from an early Noughties Britney video or Calvin Klein ad, we wanted the grade to accentuate this.
The result is an instantly iconic video reminiscent of the very videos that inspired me to work in the industry.
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David Knight - 25th Oct 2023