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Nabil sets up The Swordfight as new US base

Nabil sets up The Swordfight as new US base

David Knight - 17th Mar 2014

Top music video director Nabil Elderkin has opened The Swordfight – his own LA-based production company for music video and branded content. 

Together with Nabil, on the director's roster of The Swordfight are Taylor Cohen, Tony Piscatelli, Francesco Carrozzini and Idris Elba, while Justin Benoliel and Kathleen Heffernan head up the production team.  And Nabil tells Promo News that he is fulfilling a longstanding ambition to start his own company in the US. 

"It was an idea I always wanted to do," says Nabil. "In this music video world it is such a battle for talented people to get an job actually made, so many obstacles along the way. I wanted to help in my friends making cool things and being [able] to do it without the internal issues with production companies and these low budgets.  Basically use what I have learned and the people I have met the last five years of making videos and put it into practice for others." 

In that time the American-born, Australian-bred director has certainly established himself as one of the top names in music videos. Since winning an MVA in 2012 for his first Frank Ocean video for Novacane, he's directed videos for Bon Iver, Foals, Antony & The Johnsons (pictured), James Blake, two more for Frank Ocean, Arctic Monkeys and others. His most recently released video is for Nicki Minaj's Lookin' Ass, and he has also creative-directed a video project for the new Little Dragon album, where Taylor Cohen directed the first video for Klapp Klapp and he directed the second part, for the as-yet-released Pretty Girls.   

Taylor Cohen's directing credits include Superhumanoids' Bad Weather and So Strange (co-directed by David Altobelli), Sons Of The Sea, and Matt & Kim's Lessons Learned (co-directed by Otto Arsenault; winner of an MTV VMA). Mike Piscatelli's work includes J Cole's Power Trip, Polica's Tiff and Bonnie Prince Billy's I Gave You; Francesco Carrozzini's videos include Beyoncé's Jealous; while acclaimed actor Idris Elba last year directed the video for Mumford & Sons' Lover Of The Light. 

"Mike is a great photographer that has transition like me into music videos, his Bonnie Prince Billy video is one of my favorite simple videos," says Nabil. "Francesco is also very successful fashion and commercial photographer and my long lost brother. Taylor is a great writer who just wrote and directed his first feature, and Idris is obviously one of the most talented actors out there who also has been a respected  musician/DJ for many years. When time permits between his many film projects he will be smashing out some cool videos."

Nabil, who remains represented by Academy and A+ in the UK, says of The Swordfight: "We will be focusing on music videos and branded content. I don’t actually know what branded content really is specifically in this world of changing advertising, but basically we want to create great content across the board for projects we find interesting.   

"The company name popped into my head one day talking to Taylor. I thought about us out there fending for good creative, and was available. I think it has a few meanings no?"

David Knight - 17th Mar 2014


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