David Knight - 24th Oct 2014

Svana Gisla has resigned as head of music video and executive producer at Black Dog Films UK, and is leaving the company today (October 24th) after more than fifteen years in the role.

One of the most respected and influential figures working in British music videos, heading one of the most important music video production companies, Svana (pictured above left, with Colleen Haynes) has nurtured the careers of some of the most talented directors working in music videos – including Dawn Shadforth, Jonas Akerlund, Shynola, Adam Smith, Johan Renck, Baillie Walsh, the late Tim Royes, and Chris Cunningham. Her more recent signings to the company include Christian Larson, Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen and Sophie Muller.

Moving to London from her native Iceland in the mid-1990s, she worked as director's rep at Oil Factory before joining Black Dog at the start of 1999. "My first ever Black Dog shoot was Chris Cunningham's video for Bjork's All Is Full Of Love," she recalls. "The only person I knew on set was Bjork and I think they thought I was her PA!"

Having produced numerous award-winning videos since then, she has focussed more on longform work in the last few years. In 2013 she produced her first feature film, Springsteen & I, directed by Baillie Walsh, and just produced On The Run - Beyonce and Jay Z Live in Paris, delivering Jonas Akerlund's two and a half hour concert film to HBO for broadcast within days of the concert. She resigned from Black Dog shortly afterwards.

"I've enjoyed being part of building the careers of Dawn, Chris, the lovely Tim Royes, Sophie Muller, Johan Renck, Jonas of course, Shynola who I adore and Adam Smith to name just a few," she says. "My favourite part of my job has been signing and doing films with Christian Larson and Daniel Kragh Jacobsen. And I still keep in touch with Dom & Nick, and Jamie Thraves from my Oil Factory days." She's now planning to take a complete break from work before considering future options.  

David Knight - 24th Oct 2014

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