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The Work That Made Me: Nick Smith | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Nick Smith has been working in the advertising industry for over 20 years 

Originating from Sheffield (North England) and now settled in Amsterdam since the late nineties, Nick has been honing his audio skills as well as embracing his inner Dutchness.

The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

Nick> Oh crikey there’s so many. A good jingle lasts a lifetime. I also don’t want to give my age away ☺  

I’d say Pick Up A Penguin or Typhoo Tea featuring Frankie Howard. I still catch myself singing these!

My favourite music videos of all time is ‘Blind Faith’ by Chase & Status feat Liam Bailey, and directed by Daniel Wolfe. The short film follows a bunch of lads off out to an illegal rave in the early 90s. It’s so well-crafted it’s hard to believe. It’s amazing how good Daniel Wolfe managed to recreate not only the look and the style, but also the tension and euphoric build of such an evening. The casting is perfect, the film is shot on VHS for authenticity, the house and the pub are so reminiscent of northern England around that time.. The music is the only giveaway that it’s not 1990 (it’s 2011) but it still fits perfectly as the evening evolves into a banging night out for a bunch of lads from Manchester. Goose bumps!

The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

Nick> To be honest there wasn’t any particular thing that got me wanting to be in the advertising industry. I ended up rolling into it. I was doing a course at the SAE in Amsterdam and my girlfriend was working at a music studio that also did audio for advertising. Until then I wasn’t even aware that that was a job, so I sent a CD with my latest tracks and a letter to a few studios in Amsterdam and then landed a job at Vonk Sound, which later became FC Walvisch – a very well-known studio in Amsterdam.

The creative work that I keep revisiting…

Nick> If it’s music then The Beatles and Kraftwerk. Opposite ends of the spectrum that keep me nicely fixed and appreciative of anything that fits in between. When it comes to films, I think I’ve watched Predator about 20 times. It is absolute cheese on toast but I love the sound design. All done before Pro Tools. Good stuff. I also love the slow build on these older films like Alien, but I’m not sure people have the patience for this sort of thing any more. Me neither to be honest ha ha.

My first professional project…

Nick> One of the first jobs I did was some music for KPN, the telecoms company of Holland, which was a great boost. I also did quite a lot of the early Ben campaigns with KesselsKramer. They were great. Erik Kessels and Johan Kramer used to drop by, give me a rough briefing and then leave me to it. They were always so open to other people’s input it would hardly ever go wrong. Such freedom was unique and is not often granted these days.

The piece of work that still makes me jealous…

Nick> I think a commercial produced by KesselsKramer for Diesel. My boss Marcel Walvisch did the sound design. The whole thing is completely bonkers and considering the tools at hand Marcel did an amazing job. He’s a very creative sound designer. I remember thinking “how come he gets to do that film.” When I heard the results I thought, “oh that’s why.”

Classic Diesel – Oilklash 

The creative project that changed my career…

Nick> I think this would be the most boring but truthful answer ever. Before I started Stainless Sound I was a partner at another studio where we had one important bread and butter client: A national supermarket chain that we did the weekly tag-ons for. With the steady turnover from that client I dared to take the leap and invest all my savings into a completely new studio. 

The work that I’m proudest of…

Nick> I’m really proud of the short film Little Shit by Richard Gorodecky. It’s such a nice film and I love how the sound helps the build and mood of the film. It’s only a short, but when you tackle all the audio disciplines alone you realize how much work goes into a film and really learn to appreciate the credit roll at the end! It went on to win Best British Short Film at the 2018 LSFF.

I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…

Nick> Mmm. Not sure this would be the right place to mention such things. I’ve worked on numerous projects that might not have been creative high points but every job has its own merits and challenges and even if it’s not a creative challenge there are many other challenges when it comes to finishing a job. Even if it’s a simple job on paper… You only have to throw in a couple of creatives, a director, a producer and a couple of clients to spice things up.

The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

Nick> Recently that would have to be Adidas’s ‘The Ridiculous Run’. It was amazing that they got the film finished in such a short amount of time. From shooting in two parts of the world, to editing, to final audio in just two weeks. We worked through the weekend to get it all done but it never felt like work. It was very well managed and it was just great to be able to help out on such a lovely project.

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