BANK Highlighted Artist #3: Nathan Towers

Filmmaker and photographer Nathan Towers is one of the bright young talents of North Kirklees – you might have spotted him at snapping pictures at some of our events.

 

In this interview, Nathan discusses growing up in the area, how he found his way to photography and filmmaking and how he’s beginning his career in his hometown of Liversedge.

 

You can see a full gallery of Nathan’s work here.

23rd July 2020

Hi Nathan, thanks for being our third Highlighted Artist. Can you tell us about the work that you make?

The artwork I make is usually film and photography related, from short films to corporate events, I try and apply the same artistic principles to each job.

Within my practice as a filmmaker, I look to evoke feelings of emotion from the viewer, using sounds and visuals to guide their experience towards a greater narrative or message.

Film is one of the more collaborative art forms, and through it, I have had the pleasure of working with artists and clients across all mediums. This enables me to explore ideas that I’m unfamiliar with, within the context of something I’m comfortable in.

Alternatively, as a photographer instead of aiming to create moments, I aim to capture them. Be this at events, gigs or even just on the street. Although I am not always fully in control of the scene, much of my artistic vision can be realised in the editing room. Here I can manipulate colour, exposure, composition and a number of other tools to add further context and meaning to an image.

 

 Nathan’s live music showreel

Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist.

I grew up in a musical and artistic household. I always wanted to be able to draw and paint like my mother and play the guitar like my father, but I was never satisfied with my skills in the painting department and this frustration led to me expressing myself through music instead.

It was only after taking a film studies A-Level at college on a whim, I finally began to recognise art outside of music again, and my passion for film began to grow. I had finally found a medium that combined my love of music and sound with the same compositional and visual aspects I admired about my mother’s paintings.

I quickly realised this was the art form for me. I cancelled my plans of being a rock star and replaced them with aspirations of being a famous director. In my three years at Manchester School of Art studying film-making, I learned what it was to be a film-maker and had the opportunity to work on numerous short films covering a variety of genres. I also learned that it is incredibly hard to earn a living making short films. It was after university I decided that my best chance of making money doing what I loved was to create a business selling my services and collaborating with others.

Photography came as just a natural stepping-stone when becoming familiar with a camera. However, the simplicity I found in still image when compared to making a film really allowed me to experiment and be fluid with my process. The two complement each other well and I found that the real-life snapshots I take often inspire the films that I make.

 

Whereabouts in North Kirklees are you based? Does it have an impact on your work?

I’m based in Liversedge. I would say that does have an impact on my work in the sense that I am inspired by the characters I see on a daily basis and the deep history we have in this part of the world, as well as my own personal history here. However, it certainly has limited artistic opportunities when compared with a city.

 

Commissioned by Creative Scene – Nathan Towers’s film from HeckmondLIGHT 2019

What inspires you?

Many things and many people inspire me. From directors such as David Fincher for the way he masterfully controls tension throughout a scene. And Danny Boyle for his ability to tell stories about grounded characters in fantastical circumstances. To writers like J.R.R Tolkien for his incredible ability to create a full and fleshed-out universe of his own. Or musicians like Amy Winehouse for how she could express raw emotion through music.

Although a large portion of my inspiration comes from the things I see every day, my personal experiences and the current state of the world.

 

What would be your dream opportunity?

I think my dream opportunity currently would be the chance to write and direct my own feature film with a decent budget.

 

How has COVID affected your work?

Coronavirus has definitely affected my work. With events throughout the year being cancelled a significant portion of my business has been put on hold.

However there has been some opportunity to adapt to the situation, and the rise in demand for digital delivery of products and alternative ways to communicate ideas through social media and the internet has created work that was previously unnecessary.

 

What are you looking forward to and where might we next see your work?

I’m looking forward to live events being safe to restart and a general return to normalcy. People need the arts, and the sooner everything is safe to get back on track the better.

You’ll next see my work in schools and business across the Huddersfield, Birstall and Batley area. You can follow my creative endeavours on my website www.towersfilmandmedia.com or on my Instagram @towersfilmandmedia.

 

And if people are inspired by your story and want to get creative at work – how would you help them get started?

All you really need to begin experimenting with film and photography is some form of camera, be that a DSLR, a camcorder or just a camera phone. You’ll need to become familiar with whatever device you use, be aware of its strength and weaknesses and plan your shoots accordingly. Don’t let a lack of expensive equipment hold you back; some of the greatest moments are capture on phones because they’re so easily accessible.

The technical knowledge will come with time and research however the creative side of things is what you want to focus on initially. Be aware of everything in the frame, and how it adds context to the shot. Focus on composition and look to other artists/painters/photographers etc. for inspiration.

And most importantly, always be taking pictures/video. As you train your eye you will begin to see compositions in everything around you and with photography/film it is so easy to act upon that inspiration or at least capture the moment to reflect on for a later piece.

Are you ready to join in the creative scene?

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Creative Scene

Creative Scene is the Arts Council England Creative People and Places project for West Yorkshire.

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