A cross our global network, our dedicated teams of video producers, editors and directors turn out a vast quantity of videos annually, weaving entrancing short films to bring you engaging, frequently ingenious visual stories that span a spectrum of topics, from gallery tours, all manner of auctions, glamorous events and the partners, collaborators and guests who contribute to our rich mix of activities, worldwide. So, as the year comes to a close, we asked a few of our video producers from around the world, to attempt the near-impossible and share with us their personal favourite projects of the year as well as nominating their picks of the popular A Life Less Ordinary and Artist Videos series.
'Ernesto Espositio: The Love of Photography'
Ernesto Esposito: The Love of Photography
It was a pleasure meeting shoe designer and art lover Ernesto Esposito in his native Naples.
He has designed collections for the greatest fashion brands in the world; At the same time, he started meeting famous photographers shooting for the same brands. He became friends and started collecting photos from Helmut Newton, Bruce Webber, Mapplethorpe just to cite a few.
For Ernesto Esposito, these photographers are the modern painters, their eyes are the modern way of seeing people. His collection tells the history of the last 30 decades exploring social, political and economic themes.
Looking back at his collection, Ernesto Esposito realizes that every photo mirrors a trait of his personality and the collection represent what he wanted to say about gay rights, social prejudice and migration. I really enjoyed filming, directing and editing this piece because Ernesto’s portrait is full of life and humanity. – Luis Leitao (Paris)
'Great Collectors: Sherry and Joel Mallin'
Great Collectors: Sherry and Joel Mallin
These are two of the greatest and most memorable individuals I have ever worked with and interviewed at Sotheby's. They have such a great eye for art, every piece speaks to them, tells them where it wants to be placed on their vast property in upstate New York. They are cultivating the next generation of artists to help sustain creativity. That to me is what makes a great collector. Creating a space to be who you are and find what inspires you. I'll never forget that hour long interview with Sherry and Joel. We laughed, we cried, we created the type of content that will help preserve their legacy forever. – Mark Dearborn, New York
'de Kooning/Decades: Property from the de Kooning Family Collection'
de Kooning | Decades: Property from the de Kooning Family Collection
It is one of the great pleasures of working at Sotheby’s to regularly come into contact with amazing art and objects. Rarely however, do we have the privilege of visiting the spaces in which the art we sell was created. This video, filmed at the East Hampton studio of Willem de Kooning, showcases three of the artist’s masterworks in the very place they were painted. To walk inside the largely preserved studio was an honor in and of itself, but to see these paintings displayed in the place of their inception was nothing short of extraordinary. Away from the city, amongst the trees and beside the water one can more fully appreciate how de Kooning was able to reinvent himself time and time again. – Greg Esposito (New York)
'Expert Voices with Tom Heap on the Lemon Paul Newman Daytona Watch'
Expert Voices with Tom Heap on the Lemon Paul Newman Daytona Watch
With six months as senior video producer in London under my belt and even directing two wildly-different Gallery Tours, my favourite video of 2022 is not a fine arts video, but a watch video. My process for producing and directing a video for Sotheby's involves a deep dive into how the object itself is an actual work of art, as well as studying the previous on-camera appearances of the Sotheby's specialists we'll be interviewing. It's my job to make sure these geniuses sound effortless and brilliant on camera. Because, even if you are a specialist who can rattle off centuries-long provenances in three different languages, or can discourse confidently upon the history of impasto from the Old Masters to today, speaking on camera can nevertheless be a nerve-wracking experience.
Our Senior Marketing Manager Rachel Li had the brilliant idea to put forward for an Expert Voices video a relatively new Watch specialist named Tom Heap. He hadn’t done a full-fledged video for Sotheby's yet. This video was going to teach people what to look for in an exceptional vintage watch, in this case using the Holy Grail of watch collecting, the 'Lemon Paul Newman' Daytona, Ref. 2624.
I made sure to work with one of our best cinematographers, to get the colour timing just right, so that when you watch the video, there’s a heightened, vintage look to it. On set, Tom got better and better with each take, striking that perfect balance of expertise with approachability. And when it went live, the video became a bit of a social media sensation. I've personally never seen comments like that on Sotheby's Instagram for a non-celebrity. There's many interesting videos that have made this list, but I can’t think of another in which you’ll watch a Sotheby's star being born. – Mira Lew, London
'A Blooming Spring in the Twilight of Life: Sanyu's Autobiographical Masterpiece'
A Blooming Spring in the Twilight of Life: Sanyu’s Autobiographical Masterpiece
Branches is the representation of a very special period of Sanyu's career and life. In this painting, he articulated the resoluteness of his vision despite the turbulence and change in his life and the world around him, as well as his hope for an early spring after a long, dark winter.
In this short video, we wanted to make sure our audience understood that. Aside from the growing branches illustrating the vitality of the painting, we built up the artist's studio with CGI to link the change of seasons with changes of Sanyu's life. In the beginning, you see the empty vase in a small studio with a cold undertone, and shadows of snowflakes cast on the wall, indicating the adversity of the past decade. When he picks up the brush and starts painting, colour starts coming up. In the later part of the video, you see the CGI artist’s studio transform into warmer hues in a wide frame. The shadow on the wall turns from snow into joyful flowers floating in the air of spring, indicating the silver lining of his later years. This snow-to-flower idea came to us at the final round of anime revision, only a few days before delivery. It's the thrills I constantly feel when a new idea or visual concept pops up during the process of video creation. It's also an utter privilege for me to interpret such a poetic work of art with modern visual storytelling techniques – Matt Ma, Hong Kong