At the heart of it
Neels Castillon is a Paris based film director and artist. Named one of the 2018 Young Guns by the ADC/One Club for Creativity, Neels has built a reputation directing visually rich and emotionally engaging films in challenging environments. He has directed award-winning shorts, music videos, feature documentaries and brought his love for creative challenges to top brands including Lacoste, Hermès, Nikon or Puma. He is represented worldwide by the Rildey Scott Creative group and he co-founded Motion Palace a creative studio, producing original content for brands, agencies and the arts.
Fabrik: Hi Neels, we're so pleased to have you as our Fabrik Hero and to catch up with you. To begin, we'd love for you to share a bit more about yourself in your own words?
Neels Castillon: "I’m not very talented to speak about myself... but in a few words I’m a film director and photographer living in Paris. I co-founded a creative studio called Motion Palace and we’re very lucky to make a living working on interesting projects with great people."
Fabrik: As a director is there anything specific you look for in scripts? What draws you to a project?
Neels Castillon: "I’m very curious and I love my job as I have the opportunity to discover new things everyday. I think what draws me is the originality of the idea first and what I will learn whilst doing it. It could be travelling, experimenting new technics, meeting challenging artists. Let’s say between two projects I will definitely choose the one that will be harder to shoot with a smaller team very far away than the big commercial in studio."
Fabrik: When scouting for a film location, what aspects must you take into account? Where has been your favorite location to shoot?
Neels Castillon: "It’s more of a subjective feeling depending on what kind of emotion you want for the visuals. I look for something unique that hasn't been filmed a thousand times. I take into account the colors, the lights, the landscape but also the feasibility in terms of production (cost and security). I have been to so many incredible locations it’s impossible to choose."
Fabrik: Your portfolio features an impressive body of work from branded content to music videos and documentaries. Do you have any milestone projects in your career so far?
Neels Castillon: "Almost every project I put on my Fabrik website is a milestone in a way. I do a lot of different projects but only the best end up on my website, if I find it good enough to be saved for the memories :D"
Fabrik: Would you like to tell us more about your source of inspiration?
Neels Castillon: "This is a vast question: books, films, nature but first of all, people. I realize that most of my projects are the result of meeting great people, ones that inspired me to build an idea especially for them. That’s why I’m always happy to collaborate with new artists; Musician, dancers, actors, athletes, writers, etc. because I’m not very interested in myself but more in portraying others."
"I look for something unique that hasn't been filmed a thousand times."
Fabrik: You have worked with brands including Lacoste, Hermès, Nikon, and Puma. Has there been any challenges whilst working on-set or pushing your creative and artistic approach to clients?
Neels Castillon: "I learn everyday on how to pitch an idea to get the client trust your vision."
Fabrik: You are founder of Motion Palace, a Paris-based creative studio working in collaboration with the Ridley Scott Creative Group. What sparked the idea behind the creation of Motion Palace?
Neels Castillon: "Ariane Cornic, my co-founder and producer asked me to create this studio few years ago. I was very happy freelancing and pretty inexperienced to start a company but I trusted her. Now I realize it was a very good choice because it’s a wonderful tool to make projects happen. You don’t have to wait or to chase anyone. When you have an idea and a solid team it’s way easier to make things happen. Now we have the trust of top clients, agencies and a tv channel, it’s a very good place to be. Our relation with the Ridley Scott creative group is pretty new since last year but it expands a lot the creative opportunities and the production possibilities. I love the team - We are cooking some great stuff with them. Stay tuned!"
Fabrik: Can you give us insight on any projects that you’re currently working on?
Neels Castillon: "That is top secret :) All projects have big NDA now, but I can say we are working on a worldwide campaign for a famous brand that will take one year to be done. We are still improving the rebrand of the French Channel France 5 and we’ve been invited to make an art project in the US and in Russia but like everyone we’re waiting for covid to be over to make this happen."
Fabrik: Final question. What do you like most about Fabrik? What's your favourite feature?
Neels Castillon: "I love the simplicity and the design. It’s a perfect tool to show your portfolio to the world without being an expert in web design."
Neels uses Airdura, an immersive and slick theme that couples gorgeous typography with full-width imagery and unique block styles. With over twenty layouts to play with projects are perfectly presented and each portfolio is truly individual.