ABOUT NIC ASKEW. FILM MAKER, POET
CREATOR OF SOUL BIOGRAPHIES
Soul Biographies is about being truly seen. For when we are, the world changes.
The films are of the courageous, and for the courageous. Of the courageous ~ it’s an act of bravery, and of immense trust to sit in front of such a revealing camera not knowing what might come. For the courageous ~ it’s a similar act of bravery to pay attention to another who is most likely to challenge your world.
These black & White Human Portraits examine the depth of qualities such as happiness, purpose, loss, loneliness, courage, and gratitude. And the more worldly subjects such as transformation in leadership, education, healthcare, business and poverty.
Films 1 to 11 minutes. New human portraits have been emailed out to a large loyal, curious and influential TRIBE each Monday since 2005.
soul biographies mission: ‘to give the experience that we are and always have been inextricably connected. All of us, without exception.’ this runs deep through all films.
mission for organizations: ‘to make films that communicate concise, truthful articulation of brands, products, services, causes, movements and people doing significant work in the world. so that they may be truly seen.’
commercial bio: ‘works all over the world helping foundations articulate big ideas, organizations express their soul, company figureheads express their visions, corporates shake up their cultures, brands understand what they could be and human beings express their pain and their joy.’
twitter bio: ‘Deep deep stuff about us humans. On film. Watched all over the world. Appears to bring people closer together. Eeek.’
FROM A LUCID DAYDREAM. Soul Biographies is the creation of Nic Askew. That’s me. Above. After a lucid daydream in 2005, I immediately dropped everything (I’d been a Managing Director and an Explorer – Congo, Amazon, Sahara etc – of sorts before that) and taught myself to make films. Short, black & white human portraits. Extremely close up. Extremely revealing of our human experience … click to continue
An intimate encounter with another. Examining the depth of qualities such as happiness, purpose, loss, loneliness, courage, gratitude and much in between. I also make films on more worldly subjects such as leadership, education, business and poverty. All through the lens of those prior human qualities. I’m convinced this is what I’m here to do (see mission above). It feels purposeful to share what I see of people and their experience in the world. My hope is that this work brings people closer to each other.
TELLING STORIES IN SUCH A FASHION appears to change the way many see the world. When a film subject talks from their soul, and not the need to convince others of a point of view, that can often be the consequence. Hey, stories told in this fashion are even capable of articulating brands honestly and with immense power.
The Soul Biographies Short Film Series is watched in the living rooms of Hollywood to the quiet of Buddhist Monasteries, and the many places in between. The films have been said by many, to shake the soul. Exposed humans beings usually do.
A MOST UNUSUAL PROCESS. I ‘interview‘ each subject, except that the experience is far far from an interview. I film, record the sound and only ever uses the sun to light a room. There is a beyond important reason for this. Then I edit, write the words that challenge the viewer, and record the guitar for each of the films. My keynote talk HOW TO SEE SOMEBODY reveals some of the unique and often subtle human elements of this process.
YIKES IT’S HITTING ME. I and everyone who’s had a go at describing Soul Biographies in a very practical fashion has had trouble. Tongue tied is a common experience. As is changing one’s mind. It’s clear that one has to experience a film. Whilst paying full attention, hence the under-film instructions. ‘Yikes it’s hitting me‘ is one of my favorite viewer comments.
WONDERFULLY CURIOUS MONDAYS. Many of my Films, Words & Guitar compositions can be found here on this site. Searchable by SUBJECT. Most of what I make is characterized by a depth of observation. So I’ve been told. I’ve emailed a film out to an ever growing LIST of viewers, most Monday’s since my very first film in June 2005. It seems Monday’s for many have become a WONDERFULLY CURIOUS day.
LIFE PRIOR TO ALL THIS. Prior to this I led an eclectic life. From crossing the Sahara, canoeing the Amazon and Congo Rivers to running a well-known London Marketing Company. But that was then, and of course these few lines could never hope to describe the life of those 39 years.
WORKING IN THE WORLD. Organizations and Individuals world over COMMISSION me to capture a unique articulation of their work in the world, or simply a sense of who they are, I have some useful observations on honesty within brand. I more often than not share the resulting films with Soul Biographies viewers. I also SPEAK for a living. I imagine it to be original, bold and quietly provocative. Like the films. I speak to audiences large & small, about the very human issues that face us all. And I always talk on the subjects that face a specific audience.
A POSSIBLE ARTISTIC STATEMENT. Asked to use 400 words to describe WHY I do what I do, I used just 68 / ONE SAME HEARTBEAT. Perhaps this serves as an artist’s statement. Or perhaps such a statement is hidden somewhere in the films.
FAMILY. I’m 48, and an Englishman living in Minneapolis, USA. Which came as a surprise. I’ve one wife, CAROLINE who reviews the films, and five children under 9. If I count the dog and the cat, which I do. I work from the attic, finding peace amongst the chaos. Often with the dog, and the cat at my feet.
A VERY VERY SHORT FILM ABOUT ‘ME’. A TERRIBLY SELF IMPORTANT ‘ME’