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Freise Brothers | SHOOT New Directors Showcase Event
Freise Brothers

Skeet Art

Freise Brothers

1) How did you get into directing?
Nathan: Making short films and animations is something Adam and I have been doing for fun since we were kids. I remember visiting MGM Studios when I was about 12 years old and seeing the artists creating cells for Pocahontas, it made a huge impression on me. Growing up in the Midwest, film or animation school didn’t even seem like a possibility, at least it didn’t to me. We went to architecture school, which seems to be the accepted balance of art and practicality that can lead to a viable “career.” Strangely enough, it was in design school that we fell in love with animation all over again. We started making short animations and films in our spare time, which eventually lead to film festivals and then following our passion to LA. We were fortunate enough to meet some great folks in the industry who supported our visions.
2) What is your most recent project? 
Adam: We just finished up the promo spot for the 2015 Newport Beach Film Festival, titled “Skeet Art.” It was a fun little concept that we wrote and directed. We also recently just finished a proof-of-concept piece called Newhouse, about a homeless artist who is building his own utopia. It’s a very personal piece to us and we’re hoping to find the support/funding to develop it into a feature film one day.
3) What is the best part of being a director? 
Adam: The rare moments you’re allowed unrestricted creative freedom.
4) What is the worst part of being a director? 
Nathan: The rare moments you’re allowed unrestricted creative freedom.
5) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.? 
Adam: Currently we’re focusing on branded content for any medium, TV, film, web, etc. Commercials have been a great way for us to develop our craft as directors. Telling a story is 30 seconds is tough. It really makes you work hard to make the most of every second, which is really challenging and rewarding at the same time. We are also writing a script for a feature film, which is a complete brain-flip from commercials.
6) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates with you? 
Adam: We’re lucky to have worked with such a variety of talented people. The people I’ve seemed to connect with most are the ones that not afraid to tell you what they think you are doing wrong. In such a subjective field, it’s all about opinions, so when someone is willing to share their honest-to-god thoughts on what you’re doing, it’s a valuable thing. A lesson that still resonates with me is that the work that is most personal to you will be your most well-received work. The work that has helped us along the most and allowed us to connect with inspiring and encouraging people have been the pieces that reflect who we are and what we care about as artists.
7) Who is your favorite director and why? 
Nathan: Oddly, I find myself being inspired more by artists and writers than other directors. The way Cormac McCarthy handles characters in his novels is very compelling to me. The narrative driven architecture of Lebbeus Woods and Superstudio is something that has inspired me since college. We also look to the work of photographers quite a bit for visual reference—Iain McKell, Edward Burtynsky, Richard Mosse are a few that we seem to come back to. To answer the question more specifically, I’ve lately been watching a lot of Werner Herzog. He tackles enormous ideas with a very independent approach in filmmaking which is inspiring.
8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content? 
Adam: Favorite movie is a tough one, but one movie that I always find something new in is Stalker. I’ve watched it many times and am always amazed at how timeless Tarkovsky’s images are.
Nathan: Branded content—GE and Sony are doing very creative spots. They manage to create messages that go way beyond the brand but are perfectly in tune with them at the same time.
9) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?) 
Adam: We were born & raised in Union, Missouri. We both went through architecture school in Kansas, then worked at a handful of design studios in Chicago and New York, primarily doing 3D design & animation. Yearning for a more creative path, we pursued short films in our spare time, leveraging our design background & our growing understanding of visual effects. After a few years in the corporate world, we both went back to school in New York where we collaborated on a sci-fi short film together. We gained some exposure with this piece that gave us the encouragement needed to eventually move to LA and push our filmmaking further.


colleen o'donnell
executive producer

holly vega
executive producer