Bicoastal production company Rocket Film continues to bolster its directorial roster by signing award-winning commercial, short film and documentary filmmaker, Nick Piper.
A multitalented, visually-driven storyteller with a notable background as a VFX artist and supervisor, Piper has spent over two decades honing his craft at notable production companies such as Backyard, B-Reel and Santa Monica-based VFX studio, Chemical Effects. Now as part of Rocket Film, the renowned filmmaker has found an ideal, full-scale operation in which to explore multiple facets of filmmaking and elevate his directing capabilities. “Rocket is set up with an appreciation for both the art and commerce of filmmaking,” Piper says. “Needless to say, commercials are a massive priority for all of us and I’m excited to advance that part of my career. But as a curious filmmaker, I’m not just waiting for commercial scripts to come in, I’m also looking to take advantage of Rocket’s production resources to craft short films, documentary and long-form ideas as well.”
From his digital effects work on the Cannes Gold Lion-winning, Ad Meter-topping “Innertube” Super Bowl spot for Pepsi to more recent directing efforts for top-tier brands including Google, GM, Hyundai, Nissan, Home Depot and P&G, Piper has always been driven by a desire to make people pay attention to each project he’s helmed. “We’re no longer able to force-feed messaging to a captive audience. Now, we actually have to win their attention,” he explains. “So, I like to plant a curiosity seed in the audience’s mind within the first three seconds, so they’re thinking, ‘What’s this I’m watching?’ The great thing about human beings is that our appetite for fresh information is larger than ever. But if we already know the answer, we move on. My job as a director is to give the audience something different to think about that stops them from moving on.”
Throughout his storied career, Piper has kept things fresh by first and foremost embracing an air of spontaneity on his shoots. “When I step on the set I keep my eyes wide open – and the camera rolling – to capture the spontaneous discoveries and magic moments as they naturally happen,” he divulges. “So on the one hand, if something isn’t working quite right, I’m prepared with a backup plan. But if something works better on the day, then I’m able to grab it with both hands. Did I mention I have three hands?”
Just as important as Piper’s intuition and instinctive nature is his ability to craft invigorating work by taking a creative approach that explores human truths. This was reflected most recently in his “Our Greatest Feature” spot for Hyundai. ’It’s a child cancer awareness film that I’m particularly fond of,” says the director. “It just feels really honest and hopeful and was so much fun to shoot. I had goosebumps all day.” The Hyundai spot marks a natural transition for Piper as he increasingly evolves into more of a human-centric storyteller who draws inspiration from people’s experiences and realities. “I want to tell stories with real meaning – with questions I want to know the answers to,” he states. “I’m a curious observer of life and love exploring the emotions that connect us. When the audience leans forward in their seats because something just resonated, for me those are the Holy Grail moments of visual storytelling.”
Having collaborated on several projects through the years, Rocket Film Co-Founder/Managing Partner Sara Eolin is quite familiar with Piper’s talents and believes he makes an ideal, unique and valuable fit to the production company’s talent roster. “To be a director at Rocket, it’s not just about being talented– you also have to have a constant drive to elevate the story and have an appreciation of forging relationships with your creative partners/clients. Nick is a true filmmaker, and puts his heart into everything he does and it shows…He can also make me laugh for hours on end, so who doesn’t love that?”
About Rocket Film:
Remember the wonderment of looking up into the sky, and letting your creativity run wild? You wanted to be an astronaut, a bounty hunter… or a filmmaker. Well, we still do…a filmmaker, that is… Our passion is creating environments which truly empower artists, and through that, we change the world, one project at a time. Because when brilliant creative is your North Star, the sky no longer becomes the limit. We are Rocket Film.