Nels Israelson's Latest: 'Divergent' and 'Captain America'
Nels Israelson lent his expertise in character portraits to a pair of spring action releases, "Divergent" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." For the former, he photographed co-stars Shailene Woodley (Tris) and Theo James (Four), capturing their desperate alliance in a variety of key art.
Israelson's "Captain America" images, used in promotions, can also be found within Marvel Entertainment's "Captain America Experience" app. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the free application brings select "Winter Soldier" posters to life when the camera is pointed toward them. "Move in close, walk around him, take pictures of yourself or friends with Captain America – and become one of his allies as you share your unique pictures through your social channels," reads the description of the unprecedented 3D Augmented Reality experience, which utilizes Israelson's pictures in an all-new capacity.
Nels Israelson Returns for Red 2
Like actors Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren, photographer Nels Israelson reprised his role for Red 2, shooting the action-comedy film's posters.
"It simply does not get any better than working with such an eminent cast," Israelson remarked. "They are all consummate professionals, extremely gracious and sweet, and were clearly enjoying their roles and the wackiness of the story – but we also have to make effective use of the cast's valuable time, and bring concepts that do right by their characters. In the end my biggest reward is when all these pieces fit together, as with the Helen Mirren setup where she's wearing a glamourous evening gown with these crazy industrial gloves."
Israelson prepared for the sequel by poring over the screenplay "and inhaling whatever reference material is available ... for this one, it was a completely new story, with new cast members, a new director, and a broader range of settings." He sometimes depicts scenes that aren't necessarily from the movie: "This often means we're taking a leap of faith about what might work."
Recently, he's also turned his lens on Tom Oar, Marty Meierotto, Charlie Tucker, and Rich Lewis of the History Channel series "Mountain Men."
"While they may be less practiced at being in front of a camera, these men had no shortage of real character and depth that made for compelling images," Israelson said. "Shooting them on a subfreezing, stormy day in the Rocky Mountains provided a great perspective: I was worrying about my batteries dying and these gentlemen were completely at home. Plus, I think they were partly tolerating the process of being photographed because it gave them some chill-time away from their hard-core daily chores."
Client: Summit Entertainment
Agency: BLT Communications
Creative Director: Ronnie Blumenberg
NELS ISRAELSON FOR NOW YOU SEE ME
Nels Israelson photographs the leading promo posters for “Now You See Me”, a new film about four highly talented illusionists who also happen to specialize in bank heists. The film boasts an all-star cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and David Franco.
In addition to a full roster of A-list actors, the film has stirred up quite a bit of buzz for its unique storyline and incredible special effects. “Now You See Me” is out tomorrow, May 31st in theaters everywhere.
Nels Israelson Brings The Hobbit to LifeThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film to be shot in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, which results in amazingly sharp 3D images.
Warner Bros Pictures sought out 3D marketing options to convey the experience of this new technology and tapped Nels Israelson for the role. Since Nels had worked on several recent campaigns with the studio, WB was aware he'd been doing R&D on improved 3D lenticular capture techniques. WB's SVP of Theatrical Marketing Massey Rafani contacted Nels and within a few days he and his team were set up in Wellington, NZ. Nels worked with the actors and 3D specialist Grayson Marshall to create defining character moments within the restrictions of the 3D capture process. The actors had to hold still for several seconds as up 72 perspectives were shot. Screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens participated in the photo sessions with on-set feedback and direction.
A total of 34 characters were captured, many in multiple wardrobes, over 40 days of shooting. Nels' images appear in a variety of media including lenticular posters and a series of 3D covers for Empire magazine. His photo of the lead character, Bilbo, is the primary image for the Hobbit's theatrical print campaign. Other assets remain in reserve for promoting the next two Hobbit films.
Nels Israelson Photographs the John Carter Campaign
Nels Israelson captures the campaign for Disney's latest film John Carter. The action movie stars Taylor Kitsch as a Confederate soldier who is transported to Mars and becomes involved in the conflict of the various nations of the planet. Actors Lynn Collins, Mark Strong, and Dominic West also star as the planet's citizens.
Israelson shot the cast on location in Moab, Utah, where main production was already filming. The area featured astonishing red cliffs, panoramic alien vistas, crazy skies, and gorgeous light, although much of the shoot took place indoors with strobes on gray seamless. The otherworldly look of the film was mostly created in post-production, and therefore Israelson and the crew had to create an authentic-looking light and vibe that would be flexible enough to composite the surreal circumstances of the film's setting. Before the shoot Israelson did as much research as possible on the story and the characters. He calls the cast "amazing." and adds, "my job can mostly be to simply stay focused and keep my balance, because there's no predicting what might happen, and it can be a pretty wild ride."
John Carter opens in theaters this Friday.
See more of Nels Israelson's photography here.
Client: Walt Disney
Creative Directors: John Sabel / Disney & Warren Nung / BLT & Associates
Photographer: Nels Israelson>
Nels Israelson Photographs the Sherlock Holmes Campaign
The sequel to Guy Ritchie's successful Sherlock Holmes film, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, opens tonight in midnight showings. Nels Israelson photographed the film's stars for the worldwide campaign. Downey Jr. and Law reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Also featured are Noomi Rapace, as the Gypsy Sim, and Jared Harris, as Holmes's nemesis Professor Moriarty, who joins the cast for the second film.
B&A is pleased to welcome Nels Israelson to the agency. Israelson has photographed eye-catching campaigns for previous blockbusters such as X-Men: The Last Stand, Game of Thrones, Spider-Man, and The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. His photographs are also part of the recently released campaign for the upcoming film John Carter.
See more of Nels Israelson's portfolio here.