Spotlight: An interview with Oliver Bou Eid, Cinematographer & VFX Artist
Oliver Bou Eid is a Los Angeles based film director, cinematographer & VFX artist, who specializes in movie intros and TV commercials. Oliver entered the world of film as a Director and Editor. He then moved to special effects and cinematography trying to improve his capacities as a Visual Effects artist and CGI. He studied cinematography in Los Angeles, California, and attended many courses and conferences in Germany to enhance his capacities in animation and visual effects.
Recently, Oliver created a TV commercial for Ghirardelli Chocolate, which earned him multiple awards worldwide, including at Top Shorts and LAFA.
We invited Oliver to join us for an interview. Here's his story.
Oliver, we're happy to chat with you today! Before we dive into the projects you're working on, can you tell us about yourself, and how did you get into the world of filmmaking?
Thank you for having me, yeah so, I started working as an editor and a visual effects artist while I was completing my bachelor’s degree in filmmaking back in Lebanon. I directed my final short film project in school Ercevax, 2014 and worked along with Elias Homsi, a great director from Lebanon, as a cinematographer on his beautiful short film Behind in 2016. This is how I started slowly diving into the world of filmmaking.
Ercevax imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4066164/
Behind imdb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10508734/
What are some of the highlights of your career so far, and/or memorable milestones you experienced?
I worked on many big and international projects for the Middle east region, did a great CGI animated advertisement for Unigaz (Famous Gas company), worked as a VFX Artist/Supervisor on Peasants' Rebellion 2018 (TV series now showing on Netflix)
You recently won the Honorable Mention: Commercial here at Top Shorts, for your work on the Ghirardelli chocolate commercial. It was such a beautiful piece! How did you come up with the concept? Where there any challenges during the shoot? If so, how did you overcome them?
Well it’s not easy to create a concept for an advertisement from scratch, I always start by searching & looking for references to see what other people have already created. I start by building a successful strategy by studying other director’s failure to avoid any mistakes. Every shooting has its own challenges, however, the challenges of this commercial were the slow-motion shots and the inserts on the chocolate-making process. My experience and my talented team helped me a lot overcoming those challenges.
In your opinion, what are the most important elements in a successful commercial?
Great concept, Great Director, Great Cinematographer, Great Editing.
You recently shot a commercial for Commish Kit - Fantasy Football Draft Board Kits. What was it like to work with the beautiful models Juliette Kida and Jess Harbour? How did you get them on board?
I worked with Juliette before on Galicia Music video and it was really successful, she actually recommended me to the Client and I got to work on the advertisement along with Jess Harbour a mutual friend of the client and Juliette.
Commish Kit Advertisement
Galicia music video
You also work as a cinematographer, and previously shot a film for director Alphonso Mcauley (Cyverius SciFi ) - how was the shoot?
Well, the shoot was amazing and meeting Alphonso was my greatest honor. We had meetings and planning session before shooting. The shooting was not easy as we had to shoot this short movie in one single day. The short movie also revolves around spaceships and planets, so Alphonso asked me to do them in 3D. The shooting was hard, tiring but most of all fruitful.
Cyverius IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10504786/
In addition to directing and shooting, you also have expertise in visual effects. What were some of your responsibilities as a VFX supervisor on the Netflix show, Peasants Rebellion? The show's intro is magnificent!
There were many shots in this show that needed intensive VFX work, since the show dated back in early 19th century in Lebanon we needed to remove, erase and replace new technologies we see in our present like electric wires or any other mistake.
I was also responsible to create the Intro credit of the show. The intro was fully CGI animated 3D rendered in gold. The story of the series inspired me to create an intro filled with war, passion, love and oppression. The items appearing in 3D rendered gold mark a moment lived by at least one of the characters of the series. Indeed, working with the director Philippe Asmar, the director of the show was a real honor for me.
Peasants’ Rebellion Netflix Link: https://www.netflix.com/title/81049612
How do you develop and maintain relationships with clients and other filmmakers? Any advice on that?
Working fast & maintaining quality.
You're currently in pre-production for an upcoming commercial project for commish Kit in Austin, Texas. what can you tell us about the project?
Another commercial for commish Kit will be filmed in Austin next month, this commercial is going to be a hit because it’s a comedy and at the same time featuring the commish kit products.
Where can our readers see more of your work?
On my personal website here: www.oliverboueid.com
Phone: +1 (747)234-1658
About the director:
Oliver entered the world of film as Director / Editor. He then moved to special effects and cinematography trying to improve his capacities as a Visual Effects artist and CGI. He studied cinematography in Los Angeles, California. He attended many courses and conferences in Germany to enhance his capacities in animation and visual effects. He is best known for his work on Movie intros and commercials (TV ads).
Oliver's first short film as a filmmaker was Ercevax (2014). Oliver also worked as a cinematographer on Behind (2016). He began working on commercials with esteemed agencies in Lebanon and Dubai such as Leo Burnett. His famous work in the fields of VFX, 3D animation and Virtual Reality pushed many production houses to collaborate with him to create film intros such as Eagle Films.