“At least I’m in control,” says the protagonist of Stuart Rideout’s Arachnid as something eight-legged and hairy slips out of his mouth and creeps around his skull. The short film, completed while at Art College in Cardiff, Wales, won first prize at the Portobello Film Festival. While earning his degree, Rideout also won a Fuji Award for Best Student Animation and a D&AD Award for Graphic Design.
This understanding of the unusual lurking inside the everyday was a talent Rideout came by the old-fashioned way – as a nine-year-old making Super-8 horror films (while enjoying an otherwise idyllic Welsh childhood). It can be seen in his commercial spots like Rise, Stand, Resist for Sony PS3’s Resistance 2, with its blend of desert prophets, child monks, Biblical apocalypse, and an alien invasion.
It also informs his widely praised, ongoing series for Canon, The Shot, in which he asked photographers to recreate a particular image or body of work. English fashion photographer Rankin’s disturbing self-portraiture reimagines him with a pig’s head in a business suit. Erik Refner’s highly emotive Afghan refugee camp photo (which won the World Press Photo of the Year in 2001) documents the death of child by capturing black hands against a white shroud.
Rideout began his career at Lambie-Nairn & Co., designing logos and branding identity for broadcast clients such as BBC, TV3, and Channel 4. After launching his own design-based production company, Mighty, his work received International Monitor, D&AD, and Promax gold, silver and bronze awards. In addition, his work for the Children’s Channel earned him a BAFTA and Royal Television Award.
Moving to commercials, Rideout created spots with some of London’s top agencies for clients such as Waitrose, COI, Muller, Canon, and the Bahamas Tourist Board. He was also named in Shots Magazine’s list of Up and Coming Directors and Campaign’s Ones to Watch. His music video for Planet Funk’s Chase the Sun won Best Dance Video at the MTV Awards.