“A throw of the dice will never abolish chance.”
-- Stéphane Mallarmé
At 22, British director Nick Livesey became the youngest master’s graduate from London’s Royal College of Art in a generation, with a degree in Art Direction and Graphic Design. While there, he ran the weekly cinema club and spent his off-hours splicing together reels of classic Hollywood films to learn the intricacies of film editing.
After a year working at a New York design consultancy, Livesey returned to London, where his sketchbook demo reel caught the attention of filmmaker Tony Scott, who commissioned a 15-minute “wraparound” sequence for the Showtime series The Hunger. This won a D&AD Silver Pencil, was nominated for an Emmy, and led to title sequences for Ridley Scott’s Gladiator and Hannibal (the first of which was shelved, while the second went on to win many awards). He also created an extended scene included in Black Hawk Down. A second Emmy nod came with the promotional film for Discovery Channel’s Queen X, about the rediscovered remains of Queen Nefertiti, the network’s most viewed program ever.
Livesey’s short film The Good Friday Agreement won him the Best New Director award at Cannes and launched his career as a commercial director, much of which draws upon his love of sports. His Club Energise spot One Passion effortlessly combines the ancient sport of hurling with the technical challenge of running on the Guinness-black water of Loch Tay. Both soccer and rugby feature heavily in a celebrated series of spots for Cathay Pacific – one of which, Game On, won a Cannes Lion in 2011. Other spots have profiled soccer stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lionel Messi, Michael Owen, and Cristiano Ronaldo, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, and Indian field hockey great Sardar Singh.
A longtime cycling enthusiast, Livesey shot his short film for Rapha sportswear, A Throw of the Dice, at the finish of the 2010 Paris-Roubaix bicycle race in Northern France. In 2001, he co-founded the Fireflies Ride, an eight-day, 1,000km endurance challenge over the French Alps ending at the Festival of Cannes in June, which has raised over $1.5 million in the fight against leukemia. He chronicled the ride with a pinhole camera for his 2010 book Mountain/Machine.
A solo show of large landscape prints, Patagonia Through a Pinhole, set attendance records at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, London. Awards include a Cannes Lion, Asia Pacific, and ATV awards for his Australian spot Spider for Grosby Shoes, as well as a D&AD Pencil for Paul Smith.
In his spare time, Livesey builds tree houses for his children as well as coracles, a kind of primitive wooden boat.