By: Ellie Powers Explosions. Burning rubber. David Beckham in a Maserati well past the legal limit on the MacArthur Causeway….


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By: Ellie Powers

Explosions. Burning rubber. David Beckham in a Maserati well past the legal limit on the MacArthur Causeway.

This is what you should expect from a collaboration between Director Nicolai Iuul and Editor Nate Cali.

Nicolai Iuul met Editor Nate Cali somewhere between five and seven years ago (they don’t remember). The pair insisted that I include the following tidbit exactly as printed: they met via a mutual acquaintance who is a failed advertising executive (whoever you are, if you’re reading this, Nate & Nicolai say hi).

Nicolai and Nate temper each other beautifully in a way that infuses all their work with Nicolai’s infectious confidence and Nate’s emotional care. Their work is steeped in story, experimentation, but mostly it’s just fun. To make and to watch.

In the edit suite, it’s Nate’s job to interpret Nicolai’s vision and collate the footage into a cohesive tale. Nate described how he wishes to transport the audience back to the feeling of “your first kiss or your first breakup or taking your kid home for the first time from the hospital. All these milestones happen in a car.”

Nicolai added that in the edit, they strive to find “all the tempo changes. For every piece of screaming, roaring visuals, be it sound or action, you need that moment of silence either before or after to really make you think about what just happened. There’s an art and a skill to the storytelling. As directors there's a huge pressure in running the set, but then you come home with a hard drive stuffed with amazing footage and you say, ‘there you go. There’s my puzzle for you to solve. You have a week.’ The last thing anyone sees is what the editor does. It’s either about him not messing it up or taking something less than ideal and making it palatable.”

The Future Is Electric

The pair is always chasing more. Nicolai phrased it as “I want to make this one bigger than the last.” Looking forward to the future of the auto industry, with the takeover of electric vehicles on the horizon, Nate and Nicolai both see the evolution as a positive and discussed how they see the challenge of defining a sound for EVs.

Nicolai said of the endeavor, “it's interesting because, these electric cars sound like the Tie Fighter from Star Wars, and at a slow speed, EVs have a more interesting noise than a regular gas engine. And that brings so much more than just silent treatment. With electric, we've got an opportunity to create something new.”

Nate discussed the nostalgia of V8s, saying it’s “like listening to Led Zeppelin or the Beastie boys. It's like every time it gets played, you play it as loud as possible. But there's a new world, and it's up to us to find another way of showing emotion and building tensions through sound design and the score.”

Whether with A-list talent or a stunt driver, Nicolai approaches every new project with a hunger to push past the trails he’s already blazed. With Nate’s keen sense of story and emotional charge, the duo faces new challenges with a vigor to say something more.

Learn more about Nate Cali
Learn More about Nicolai Iuul // Racing Cowboys