Well folks we’ve got some great news for you–the Masses is expanding! We couldn’t be more pleased to announce our newest addition–Elliott Sellers!
Elliott’s one of those people who manages to keep us guessing. With a look that’s more Mumford than Metallica, it came as quite a shock when we found out this once home-schooled kid from Arizona started touring the world as a death-metal drummer when he was only sixteen. Lucky for us he did, though, for it was on the road that he first discovered an affinity for visual media. And thanks to the rapid demise of the VHS, his self-education was cost-efficiently comprised of discounted classics picked up a truck stops. Then, one day, his life arrived at a turning point: “Before, my friends were telling me about good films and what I should watch. Then, slowly I started asking them if they’d seen things. It escalated until I really wanted to start doing it.”
It was only a matter of time until Elliott packed up his life and moved to Los Angeles to study film at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. Here he met Alan Calzatti, “an amazing teacher and even more amazing cinematographer” and friend Dean DeBlois, who were working on fantastic projects like Sigur Ros‘ first film, “Heima.” Eventually, their work resulted in an opportunity for him to edit a pile of footage they had just shot in Iceland for Jonsi’s solo project. Within a matter of days, he had completed the edit and was named chief editor of the project, “Go Quiet.”
Elliott’s work for Jonsi opened up doors that he’d never imagined existed. Through it he discovered that his percussive background and natural sense of rhythm integrated quite nicely into his film work, especially when it came to editing.When he was asked to do a lyric video for Atlantic Records artist Christina Perri, he said yes even though he wasn’t exactly sure what the project would entail. But the lyric video is, of course, charming, and you would never know from watching the impeccable stop-motion that it was one of Elliott’s first directorial efforts.
“For the lyrical projects, I think people are used to seeing an all-post video, and that’s really uninspiring. I wanted to introduce practical effects and cinematic elements to give a project like this new life. These kinds of videos show people you can make something out of nothing and I love doing that–especially with no money.”
A little more fate and a splash of curiosity eventually lead Elliott to the Masses. He reached out to us in the hopes we might someday collaborate, but had no idea we just so happened to be scouting out new talent. When we hinted at the possibility of forming an alliance in the near future, however, Elliott hesitated. “I didn’t want to force that relationship–I wanted to make The Masses want me, not to feel obligated to include me–so I waited.”
When Masses director Matt Amato called him up a few weeks later to propose a collaboration for his upcoming Explosions in the Sky project (Taking Care: 6 Visual Interpretations), it seemed like a prime opportunity for Elliott to prove his worth. Thanks to some brilliant surfing footage and a feverish weekend of editing between Coachella sets, the duo emerged with a video that compliments the cathartic and stirring subtleties of Explosions perfectly. And so it was through this very project that both the Masses and Elliott felt the time had finally come for Elliott to join The Masses.
Though chance/fate seems to have played a large role in bringing him to us, that certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t capable. Most recently, Elliott directed a stunning piece with the help of friend Bryan Dos Reis (a frequent collaborator and a visionary in his own right) for progressive fusion band Symphonic Circles. Despite having a minimal budget and limited resources, they made an outstanding video that exceeded all expectation. Of course Elliott, in his typical humility, is quick to point out that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it weren’t for friends like Bryan who challenge him to try things he may not necessarily show immediate interest in.
“The more I do it, the more the art form begins to reveal itself. So many things have been done but at the same time, there’s still many voices to be represented. People are seeing things like they have never seen them before, but there’s still a little bit more to be done; I’m hoping that little bit could be my contribution.”