Nice Shoes Creative Studio Director James Coulson Presents Other America


Last Updated: November 10, 2014 10:01 pm GMT
(New York, New York--November 10, 2014) Nice Shoes Director James Coulson’s Other America documentary film series has launched on The twelve films will roll out bi-weekly, and provide a virtual roadtrip via lesser-traveled byways, from the unseen side-streets of El Paso to the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota.

U.K. born director James Coulson was drawn to New York City since his childhood. The New York depicted in Marvel Comics, the beats of Afrika Bambaatta and the lyrics of Public Enemy, as well as the films of Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee, stoked his fascination with the Big Apple. After moving to America and working as a director, he became more aware of the “Brand America” being put forward on a larger scale by popular culture and advertising. He decided to seek out the “Other America.”

“I’d led a cosmopolitan, but sheltered life after moving to New York,” said Coulson. “I wanted to see the ‘Real America.’ I had my own stereotypes about who I might meet on my journey, many of which were dashed by the generous people who shared their stories.”

Travelling across the country and picking out strangers at random, Coulson amassed hours of interview footage with a diverse group of subjects, covering a variety of topics. Through these personal reflections, the film series Other America examines how modern Americans are affected by who is voted into office, the challenges veterans face when coming home, and the controversial ways in which the country was established. It looks at those who have found their own version of the “American Dream,” and what that means to them. In exploring America as the “other,” Coulson decided to apply for his US citizenship midway.

In joining the Nice Shoes Creative Studio in 2014, he found post production collaborators with editors Nicole Lana and Cameron Kelly, who aided him in finding the story in each interview. He also worked with the studio’s colorists Lenny Mastrandrea and Gene Curley to grade each film, bringing out the best in the cinematic vistas he had shot, while keeping a natural look for the interviews. In crafting the aural atmosphere of the films, Coulson enlisted teams from Machine Head in California for original compositions and Sound Lounge in New York for sound design and audio mixing.

“Lenny and Gene were brilliant. We discussed capturing the diversity of landscapes and perspectives. Population Four intentionally feels like color stills from the 1950s, Rock Creek Park captures a postcard sensibility, while The Buzzard Eater was heavily influenced by Sergio Leone’s films. Lenny and Gene took it there, without losing the feel of each location,” added Coulson. “Collaborating with Machine Head’s Stephen Dewey and his team of Kip Smedley and Gregory Jenkins has been really rewarding. Their scores, along with the talents of Mark Ledwich, Collin Blendell and Peter Crimi from Sound Lounge, have really amplified the sound of Other America.”

This is not the exported Brand America - but the intrepid spirit of rugged individualism prevails. This is a love letter and a reality check. Explore here:


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