In summary

  • Swinburne alum and Director at Visible Studios, Nick Kozakis, has been nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Music Video
  • Won't Sleep is Visible Studios’ sixth music video and third consecutive ARIA nomination with Tones and I 
  • Voting closes for the ARIA Awards on Wednesday 17 November at 11:59pm 

It was another busy day of filming in Adelaide for Swinburne alum and Director of Visible Studios, Nick Kozakis, when global superstar, Tones and I, sent the text announcing their ARIA award nomination for the music video Won’t Sleep

Nick Kozakis shares his experience of working with Tones and I and the process of creating a music video. 

‘It was a pretty wild feeling. I was working on a feature film and I felt my phone vibrating, thinking it was a group chat going off. I scrolled further down to see a message from Tones which said, “Congratulations on another ARIA nomination. I am so proud of this team. Love this family”,’ Mr Kozakis says. 

‘It was a complete shock and everyone is just super proud. Win or lose, this nomination is a win itself. Everyone worked so hard and to be acknowledged for all that hard work is such a valuable thing. But the biggest thing is that she does value us as family and so do we.’ 

Won’t Sleep, is Visible Studios’ sixth music video and third-consecutive ARIA award nomination with the Australian singer-songwriter, and Nick believes this nomination comes down to having a talented music artist and close-knit film crew. 

Tones and I in haunted music video, Won’t Sleep. Credit: Sina Salsali, Visible Studios

‘The song is obviously a big deal – Tones is a genius. Her music, her originality of concepts, she’s super collaborative and has big, wild ideas. She is just awesome and the best thing about her is that she lives and breathes the tracks and then she has a creative visual of the music video in mind which really helps.

‘For Won’t Sleep, she called myself and Liam Kelly and said, “I just want heaps of dancers and I want heaps of extras and I want it to be horror themed.” I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s helped us receive an ARIA nomination!

‘And with the filming, at the end of the day it's the cast and crew coming together, keeping the energy levels up, having a really good time, supporting each other and then believing in the vision and being able to translate that onto screen,’ Mr Kozakis says. 

Nick Kozakis and Visible Studios film crew on set for Won’t Sleep. Credit: Visible Studios

The magic of filming  

The music video for Won’t Sleep was filmed using the latest technology to meet the quick turnaround for the song’s release in May 2021. 

‘Creating a music video can be pretty insane. As a director, you’re required to be a Swiss Army knife, understanding different departments and what’s needed. With Won’t Sleep, it was just all guns blazing. We had over 80 crew, over 100 talent and 40 make-up artists.  

‘We used Red cameras and a Blackmagic Design software for production and post-production. Davinci Resolve is core to our editing system. Our Digital Imaging Technician was on set to deal with all our data; preparing it, transferring it, and then putting it into our edit suite – but without having to use externally create proxies – that was a very modern process. Software like Davinci Resolve helps us with quick turnarounds, and we need quick turnarounds to release music videos as close to when a song is released as possible. Then there’s incorporating our visual effects and in Won’t Sleep all of the edits were done within the one program.’

Tones and I in haunted music video, Won’t Sleep. Credit: Sina Salsali, Visible Studios

Inspiring the future filmmaker 

As a Swinburne alum, Mr Kozakis wants to share his passion for film with others in the Swinburne community and to give back to help aspiring filmmakers. 

‘At Swinburne, I was taught to respect and understand each department – the importance of cinematography, how lights are set up and how long some processes can take. Also understanding that the team you create can then make something really special.

‘I also tried and failed a lot at Swinburne. Swinburne was great for identifying the flaws and learning how to rectify them on the next production. I did a music video early on that I really failed – in all the ways possible. And then I created a music video that was very well received and that was the first music video that I had put everything into. I was given a near perfect score of 99 and told “nothing is ever perfect.” And although that sounds grim, it’s actually a great way to look at productions and to not stagnate but pursue new and different things.

‘I wasn’t the most talented one in my year level. There were so many great filmmakers, but I was one of the most persistent and that persistence is what has helped me establish relationships to work with other very talented people – to help me grow. Now I just want to help inspire other filmmakers and keep the motivation going…Everyone has a story to tell and everyone has a unique perspective and there is enough work out there to be able to tell those stories so I just want to inspire people to create – there is always an audience.'

Nick Kozakis on set for Won’t Sleep. Credit: Sina Salsali, Visible Studios

While Mr Kozakis is now focused on directing feature film, In God’s Care, he still plans to continue filming all different types of projects. 

‘I really enjoy narrative feature films – I just love that storytelling process but I will never let go of music videos, they are great projects to cut your teeth into and experiment on.’

Read more here on Mr Kozakis’ journey from Swinburne to filming with Tones and I on other music videos including Dance Monkey. Further information on Swinburne’s Film and Television courses can be found here.

Voting for ARIA nominations close Wednesday 17 November at 11:59pm.

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