Director BIO: Stephen Rutterford (BACK PAGE RIPPER)

Director Biography

Rutterford 2

Stephen Rutterford is a British born Artist based in New York.
His day job is Partner, Executive Creative Director, at The Brooklyn Brothers ; Voted Gold at Advertising Age’s Small agency of the year 2014.
Prior to The Brooklyn Brothers, Stephen trained under Sir John Hegarty and Sir Charles Saatchi.
During his career he has worked on over 160 brands including; Levi’s, Xbox, T-mobile, Johnnie Walker, Rémy Martin and Coca Cola. And has collaborated with artists including Pharrell Williams, Talib Kweli, Astronautica, Shepard Fairey, Faile, D*Face and Michel Gondry.
“Advertising has been my film school. I’ve had the privilege to learn by watching first hand from the best talent in the industry.”
Stephen is a drummer, a ninja and a father. He is also left handed.

Director Statement

Back Page Ripper is my Directorial debut.
The film is an experiment with narrative structure and the visual style is a combination of influences from Bladerunner, Wong kar- Wai movies and The Muppets.
Based on a true story, the idea was inspired by a conversation with friend Jon Burkhart, (now founder of TBC Global). We spoke about a former work colleague, who would prank fellow coworkers by tearing the last page out of the book they were reading.
It took several years for the project to get off the ground. After a couple of failed attempts, I finally met the right group of people and everything aligned.
After shooting, It took a further year of nagging people for favors to complete the post production. It was a good lesson in perseverance and believing in your ideas.
A key moment was meeting Cinematographer Brenden Savi at The Creative Circus grad show, where I was looking to recruit creative teams. I was very impressed by Savi’s photography portfolio. It was evident we shared very similar tastes aesthetically, so I knew instantly he was the right man for the job.
Casting was important to the film visually. I was searching for a “Girl with the dragon tattoo” type of character and was introduced to Marion Saint Jean, a Chilean model and cosplay actor through Savi.
Additionally, my personal trainer Anwar Jackson had the right physicality for the role of the Ripper and eagerly embraced the character.
Furthermore I was very fortunate to be surrounded by a group of very talented people at The Brooklyn Brothers Ad agency.
In particular Ilana Fried. Not only a great producer but also an amazing craftsperson. She was responsible for creating a very complex costume made entirely from paper. (Amongst many many other things). Producers Christina Thompson and Kim Tyner were extremely patient with my crazy ramblings and bizarre requests.
Ethan Simmons skillfully cut the film, telling the story clearly and building tension and comedy in all the right places.
Danny Morris at Blacksmith post did a great job of covering up all my mistakes and took it to another level on the visuals.
The soundtrack was composed by Ben Runyan the former front man of City rain, who went on to form J U S T P R O C E S S. We met when he was teaching a music production course I attended at The Foxgrove music school in NYC. Since then we have collaborated on a music video for the song ” I Already know” featuring Joannie Jimenez on The J U S T P R O C E S S EP.
Carl Mandelbaum built the sound design from scratch (as we did not record any sound) We spent several sessions together crafting the right atmosphere and punctuation to give the film a cinematic edge.

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