Bryan M. Ferguson is a self-taught Filmmaker and Photographer from Glasgow, Scotland. Ferguson’s films focus on odd human behaviours and have an askew perspective on the human body. Often working on his projects as a one man production army, he quickly developed a style that became recognisable amongst his contemporaries. Ferguson’s work bleeds bright colours and has been described as paradoxically beautiful and disturbing. A juxtaposition of the uncanny and the surreal. Subjects he has examined have ranged from chlorine-drinking cults in Florida, teenagers donating their bones to gelatine, dancers within the world of self-amputation, America’s love affair with free hotel ice and punk belly button enthusiasts.
Ferguson has been making short films since he was able to hold a camera and has been professionally producing work since 2011. His visual style solidified while living in Florida, a place he felt evoked an atmosphere of candy-coloured nihilism. In 2014 after a successful festival tour ranging from France, Trinidad and New York, his film The Misbehaviour of Polly Paper Cut was invited to open for David Lynch’s Blue Velvet at David Lynch: Painting in Perpetual Motion to coincide with the opening of Lynch’s exhibition ‘Naming’ at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.
Following this in 2015, he won The Skinny Short Film Award for his film Caustic Gulp, which was judged and praise by award winning filmmaker Mark Cousins. Matt Lloyd, director of the Glasgow Short Film Festival labelled Ferguson a “true maverick” and a “natural descendent of the Cinema of Transgression”. The film went on to be screened at various festivals around the world and was exhibited at the Hong Kong Design Institute for Microwave International New Media Arts Festival in China.
Following his win, Ferguson went onto release Flamingo. The film premiered at the Glasgow Short Film Festival in 2016 and caused members of the audience to faint and induced panic attacks in others – the film was hailed a visceral experience and was awarded the Scottish Jury’s – ‘Special Mention’ for having “a clear cinematic vision and style”. The film was then invited to screen in Latvia for their annual Balta Nakts event in association with 2ANNAS Riga International Film Festival.
While Flamingo was a mid-length short film, Ferguson followed it up with 60 second short film, Rubber Guillotine. This film was one of the 30 short films selected by the Toronto International Film Festival for their festival tie in with Instagram. The films were judged by esteemed filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, Xavier Dolan and James Franco. The film gained a number of fans once selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick. The film then went on to screen in London, Berlin, Stuttgart, Poznan, Kiev, Vienna and California. Last year the film caught the attention of the BBC who have acquired the publishing rights for Ferguson’s latest short film Umbilical Glue which is exclusively available in the UK on BBC iPlayer. The film has since went on to play in competition at the Hidden Door festival and was nominated for the Innovation Prize, The Art Desk hailed the film a “grotesque piece of pop art”. The film will make its U.S. premiere at the 2018 HollyShorts Film Festival at the world famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
2018 saw Ferguson receive two retrospectives of his short film work in both Germany and Scotland. The first was held at the Cellu l’art Short Film Festival in Jena, Germany where Ferguson also held a Masterclass in filmmaking and was invited to be part of the Jury for the International Competition. Following this a second retrospective titled “Anatomical Gunk” was screened as part of Matchbox Cineclub’s Weird Weekend alongside Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain at the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow.
Ferguson was approached by Helen Marnie to develop the official film/music video for Liverpool-based band Ladytron’s single “The Island” from their recent self-titled album. The video was well received with CLASH Magazine calling it “a magnificent short film” and gained notoriety for its disturbing ending.
On the back of this Ferguson was approached to make short film “Hopeless!!!” for Sega Bodega’s multidisciplinary project “Self*Care” in collaboration with filmmaker Brooke Candy and more. The film was launched on 4:3 Boiler Room.
Ferguson then went onto make a vampiric video for Massachusetts based Industrial band Boy Harsher which premiered on Revolver Magazine and was named one of Filter Magazine’s 20 best music videos of 2018.
Currently Ferguson has finished a video for The Ninth Wave due to release in May 2019. He is prepping a short film with Channel 4 and Film4 for Random Acts and in early stages of development on his first feature film.
Filmography: Toxic Haircut (2018), Umbilical Glue (2017), Blockhead (2017), Rubber Guillotine (2016), Flamingo (2016), Caustic Gulp (2015), The Misbehaviour of Polly Paper Cut (2013)
Music Videos: ‘This Broken Design’ The Ninth Wave (2019), ‘Fate’ Boy Harsher (2018), ‘Hopeless!!!’ Sega Bodega (2018), ‘The Island ‘ Ladytron (2018)