Niles is a documentary photographer & filmmaker

 
 

Current Ventures

In 2010 Niles started Aurora-Lab. A film production company focused on his own projects. The venture's award-winning short film Supervised was released to festivals in 2013 and his second short film, a science fiction concept test called Auroras was completed in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Future projects Tin SoldierTerra Incognita and The Master Who Makes The Grass Green are in development.

Transmutation is his first feature film and he is also the co-creator of the documentary series Shamans of The Global Village. Niles also provides direction for the production company Only The Source and his footage from various projects can be listened through Filmsupply.

 

On Life

Reality is more powerful than fiction and Niles' personal work is about real life self-empowerment. Being an autodidact has led him to dive into areas of ancient philosophies, medicine practices, the esoteric, consciousness, and occultism. Applying this knowledge to both his work and life has been astronomically helpful in his general well being and understanding of the world while fostering a keen willingness to share the more in-depth knowledge with other kindred spirits who also have ears to hear. Since one's inner work effects their outer work for the better, he now aims to insert some level of wisdom into everything he creates. Which outside of his filmmaking entails sharing insights in his Reality Tunnel essays, podcast Novelty Generators, consultations with others, alternate media appearances, and his photography blog Philosophical Photography.

On Being Yourself

Niles balances life between working with individuals directly and the other half on the projects which are the creations and content represented in this portfolio. Years ago, he made the decision to take his multifaceted skill set and spend a significant portion of his time becoming a filmmaker catered to original content which fueled his passions. This came out of a knowing that when one creates authentic work from the heart, it's not work at all. His path required doing an astronomical amount of work directly himself at many stages of the production, most of which goes unknown and unrecognized, but has made him a much more well rounded filmmaker. Most others with red carpet champaign dreams try to become directors in the cut throat commercial world shilling to corporate brands and endlessly trying to raise up hierarchies of Hollywood. While occasionally there are great projects made in those areas which bring in the dollars and deserve recognition, the vast majority of that content leads to work which may be visually striking but extremely substantively and narratively thin. 

Regarding Passion

What he will never stop being interested in is doing cottage industry style great work. Going this more difficult road inevitably means periods of significant sacrifice, living through the journey and life struggles of a independent content creator constantly pushing up against budgets constraints while operating in the unknown. However, when you follow your heart and mentally vibrate at a higher level, you are rewarded in rather unsuspecting ways. The process in doing so allowed for not only much more conscious stories to be told, but also catalyzes a great deal of positive life changes. 

Appearances

Psychedelic Milk #70 - Following a Spiritual Path to Become a Jedi
Psychedelic Milk # 66 special edition - "Know Thyself"
Psychedelic Salon Podcast 542 – “Shamans of the Global Village”
Future Fossils 0027
The Alive Molecule - Future Primitive Apirl 28th, 2017
Psychedelic Milk #43
Third Eye Drops - Mind Meld 38
Grimerica Podcast #199
In A Perfect World Podcast #114: Shamans of the Global Village
C-Realm Radio 019
An Introduction to Shamans of the Global Village on Medium
World Premiere of Shamans of the Global Village at the Raindance International Film Festival
Grimerica Podcast #121
Work Influenced by Direct Experiences on entheo.org
Melted Snow Podcast 08
Preamp Podcast 012 - A surrealistic talk-radio/music/stream of consciousness object
Psychedelic Salon #422 - Visualizing the Psychedelic Experience
Kramer & Heckman Zoom In
In A Perfect World Podcast #88 - Psychedelic Design in Hollywood
2014 Project Greenlight Submission
Directors Notes Auroras interview
Auroras Kickstarter Pitch
New Filmmakers Los Angeles & Moviemaker Magazine Interview
Mini Cinema Interview 
New Filmmakers red carpet Interview
Directors Notes Supervised interview  
Novelty Generators Podcast #000



Speaking Events

2017 Red Vic Panel Speaker
Psychedelic Science 2017 Panel Speaker
2016 Palenque Norte Lecture Speaker
2014 Palenque Norte Lecture Speaker
2005 Visual Effects Society Panelist

 

Accolades

Official Section - 2016 Raindance International Film Festival for Shamans of the Global Village Episode 01: Octavio Rettig & The Sonoran Desert Toad
Best Sci-Fi Short Film "Supervised" - 2013 Burbank International Film Festival
Honorable Mention & Best Special Effects "Supervised" - 2013 LA New Wave International Film Festival
2012 VES award nominee: Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Broadcast Program or Commercial for Toyota GT86 - The Real Deal
2011 VES award winner: Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Broadcast Program or Commercial for Gears of War 3 - Dust to Dust
2011 VES award nominee: Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Broadcast Program or Commercial for Ghost Recon - Future Soldier "Camo Up"
2009 Academy Award and BAFTA Award winning team member for Avatar - Best Visual Effects
2008 Academy Award and BAFTA Award winning team member for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Best Visual Effects
2008 Visual Effects Society award winning team member for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
2006 Academy Award winning team member for Happy Feet - Best Animated Feature

 
 

Background

Niles has a background creating imagry for commercials, game cinematics, and Hollywood. Years of experience in a variety of feature film and high-end commercial post-production artist roles led him to become an On-Set Visual Effects Supervisor, where he was responsible for overseeing plate photography with New Line CinemaWarner Brothers20th Century Fox, and Marvel Studios. After having been a member of three Academy Award winning teams shared between the Animated Feature and Visual Effects categories, he specialized in cinematography on both the live-action and computer graphic fronts. His camera work in the game cinematic industry resulted in multiple Visual Effects Society award nominations for outstanding achievement in virtual cinematography, receiving the award in 2011. 

 

Visual Effects Facilities Worked For

 

Studios Worked With

NilesHeckmanStudios.jpg
 

Production Companies Collaborated With

 

Virtual Reality Companies Worked For

 

Game Companies Collaborated With

 

Credits