Don't Panic Films

  1. Winner of Best Music Video at the X-ið Music Awards, 2.17.12

    From directors Bowen Staines ( & Gunnar B. Guðbjörnsson (, comes a new project for Iceland’s masters of psychedelic metal, Sólstafir. The video is for the song, “Fjara”, off Sólstafir’s chart-topping double album, 'Svartir Sandar'.

    The conceptualization for the video began back in July of 2011, and started production in late-September. The story follows a young woman who bears a difficult and woeful burden, obsessively dragging behind her a large, timber coffin. Her intentions are uncertain, as she encounters Four Spirits along the way - the Earth, the Desert, the Enlightened, and the Devoted - like lighthouses guiding her path. The ultimate purpose of her journey is slowly revealed through her encounters with these Spirits.

    The lead role was gladly given to Rebekka Kolbeinsdóttir, an exceptionally talented actress and versatile musician. Rebekka’s enthusiasm and commitment to the project was immediately evident, and there is no doubt that “Fjara” would be a completely different video had she not been involved. Wearing a thin wedding dress in the middle of November, barefooted, pulling a coffin nearly twice one’s weight through the Icelandic wilderness is not an easy task.

    The original intent was to have the video shot and completed before “Svartir Sandar” was released on October 14th, but due to increasing complexity of the latter scenes, the considerable time needed for postproduction, and some of the most awful, unpleasant weather so far that month, “Fjara” was not completed until the beginning of January. Thankfully, we had the privilege of working with the extremely enthusiastic members of Sólstafir, who always stayed several steps ahead to insure production went smoothly. Kolla Jónsdóttir generously lent her time and expertise in designing the costumes and doing make-up, and Jakob Veigar Sigurðsson assisted in finding great locations and making sure the team had places to stay.

    Shooting wrapped at the end of November, on a particularly memorable and unusual Sunday morning. With only the last shot remaining, the crew arrived at the Skógafoss waterfall at sunrise. Over the course of the next hour, the 70kg timber coffin was carried to the top of the waterfall, affixed with floatation and a small ContourHD waterproof camera, and carefully lowered into the rushing water. With only a bungee cord and rope tied around his waist, Sólstafir drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason, waded into the water and pulled the coffin to the middle of the stream - mere meters from the edge of the falls. He was quoted at the time, saying “I’m not really nervous about going over, I’m just ready to finally get rid of this thing!”

    After nearly another hour of preparation and careful adjustments mid-stream, the coffin finally coasted to the edge of Skógafoss, and plummeted spectacularly downwards to its explosive end. To everyone’s surprise, the camera we had attached to the coffin was successfully recovered, and is the last shot to appear in the video.

    The directors and band wish to thank everyone who was involved in the production of “Fjara”, and hope you will enjoy it!

    Produced by Guðmundur Óli Pálmason & SÓLSTAFIR
    Directed by Bowen Staines & Gunnar B. Guðbjörnsson
    Filmed by Bowen Staines & Gunnar B. Guðbjörnsson
    Edited by Bowen Staines

    Starring Rebekka Kolbeinsdóttir


    # Uploaded 4,141 Plays / / 9 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  2. Winner of the 2014 Hlustendaverðlaunin (Listener's Choice Awards) in Reykjavík, Iceland. 3.22.14

    From filmmaker Bowen Staines (Sólstafir, ‘Fjara’, The Vintage Caravan, ‘Expand Your Mind’), comes a brand new project for Iceland’s chart-topping Norse metal giants, Skálmöld. The video is for the song, ‘Gleipnir’, off Skálmöld’s acclaimed sophomore album, BÖRN LOKA.

    The video was produced & filmed in Iceland between November 2012 and March 2013, and condenses the entire concept of BÖRN LOKA. ‘Gleipnir’ tells the story of the peasant Hilmar Baldursson & his sister, Brynhildur, his compact with the great Óðinn and deceiver Loki, and his encounters with Loki’s terrible children. The story results in grief and betrayal, causing Hilmar to sacrifice the soul of his beloved little sister.

    The lead role of Hilmar Baldursson was happily given to local sound designer, and close friend of the band, Garðar Þór Eiðsson. However, due in part to a lack of communication on my end, Garðar showed up on the first day of filming thinking he was an extra – not the star of a multi-month production. He was quoted at the time, saying, “So... we’re all done after today, right?!” Thankfully, Garðar went above and beyond in every possible way, arriving to set each day anxious to don his authentic Viking wardrobe and make the role of Hilmar Baldursson all his own.

    I would very much like to take this opportunity to recognize the hard work of Fönn Harðardóttir, the wonderful little eight-year old who plays Hilmar’s younger sister, Brynhildur Baldursdóttir. Rarely have I witnissed the level of patience and enthusiasm that Fönn showed us each day - I would not hesitate in saying that her role was, by far, the most difficult and physically taxing. Here’s to Fönn, the brave and unwearied eight-year old, who repeatedly stood in the middle of driving snowstorms, wearing a thin dress and no shoes, covered head to toe in bloody pig intestines – all without complaining once. You are one brave kid.

    The most interesting day of shooting came with the arrival of Jóhann Helgi Hlöðversson, and his accomplice, Byko the raven. 5 o’clock in the morning rolls around, and we get a knock on our door: it’s Jóhann and Byko, who drove all the way from their home on the south coast of Iceland at the crack of dawn to be a part of our shoot that day. We are introduced, and Byko begins flapping around the apartment, pecking at bare feet, and eventually coming to rest atop a nearby computer, where he proceeds to rip several keys off the keyboard, AND log himself into Facebook. Honestly.

    There are so many people I need to thank, who generously lent us their time and hard work to make this video possible. To our amazing stylist, Margrét Björnsdóttir – without your hard work and incredible enthusiasm, this video NEVER would’ve happened! To our producer, Kristinn Sævar Thorarensen – thank you for approaching me about this project, and for always trusting me so completely. To Loki and his children – Sigurður Ingi Bjarnason, Edda Tegeder, Björn Jónsson, and Halli Hansen - thank you for contributing your time, love, and unique personalities to your respective characters. To the fine gentlemen in Skálmöld – it’s been a great experience working with you on this, thank you for trusting me to tell your story – let’s do a Part 2 soon! And lastly, to all the fans and anyone who contributed to this video in any way, no matter how small or large – TAKK FYRIR OKKUR!!

    -Bowen Staines, Director

    PRODUCTION DETAILS (Full cast & crew listing at end of video)

    Presented by DON'T PANIC FILMS (
    Directed, Shot, & Edited by BOWEN STAINES
    Starring Garðar Þór Eiðsson & Fönn Harðardóttir

    Artwork by BOWEN STAINES

    # Uploaded 2,082 Plays / / 3 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  3. From filmmaker Bowen Staines (Sólstafir, ‘Fjara’, Skálmöld, ‘Gleipnir’), comes a brand new music video for Iceland’s young, chart-topping classic rockers, The Vintage Caravan. The video is for their song ‘Expand Your Mind’, off The Vintage Caravan’s latest album, VOYAGE.

    The Vintage Caravan is a young band hailing from the Greater Reykjavik area, where they are known for their energetic stage performances, and have been extremely active for the past few years. Since 2011, the band has released two LPs, with the latter being released by one of the largest record labels in Iceland. As of September 2013, The Vintage Caravan has been signed to Nuclear Blast, the biggest hard rock label in Europe.

    ‘Expand Your Mind’ was produced & filmed in Reykjavík, Iceland between September and December of 2012, and completed in Canada in May of 2013. The concept for the video stems from several real-life situations which bandmembers have experienced while playing live; these stories are integrated into the video as part of an explosively psychedelic acid trip, reminiscent of films like the 1981 animated classic, ‘Heavy Metal’.

    To keep the ‘vintage’ feeling and spirit intact, every single animation or visual effect in ‘Expand Your Mind’ is animated by hand, frame-by-frame – every single particle trail or motion path – everything, was created without any sort of motion preset or shortcut, as it would have been done at the dawn of computer-based animation. As one might expect, this resulted in an extraordinarily long editing process, taking nearly seven months to complete.

    Bowen Staines and The Vintage Caravan would like to thank each and every person that has been involved in this unbelievably long and memorable journey, from our first day of shooting in September, to the last day of editing the following May – your hard work and time are VERY MUCH appreciated. We hope you have as much fun watching ‘Expand Your Mind’, as we had making it! TAKK FYRIR OKKUR!!

    PRODUCTION DETAILS (Full cast & crew listing at the end of the video)

    Presented by DON’T PANIC FILMS (
    Produced by E.T.G. PROMOTION
    Directed, Shot, & Edited by BOWEN STAINES
    Artwork by BOWEN STAINES

    # Uploaded 6,960 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  4. Official EPK for Agent Fresco (2013)
    Directed, photographed and edited by Bowen Staines /

    "A Long Time Listening" deluxe version out now on iTunes:

    Follow Agent Fresco:

    # Uploaded 437 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode
  5. The official trailer for the electrifying and compellingly-unique new documentary on the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, "WHERE'S THE SNOW?!", presented by Don't Panic Films & Sleepless in Reykjavik Productions.

    Featuring Performances by Icelandic superstars:
    Agent Fresco
    Olafur Arnalds
    Retro Stefson
    Pall Oskar
    Bróðir Svartúlfs
    Our Lives
    Dr. Spock
    and MANY more!

    Since the first show held in 1999 (in an airplane hangar), Iceland Airwaves has become one of the premier showcases for new music – Icelandic and otherwise – in the world. It’s been called “the most innovative music festival since CMJ” and is “as responsible for all of Reykjavík’s positive press as Björk herself”.

    Some of the world’s most exciting artists - including Suede, The Flaming Lips, The Hives, Fatboy Slim, Thievery Corporation, Bloc Party, and Casio Kids - have made the short hop from Europe or North America to share the stages with Iceland’s finest talents: Sigur Rós, Gus Gus, Minus, Mugison, Jagúar, Dikta, Quarashi, Leaves, Trabant, FM Belfast, Steed Lord and many, MANY more. And when the live bands are finished, top DJs spin across the city until dawn...

    Directed by Bowen Staines & Gunnar B. Gudbjornsson
    Shot by Bowen Staines & Gunnar B. Gudbjornsson
    Edited by Bowen Staines

    Music by Olafur Arnalds
    Courtesy of Erased Tapes Records

    # Uploaded 2,831 Plays / / 0 Comments Watch in Couch Mode

Don't Panic Films

Matthew Hancock

Don't Panic Films an independent film company composed of a small number of exceptionally talented filmmakers and photographers. Originally based in the US, DON'T PANIC will soon be opening a branch in Reykjavik, Iceland - the purpose of which is the

+ More

Don't Panic Films an independent film company composed of a small number of exceptionally talented filmmakers and photographers. Originally based in the US, DON'T PANIC will soon be opening a branch in Reykjavik, Iceland - the purpose of which is the promotion and overall representation of Icelandic bands to countries all over the world, with a focus on music videos, podcasts, and documentaries. So, why Iceland? Isn't it just cold weather, expensive beer, and lots of sheep? Well, yes and no. There is SO much raw, underground musical talent in Iceland that, unfortunately, flies far under the radar in countries beyond their rainy shores. DPF seeks to change that: we would like nothing more than to see Icelandic artists be given the recognition they deserve in countries all over the world.

Browse This Channel

Shout Box

Channels are a simple, beautiful way to showcase and watch videos. Browse more Channels. Channels