We made a video with a proper film star and a bloke off the telly! This project was for a partnership with EE and Google. EE wanted to promote watching video on 4G while Google wanted to promote watching longer videos on YouTube – so we decided to make a genuine piece of YouTube video content that illustrates this rather than your usual advert.
(See it here if you’re outside the UK)
I wrote and Creative-Directed it, with some writing help from Mark Bushnell who came up with the “no this is a bacon sandwich” line, much loved by the YouTube comments. We worked closely with Jamie’s team to design the 2 sandwiches, and make sure the content we were creating felt like a genuine Jamie Oliver Food Tube episode – the video only exists on Jamie’s channel after all, not EE’s.
It was a pretty hectic half day shoot, but Kevin is of course an absolute pro, and Jamie did a great job getting Kevin and crew excited. It’s hard to believe but the chainsaw was actually Jamie’s idea, not mine.
For the close-ups, we worked with a great chef who’s hands and arms (after some shaving and hair dying) matched Kevin’s perfectly, we even got a double for Kevin’s wedding ring for him. My proudest moment was stepping in as the stunt man (or the only person stupid enough) to hold the loaf while it was being chainsawed in half.
The video reached 2.5 million views within 2 weeks, and is Jamie’s most watched YouTube video by quite a margin. I know we’re not supposed to read the YouTube comments but it’s great to see so many like “First ad on YouTube I haven’t actually skipped”.
We Won! Gav won the concept competition with some very tasty/tasteful ‘chocolate crucifixion nails’ out of dark chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, a chocolate button and silver spray. I tried to make ‘hot cross bums’. They didn’t look quite as bum like as I’d hoped but they won the taste competition. My personal favourite entry though was the NSFW ‘The Holy Reserection’ by Wooders.
We tried a new approach to Hack Day at Poke this year. Rather than building something digital, we wanted something a little more hands on. So the brief was set to “build a board game”. Everyone was given a box, some dice, counters etc, and 24 hours to build a complete game. There would be no judges, and no opportunity to pitch your game. Instead every team plays every game and scores them on a how fun there are, how well the instructions are written and how good does it look.
My team created “Watch Out! Willy!”. All set in Will’s very opulent manor. You play the part of some thugs trying to rob the place, and at the same time, you control Will roaming the hall in his glowing hot pants trying to catch you all. If you’re caught in the beam of light, you’re in for a punishment.
Gav’s team made “The Hand Job”. I think he may win the ‘most double entendre in a game’ award. Players take on the guise of a bank robber trying to nick as much loot as they can, both from the bank and each other. The tricky bit is they all have to physically ‘walk’ around the board wearing their cardboard characters on their knuckles.
More photos here.
This Christmas, we built built an animating fireplace in Poke’s lobby. Using the excellent Pixel Fireplace software by Ted Martins, the fire is a living pixely thing, that needs feeding with logs, and can do many things like roast pixel marshmallows or pixel hot-dogs. The pleasant sound of a crackling pixel wood fire echoed around the lobby all of December.
A few more photos here.
And now for something rather glamorous we’re working on at Poke. As part of the work we have done for a jewellery brands; Mappin & Web, and Goldsmiths, we have created a few photography campaigns. Mappin & Web speak to an older more high end audience that just want to have fun (whilst wearing diamonds and gold). Goldsmiths is a MASSIVE high-street brand that we’re injecting a sense of fashion.
First up we have some shots for M&W Autumn. A really fun day’s shoot out at Port Lympne in Kent.
Christmas! We’ve tried to make things a bit more seductive and eccentric, rather than snowballs and eggnog. Mappin & Web just want to make their customers smile, which is a great brief.
Moving onto Goldsmiths, here’s their autumn campaign. Everything is much more theatrical and special. We created a fairytale setting based on The Secret Garden.
For Christmas we set the scene in vintage Hollywood. Beautiful elegant long dresses, holly and baubles set in a spectacular 100 year old mansion.
The photography was used throughout the stores across the UK. Even placed in products to help complete the picture.
Diesel asked us to promote their new range of sunglasses, so we put them on some dogs and filmed them. We had our reasons though – there are 4 hero styles in the new range, each is designed for a different type of lifestyle, we thought it would be a bit cheesy to show these lifestyles with humans, so … dogs then. This project is part of our work to help shift Diesel’s brand to be more female orientated and a higher quality experience, so with this in mind the video was shot with all the production values of a high end fashion shoot, including a sweet Phantom camera shooting at speeds of up to 2,000 fps for maximum water droplet and fur flowing action.
So our stars didn’t have to stand around on set for too long (they told us the Doberman would savage us if we laughed at it, his sister is an attack dog), we used stunt dogs to set-up the lights, they were my favourite dogs.
The old “never work with kids or animals” thing seemed to be a bit of a myth, when working with human actors there’s a lot more explaining and directing and sobbing between takes – with dogs it’s all about the frankfurters.
A Facebook app to promote Diesel’s new sunglasses range. They have 4 hero styles in the range, all with very different styles and designed for different lifestyles – our app lets you preview how each of the sunglasses would style your summer by taking any photo you upload to Facebook, and making a styled copy of it in your own ‘Sunamatic’ photo album. We’re using lots of effects like adding a multiple exposure of an older photo, which are randomised each time, so like taking a roll of film into the chemist you never really know how they’re going to turn out. Check back in every now and then to see how your summer is being styled, and if you don’t like it, try on a different style of shades. You also use the app to manually style older photos or re-style and new ones.
A microsite to showcase Diesel’s new spring/summer 2012 collection of eyewear (or”sunglasses”). To fit with Diesel’s new more feminine high quality brand values we gave the site a very elegant and contemporary feel while still keep it as minimal and easy to browse as possible. All the glasses for each gender as visible on one page, in all colour variations, to allow you to browse them all as if they were laid out in a store in front of you.
The web is a bit boring and unhappy right now, so we made this handy bookmarklet to let you bring instant joy to (almost) any website, just head over hear to grab it:
It harnesses the full power of Comic Sans (the best font in the world) to add some jollyness to even the dullest Helvetica festooned design masterpiece.
Y.CO are a SUPER (yes, uppercase super) yachting company. They wanted a new site that challenges the current perception of yachting companies, their competition sell themselves on the size of their yachts, how much they cost and how many they can offer you – It’s all product and no soul. It might sound clichéd but Y.CO really are passionate about yachting, so we decided to focus on the experience of yachting and the adventures Y.CO can make real. Y.CO sell holidays to you, your family and friends, not yachts.
The site is full of jaw dropping stories from customers and crew and the yachts themselves are presented with individual character. To reflect the quality and service we’ve wrapped this all up in a pretty cutting edge tech build to give these very elite customers an extremely rich and fluid experience full of some amazing full-screen photography.