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Newsletter - 21 April, 2014

This week we marvel at DNA's USPS tie-in with Spider-Man 2 and Stan Lee, while Passion Pictures connects Bank of America with Popeye. Newport Beach Film Festival accolades for Superlounge, signing news at Frank and more.

Global music house Yessian created the music and sound design for the new Mini Cooper F56.  Ten plus Mini owners, ten epic test drives.  And Yessian was there to capture and create every turbo-charged engine rev, tire skid and cornered turn. Original music scoring was executed by Yessian staff composers and inspired by the films created by Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners and Tool.  In the new campaign, actual Mini drivers put the car to the test in :30 to :90 second content pieces and broadcast spots.  Yessian was enlisted to produce original music and scores titled "Medieval," "Coffee," "Vertigo," "Auto vs. Manual," "BlackLight Midnight," "Sex Appeal" and  "Anthem."  These films were all created for the internet with a couple of them being formatted for TV broadcast.  "It's not often that you get to write so much music for this type of project that really encourages you and inspires you to take it to a variety of places musically.  It was a great opportunity for us to push boundaries and we definitely had a lot of fun doing it," says Yessian West Coast Executive Music Producer Dave Curtin.

The latest advert for Kimbo Coffee features tabletop by director Vittorio Sacco of London-based P for Production.  The work  is a super duper slo-mo lesson on what's really going on behind the scene in a coffee pot. The viscosity of this coffee commercial may induce sleepless nights for days to come. Shot in Sacco's customized studio, specializing in luxurious tabletop.  The spot opens with cascading coffee beans that are transformed into grounds.   We see ECU of percolation process underway inside a moka style coffee pot as the grounds are transformed into the luscious, black gold elixir.  Indulge yourself and take a sip.

Los Angeles–based DNA directors Marc Webb and Rich Lee have teamed up with Universal McCann and Sony Pictures to deliver a thrilling :30 for the USPS featuring Spider-Man.  The commercial ties in with the "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" release in May 2014.  The spot opens with a moment of crisis: an anxious Hollywood executive in a theater lobby is looking for a mystery package that he must get to his eager fans. Spider-Man swings into USPS headquarters, grabs the package and sweeps his way through midtown Manhattan to hand it off to Stan Lee, the superhero's creator, and former President of Marvel Comics.  Once the film reel is delivered, fans relax and enjoy "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" on the big screen.  In other DNA news, Nigel Dick hit the festival scene with his latest independent documentary, "Berlin Calling."  The film tells the story of Kastle Waserman, a second-generation Holocaust survivor, as she pulls back the suburban veil to uncover the chilling secrets of her father's life as a Jewish man in WWII Germany.  "Berlin Calling" screened at the 47th annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival which earned Nigel a Gold Remi award. Texas is coincidentally the home of the film's subject, Ben Waserman, and where his daughter was raised.

London-based Passion Pictures' newly signed Stockholm-based directors againstallodds, aka Niklas Rissler and Derek Picken just completed "Gladly Tuesday," a new commercial created by Boston ad agency Hill Holliday for Bank of America.  The 30-second spot voiced by Will Arnett was made in the style of the 1930s-era Popeye cartoon and stars several of its classic characters including Bluto, Olive Oyl, Popeye himself and J. Wellington Wimpy, who demonstrates the functionality of Bank of America's mobile banking app by 'gladly' paying his debts via his mobile phone and hence 'finally making good on his word.'  "The biggest challenge was to integrate the phones into the style as they are so clearly anachronistic in the context," explain Rissler and Picken, who used traditional animation techniques and thorough attention to detail to create the vintage aesthetic, which involved hand-drawing each frame and, after careful analysis, mimicking movement patterns and frame rates from the original cartoon.  "After that, it was a matter of taking it through an ageing process; scratches, desaturation, line bleed and such.  It was very much a case of careful observation."  Simon Quinn, producer at Passion adds, "againstallodds did some tests for the pitch and you almost couldn't believe they weren't from the 1930s.  It's amazing that modern directors were able to recreate that classic style because for most it's a lost art."

Bicoastal digital production and design studio Big Block produced the live action shoot, virtual obstacle course and animated drone fleet for the television, cinema and online commercial "Subaru WRX STI vs. the Drones."  To show off the 2015 Subaru WRX STI's best-in-its-class high performance power and impeccable control, DDB Canada's Toronto office developed the concept of a futuristic autocross course made of CG drone quadcopters to challenge the WRX STI with real-time precision driving.  Three hundred shape-shifting drones with attitude put the WRX STI to the test, altering the course in a dynamic, real-time display of synchronized morphology and demanding the ultimate in performance and precision response from the car.  The commercial was shot by Big Block director Mark Glaser and DDB on a closed circuit in the historic Hughes Aircraft "Spruce Goose" hangar in Los Angeles.  The shoot involved capturing live footage, including a real driver, and an array of reference material that Big Block's animators and visual effects artists would use for simulations, lighting, reflections and environment.

London-based Park Village director Ivana Bobic, who recently won an MSA award for Best Sound Design: Cinema Advertising, creates a powerful piece of Content for Nivea Two Sides Campaign.  It celebrates the duality of a ballerina's art as something both graceful and physically demanding.  Delicately diffused lighting compliments the ballerina's natural grace while Bobic's trademark love of sound design has cracking toes, crashing steps and a techno backdrop leaving lasting impressions of toughness.  Bobic, producer Emory Reugg along with AKQA and Able & Baker@Park Village deliver something for Nivea that is as equally powerful as it is confident.

L.A.-based multicultural production company The Cortez Brothers, in partnership with ad agencies Weber Shandwick and Axis, has produced a new campaign to promote California's enrollment in the Affordable Care Act titled "I'm In/Tengo Un Plan."  The bilingual campaign (English/Spanish) directed by Joe Murray, consists of 12 on-air spots and is also reaching Californians via billboards, transit ads, print media, web and social media.  "From the first time I looked at the boards, I needed to find not only an amazing visual director who is an expert working with real people, but also someone who is very passionate about the subject matter," says Ed Rivero, Executive Producer of The Cortez Brothers.  "This director needed to have his own process in making these real people comfortable enough to open up their lives to us in a very organic way, as if they were just talking to a friend, and Joe always brings that to all of his spots. He was really the right choice."  During preproduction, Murray traveled all over Los Angeles County – from Alhambra to Monrovia to Hermosa Beach – for in-home pre-interviews with the subjects in order to get to know them more intimately, as well as put them at ease before for the actual shoots.

London-based Partizan repped animation group, Golden Wolf, blends stylish animation and evocative live action in this seamless spot for Durex.  In the animated world, the characters are colourless and missing a spark.  When they touch, the animation begins to unravel, revealing their true skin as they experience the closeness you can get with Durex Real Feel condoms.  Golden Wolf rotoscoped out the live action and digitally hand-painted each frame creating a flickering stop-motion style of animation.  Skin on skin contact exposes the actors bodies and sparks fly as the animation fades away.  The subtle texture of the animation gives the sequence a more tactile, touchable feel.  Details of the room and the characters are left out to intensify the perception that the characters are not experiencing the complete sensation of Durex Real Feel.

For the past several years, Tool and RPA have collaborated to create the creative promotional content for the annual Newport Beach Film Festival.  This year, Tool Director Tom Routson succeeds in delivering another cinematic promo for the Fest's "15 Years Under the Influence Campaign."  The charming 2:30 piece titled "Bedtime Story" stars the NBFF's projectionist, who is propositioned by his elementary-school-aged daughter to come up with a bedtime story to help her fall asleep.  What starts out as a traditional "princess in a castle" fairytale soon spins out of control as the cinephile's narrative quickly transforms into a theatrical mash-up of great Hollywood movies from "Fargo" to "Pulp Fiction" to "Memento" to "Her," sparing no gory detail.  Past collaborations with NBFF from Tool and RPA include "Mandible" from directors Erich Joiner and Robert Richardson, "Muse" by director Geordie Stephens, and "Drama" and "Romance" (2010) from Joiner as well.

London-based Pulse Films' Fred & Nick directed The Kooples short film titled 'Today, Tonight,' set at the iconic Ace Cafe, which tells the story of a young boy racer, Micky, intertwined in a life-changing game of 'The Coin Drop.'  During its zenith, the Ace Cafe became a mecca for biker-tribes - an extended congregation that brought riders together to race in legendary competitions.  The riders were all about testing limits in every facet of their lives from the bikes through to relationships - their chief motivation on a daily basis was all about breaking frontiers, realigning boundaries and not giving a damn wherever possible along the way.  Grammy-nominated directors Nicolas Jack Davies and Frederick Scott together create raw and intimate human portraits across their work in film, documentary, commercial and music video.  'Today, Tonight' is the first release from The Kooples' new creative division, TK Foundry, set up to create original music, film, technology and art with a global network of cutting-edge creators, tastemakers and artisans.

 

Fiber Films' Director Adam Sobocienski captures shadow imagery of choreographed dance in these engaging, imaginative pieces for YMCA of the USA.  "The Y. So Much More" is the YMCA's comprehensive awareness building program that is designed to heighten awareness of the YMCA's charitable work and impact in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Three web-based videos are featured in this campaign which were shot by Sobocienski, and features Catapult Entertainment's dance troupe who performed on "America's Got Talent."  The videos include three :60s, :15 versions of each, plus a promotional video featuring Catapult's founder with behind the scenes footage of the dancers.  The content was created by Experient marketing agency in Chicago.  Sobocienski shot the Catapult group in their studio in Torrington, CT.  He also edited the spots and Fiber Films managed all post production through finish.

Bicoastal production hub HeLo's Oscar-winning director Daniel Junge, along with Oscar-nominated director Kief Davidson, journey into the domain of one of the world's most celebrated toy enterprises in "Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary." The film, with Jason Bateman narrating, delves into all things surrounding the LEGO brick and the global phenomenon it has become.  Produced by HeLo's Brendan Kiernan and Justin Moore-Lewy, in conjunction with GEM Pictures, Tiburon Pictures, and Futuristic Films, the film had its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.  The documentary takes us to art galleries full of LEGO creations, introduces us to Master Builders, into a therapy that uses LEGO building as a treatment method, and brings us along to meet AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) with remarkable stories to tell.  "Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary" explores the essential nature of human creativity, and the ways we seek to build and understand our world.

Brothers and Sisters, entrepreneur and Fableists founder Matt Cooper and GreatGuns' Olivier Venturini unveil the debut film for sustainable clothing brand The Fableists.  The film, a collaboration between Brothers and Sisters, GreatGuns, Jungle and Venturini, features Finn, a London boy escaping to an urban jungle on his skateboard.  The ad is the first in a series of films documenting extraordinary kids around the world - kids with a gift, kids with drive, kids with ambition, kids who have overcome adversity.  "Matt and Andy [Fowler Founder and ECD of Brothers and Sisters] wanted something that reflected the positivity, yet rebellious stance of the brand.  It was a very pleasurable process throughout, sitting down with top players, with none of the politics I am accustomed to.  The idea of portraying kids embodying the brands core values came in the early stages and stuck.  Matt and Andy were keen to film the first one of these ads in London where the brand was born.  We were straight away impressed by Finn's skills and attitude, he's incredibly brave and sweet, and he loves to break the rules.  He is also enormously driven.  A great first Fableist," notes Venturini.

Jim Sonzero of Sonzero Films, Los Angeles, has directed a new ad for Neutrogena starring Modern Family's Julie Bowen. Conceived by New York agency Roberts + Langer DDB, the spot, which debuted during this year's Academy Awards broadcast, presents Bowen in stunning close ups against a clean, minimalist environment.  This is just the latest in a series of commercials that Sonzero has shot for Neutrogena.  Other recent spots have starred Kerry Washington, Bella Thorne and Kristen Bell.  Sonzero's latest work includes two adrenaline-fueled spots for L'Oreal Men Expert starring actor/martial arts expert, Daniel Wu (shot in Hong Kong) and a spot for Garnier Men and L'Oreal India starring Sushant Singh RajputSonzero is slated to shoot a horror film at the end of this year.

Portland Oregon-based animation and visual FX studio BENT Image Lab has produced a new broadcast spot for The Oregonian in newspaper stop-motion. directed by BENT's Solomon Burbridge with creative from Leopold Ketel & Partners.  The ad aims to present The Oregonian's new design and compact size.  Titled "Transformation," the spot features a broadsheet of The Oregonian newspaper being crumpled into a ball.  The paper then transforms into an origami butterfly and then into the redesigned compact version of the paper.  The butterfly and crumpled ball imagery will be used throughout the entire media campaign including digital, print and outdoor ads.  "One of the things that made this spot really strong was the simplicity of it," says Burbridge.  "We were really on the same page with the clients and the agency about keeping this as focused as possible on the paper and its wonderful new format for readers.  It could have been easy to try to add other distractions but we always came back to staying focused on the paper."  The newspaper shapes were created and animated by paper-artist Jen Prokopowicz.  The music accompanying the spot is titled "Convoluted Impulse" by McKenzie Stubbert.

Chicago-based Whitehouse Post editor Matthew Wood cut Miller High Life's latest campaign via Leo Burnett Chicago, celebrating the "High Life" in new low-fi commercials, which feature a series of grainy, black and white spots.  Directed by Mark Romanek of Anonymous Content, the spot titled "Central Park" captures a group of friends basking in the youthful glory of their everyday lives as a voice-over ironically narrates each action as if it were truly extraordinary.  The campaign further develops the High Life brand by adding a stripped down, shaky aesthetic to the notably homegrown American beer.

72andSunny Amsterdam and Google Creative Lab have introduced "Nightwalk in Marseille Experience," a TV and digital effort for Google Stories.  72andSunny Amsterdam was enlisted to help evolve the brand's existing concept by telling inspiring stories about the ways in which human ingenuity collides with Google technology to make amazing things happen.  The latest chapter in their ongoing Google Stories campaign, "Nightwalk in Marseille Experience," is a captivating film with an immersive digital experience.  The documentary style film follows a woman named Julie as she explores the streets of Marseilles, documenting the places and people she discovers to create what she calls "Promenades Sonores."  The piece chronicles Julie's personal mission to battle negative misconceptions surrounding the city, revealing the 'real' Marseille-both the gritty and the beautiful.  The digital experience picks up where the film leaves off, inviting people on an interactive streetview tour of the city at night.

London-based ad agency Dare has created Ryanair's first pan-European advertising campaign.  The advertising broke in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain and consists of three TV executions along with three press executions, outdoor and digital formats.  The adverts showcase Ryanair's recent product and service improvements, namely the provision of allocated seating, a second free cabin bag allowance and the recently renovated Ryanair website which allows customers to book flights in just 5 clicks (down from 17 previously).  The adverts underpin Ryanair's new 'Low Fares. Made Simple' tagline, while the TV campaign, which was shot at London Stansted Airport, will be broadcast at peak times, featuring the classic Motown track, "Destination Anywhere" by the Marvelettes.  The ads were directed by Davis Stoddart of production company Dark Energy Films and the voiceover was provided by Dave Lamb.

Powerade, the official sports drink chosen by FIFA, unveils "There's Power in Every Game," ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.   Created with Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, the global campaign includes TVCs, print/out-of-home and a series of online documentary-style films that tell the true stories of five amateur athletes and celebrate their hard work and determination to overcome adversity and power through.  Wieden+Kennedy New York, introduced the new, reimagined SouthernComfort.com, a platform to show the world, how people like to drink their Southern Comfort.  It's an open source website, where anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone can create a drink and share it with their friends, just the way they like it.  Wieden+Kennedy New York is also helping Maxwell House take its first step in reinventing itself by debuting new packaging graphics, a new logo and several new product varieties, all supported by the new campaign, "Say Good Morning to a Good Day."  On the heels of all this new creative, David Kolbusz will join Wieden+Kennedy New York, as ECD, filling one of the office's two top creative leadership roles vacated late last year by Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone.  W+K has yet to determine who will partner with Kolbusz as co-executive creative director, rounding out the New York management team alongside Neal Arthur, managing director.

Ad Agency Sapient Nitro (Miami) has been progressively rolling out an integrated campaign in the northeastern states.  The campaign introduces consumers to the insight that they, like birds, can flock South to Florida to escape the winter.  The launch commercial features a flock of people flying in formation on a southerly migration, marveling that winter can be filled with warm weather, pristine beaches and theme parks.  The team then rolled out a series of taxi toppers that feature life-sized mannequins posed mid-flight with the caption "Fly South This Winter."  Consumers are directed to the Visit Florida website where they can watch additional web films featuring the migrating human flock.  The campaign's commercial and web films were directed by David Gaddie of The Colony, New York.  According to Gaddie, "The idea was to create films that feel very real and irreverent.  This was not going to be the cliched tourism campaign.  Instead of shooting the actors against green-screen, we shot them suspended over a beach against an authentic, blue Florida sky.  We took an approach that was as simple and in-camera as possible and gave the cast a chance to have fun with the comedy," said Gaddie.  Visual effects and post production was completed at Afterparty in New York.

Doritos has partnered with English footballer, Joe Hart, to give snack-loving teams of mates across the U.K. the opportunity to compete for the chance to take a penalty against the No.1 goalkeeper.  Eight teams of finalists will get to compete to be in the final two to take on Hart.  The challenge will bring together teams of mates from across the country for the ultimate test of their penalty spot skills – with the help from Mariachi Doritos.  Bringing their own Mexican flavour to the game, the band will dish up a host of distractions that the keeper will have to face as he attempts to save each shot.  The two teams that reach the final will star alongside Hart in the new Doritos TV commercial, created by AMV BBDO, which will air across the UK on 24th May.  The winning team that scores the most goals will also receive the 'Ultimate Mates Football Trip,' offering the opportunity to live like a football superstar as they travel by private jet to some of Europe's most exciting cities, receiving VIP treatment at exclusive clubs and hotels.

This month, two Superlounge directors have films screening at festivals: "I Am Road Comic" the follow-up to Jordan Brady's stand-up documentary "I Am Comic" will have its world premiere at the Montclair Film Festival (MFF).  In "I Am Road Comic," more than two dozen comics - including Pete Holmes, T.J. Miller and Alonzo Bodden - discuss the nuts and bolts of working the road in bars and clubs.  Meanwhile, the dramatic short "Care" from the newly signed Brett Wagner will screen at the Newport Beach Film Festival.  "Care" (pictured here), which premiered at Palm Springs, won "Best Dramatic Film" at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.  Wagner's earlier film "Chief," previously took home that very honor.  Having its West Coast premiere also at Newport, is the short film "Free 2 Be Me," which Brady produced alongside his wife, director Jeannette Godoy, who helmed the film about a special group of ballet dancers with Down Syndrome.  Godoy, a Superlounge alumnus, was inspired to make her film when she met Colleen Perry, former ballet dancer and founder of "Free 2 Be Me Dance," an adaptive ballet class for kids with Down syndrome living in Los Angeles.

Last year, London's MPC collaborated with British artist duo Rob and Nick Carter on six ground-breaking artworks showcased at the Fine Art Society London.  The exhibition combined technology and artistry, harnessing cutting edge new media to create sustained engagement with old and modern masters.  The six artworks included four 'digital paintings' that come to life before the viewers' eyes and two bronze sculptures created via a complex 3D modelling and printing process.  A selection of the works were chosen to be featured at the Silicon Valley Contemporary, the inaugural art fair in the heart of California's technology industry.  The fair places emphasis on the relationship between art and technology in a growing effort to engage the arts patrons of tomorrow.  The fair offers the public an opportunity to see the how the newest technological innovations are impacting art practices around the world.  Silicon Valley Contemporary's mission is to create the "next generation" art fair and will feature works from over 50 exhibitors.

British director Henry Mason has signed with Toronto-based production company Frank for Canadian representation.  Mason's work includes shooting campaigns for the likes of Honda, Sky Sport, T-Mobile, Bombay Sapphire, McLaren, Nike and Coca Cola.  He has also directed TV drama for the BBC and Channel 4, as well as for theatre and film.  In 2011, Mason completed the award-winning short film "All That Way For Love," which was shot on location in Kenya.  Opening the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, "All That Way For Love" also won the best actor award at the Rhode Island Film Festival and has premiered at the Foyle Film Festival in Northern Ireland and at the UK's short film festival, Encounters.  "All That Way For Love" has also been selected by the BFI for distribution as part of their Best Short Films series, in 2012 it screened at the Tribeca Film festival.  Before working in film, Mason studied as a theatre director under Jenny Topper at the Hampstead Theatre in London and, in his youth, was classically trained in music at Wells Cathedral School.  Mason is now a global director who is represented by Independent Films in the U.K., Skunk in the U.S. and Brilliant Films in Australia.

Montreal-based VFX studio Rodeo FX increases its presence in the U.S. with the recent addition of Camille Geier to its management team.  Rodeo FX offers a complete array of visual effects services to the film, television and advertising industry.  Acting as Executive Producer for the studio, Geier will work actively in New York City and on the East Coast, where Rodeo FX intends to build new relationships with film, television and commercial producers who are looking to couple creative approaches with the highest quality standards in the industry.  Geier, who received her training in visual effects at George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), comes with more than 20 years of experience in the film and advertising industry, and possesses a strong background in VFX production and business development.  During her career, she produced visual effects on many blockbuster films including "Gangs of New York," "Van Helsing" and "The Adjustment Bureau," working for directors Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood to name a few.  Geier's addition to the team was self-evident to Rodeo FX' President Sebastien Moreau: "I've known Camille for 12 years now and it was just a matter of time before we would reunite and work together again, after our fruitful partnership at ILM.  Camille is a great producer – she really understands her clients' needs and vision, and always delivers a final product that exceeds expectations."

Casta Diva Pictures' newly established Los Angeles office has signed with Connie Mellors and Ellen Dempsey-Hines of Connie Mellors & Co. for West Coast and Midwest representation.  The news follows Casta Diva Pictures' announcement of their exclusive roster of directors for the US market.  The roster of directors includes a diverse range of strong and multi-talented names from across the advertising world.  Casta Diva Pictures Partner and Executive Producer Richard Robinson said, "When we decided to look for West Coast and Midwest representation, we were looking for someone that fully embraced the Casta Diva Pictures mentality and who had the necessary experience to properly market us in the United States.  Connie and Ellen are the perfect combination of both and we look forward to a long and successful collaboration."  Los Angeles is the second Casta Diva Pictures office to open in the United States, after New York in 2013.  Both are part of a global network of Casta Diva Pictures offices, formed in Milan, Italy by Andrea de Micheli and Luca Oddo in 2005.  The network now consists of eleven offices, spanning nine countries across five continents.

As more and more global advertisers are making diversity hiring and sourcing a priority for all of their vendors, it’s becoming increasingly important for ad agencies to build their rosters of qualified minority and women-owned production companies, post houses, music studios and effects and animation companies with which to partner.  That’s why it’s vital that these companies make sure their prospective agency clients are aware of their diversity status, in addition to their latest work and their top talent offerings.  SourceEcreative has a great opportunity for minority and women-owned companies to do just that by sponsoring our 2014 Special Feature on Diversity titled "Diversity Matters."  Publishing on June 9, the section offers opportunities for in-depth feature coverage, a showcase of recent work and participation in an issues-oriented roundtable report on trends on the diversity front, all supported by button and banner ads.  For more information contact Halyce Naparstek via voice 561 206-0728, or email HNaparstek@sourceECreative.com.