Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
We also got to work with good mate / conceptual illustrator Morten Rowley again, who sketched up some awesome ideas for a giant contraption that appears in the spot. He did a killer job once again, and that combined with the 3d talent of the guys over at Framestore, there was nothing to worry about. Here's an example of one of his little drawings, which if you still haven't watched the spot yet, may take it to another place for you. What am I thinking, nobody reads text without first looking at the image below it! Just go watch the spot.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It had a bunch of things going for it, more than most movies could hope for. Solid casting - whether you like Will Smith or not, I can't think of anybody that doesn't like at least one of this guy's movies [except possibly the Grand Imperial Wizard of the KKK, but even he can't help mouthing lyrics to The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air while channel surfing]. For every Men In Black or Wild Wild West, there's an Ali or a Pursuit Of Happyness... let's be real. Then there's Oscar winner Charlize Theron, and although she did bug me in Hancock, she's still a damn good actress, there shall be no denying that. And you can't look past Jason Bateman, who not only rocked a bigger comeback than John Travola, but makes pretty much every film he's in worth smiling at [The Kingdom - a dude gets stabbed in the head, and it's still 'a funny film']. Speaking of The Kingdom, look at Hancock's director Petey Burg... a very talented guy, with a stunning visual style, great instincts, and serves up the perfect all-you-can-eat buffet of action, drama & comedy. I'll see anything he does, without even thinking twice.
And then look at the spectacle of this movie!... people often talk about 'mindless' visual effects and how they plague summer blockbusters, blah blah blah, but these effects even have the famous get-out-of-jail-free pass - they're integral to the characters and the story! AND they're friggin cool! Hancock ripping the roof off an SUV and jumping in the back seat! Then flying it across town, smashing through buildings and freeway signs... and pretty much everything else mind you. 99% of the effects were done seamlessly, and only 5 to 10 years ago they would have been impossible to actualise at this sort of level... have we become too jaded with 'spectacle'? Does flying men and smashed buildings not impress us anymore? That's really sad.
So I was wondering, is there anything we haven't really seen yet in cinema?... cause when you think about it, from aliens to superheroes to disasters, we've seen A LOT! Is there anything new to experience? And I'm betting the answer will come in 2009, in the form of three simple words. James Cameron's Avatar. I had the pleasure of reading the script a couple years back when I saw it illegally online, and managed to copy and paste the entire thing into an email and send it to myself. It blew me away, and I can understand why Cameron's been sitting on the thing for more than a decade... because to do it well, you really need the VFX technology of Hancock and above. But way more exciting than the thought of another big visual effects movie, is the fact that he's playing with steroscopic 3D technology that nobody's messed with before. Not just the cliche IMAX 'object flying at your face' tricks, but changes in focus and depth and techniques that will make your brain literally think you're there! I probably just made it sound lame, but if anybody can kick the crap outta the boundaries of cinema as we know it, it's James Cameron [who even served on NASA's advisory board for years!]. It's exciting to think that there's a lot more to come in the next few years, and 'spectacle' could be in for an overhaul.
Friday, July 11, 2008
As some of you know, in October 2007 both me and Josh moved to New York City to continue directing commercials and music videos as creative crew 'TWiN'. Everything professionally is going great, and big doors are opening, sometimes even a couple at a time... which is daunting, and exciting and about 7 other adjectives all combined.
Our previous blog from Australia got pulled down, and so we're starting fresh here at Blogger. Hopefully updates will be more often than bi-yearly, so be sure to come back and check out what's goin on with life, work and trivial crap in the TWiN camp. We're also gonna throw up a bunch of the best posts from our previous blog, just to get some points on the board. Hopefully we'll catch you soon. Outtys.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
It's been in the twin cards for a while now, and there's a good chance we're not actually telling you something you haven't already guessed... but it's officially a done deal. A couple weeks from today will see 'skinny twin one' and 'skinny twin two' living and working in New York, NY. Keep an ear to the ground for more details, as we're going to do our best to make some noise in the way only a pair of rowdy Australians can. It'll be ads... it'll be more ads... and it'll be music videos of our favourite artists that choose to return our calls and aren't currently winning Grammys OR eating at Hype Williams' house on a regular basis. Or Michel Gondry's.
Fingers crossed this is the right move. Either way it'll be one of those events where everything else in our lives is either 'before' or 'after' our move to New York City in October 2007.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Kanye West and 50 Cent had that little release date beef goin on, where 50 said he'd retire if Yay out-sold him... well he DID, and here's hoping Fiddy's a man of his word. Californication hit Aussie TV with both it's witty AND titty dialogue, proving itself to be an enjoyable watch. Oh yeah, the third Bourne movie hit cinemas and kicked a whole bunch of confined-spaces-ass.
Work-wise, I received a script via email about a month ago for Impotence Australia about a little problem known as 'erectile dysfunction'. Gotta admit, I almost deleted it thinking I'd been spammed, but after reading the script and chuckling outloud [in a good way], I decided to take the project on. The ad is basically about a grumpy and overly stressed-out 50 year-old guy, who wakes up with a perfectly half-sized version of himself dressed exactly the same, who follows him throughout his busy day. He doesn't show his 'little fella' much TLC, and after a hectic day at the office they decide to hit the hay. Our big guy looks over and smiles at his wife, signaling for her to 'hold that thought' as he turns over to his 'little fella' for some much needed asistance. Unfortunately he's fast asleep, regardless of how hard he gets shaked. The tagline is 'Look after your little fella, and he'll look after you'. Ha... it's all in good taste, trust me.
We shot the job last weekend, and it looks great... nice humorous moments with some realistic, but very simple visual effects. Should be on TV in early October, so keep an eye out for the loveable 'little fella'. [Can now be seen at www.rabbitcontent.com, under TWiN's work].
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Recently my bro and I were in New York, and were staying in the same hotel room. It was the first morning there, and like most mornings in a foreign country, you spend a good 20 minutes wasting time checking emails [and Facebook]. We're both hangin out - a bunch of skinny kids in boxer shorts - when a cool song wofts out from my speakers [if you weren't aware, WOFT is an acronym for 'Waste Of F'ing Time', which is actually quite accurate in this case]. I remember how much I dug the song the second I heard the first bar, and similarly, Jon looks over and says "I like this... what song is it?". I go into my iTunes to check and suddenly explode with laughter. The song was by Death Cab For Cutie... and I shit you not, was called 'Brothers On A Hotel Bed'. Love it. Couldn't have been more appropriate! [unless anyone's heard of that other song called 'Two Aussie Twins In Their Underwear Tapping Away At Laptops While Sitting On A Hotel Bed' by The Anacdotes. That song is just scary].
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I'm just gonna let that sink in a little... let you think about what reaction you'd have in that situation. Huh? What? You'd smash her? Yeh, that's how people end up with a permanent record. But it sooo crossed my mind.
So I turn around, grab both their drinks [one a little emptier than the other] and throw them over the front railing, then I look her in the eye with my best Pacino face and calmly say "back... up". She crawls into her shell, just in time for her friend to adjust from go to whoa and SCREAM obscenities all over my face. I'm talkin everybody lookin on with those eyes saying 'dude, I know you're so in the right right now, but I'm thrilled it's not happening to me, so I'm just gonna chill over here in the safe zone, cool?'. I want to hit her, I really do... I even want to grab them by the arms and 'remove' them from the show... but seriously, what are my options here? So I turn around, shake the beer outta my hair, and try to get back into the show... while she screams stuff like "yeah that's right, you TURN around!!" Then the original chick leans forward and sarcastically whispers, "Don't worry, my Dad's a Neurosurgeon... I know how you people are". WHAT?! You people?? Bitch, I'm a music video director..... how much more of NOT a doctor or a lawyer do you want me to be here??? Man, that made my blood boil. But again, throwing a drink over somebody's head probably isn't classed as 'assault', where I can guarantee forcing the bridge of her nose up into her frontal lobe IS. People suck.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
As you can imagine, loneliness was never an issue growing up. Competitiveness, stealthy food fights, top and lower bunk rotation, always buying two of everything in blue AND red... those were issues, but never loneliness. We didn't have the widest circle of friends growing up either, but we certainly didn't discriminate. We'd play with anybody... the nerds, the cool kids, the girls and even the little punks down the road that'd burst into tears, pack up their toys and leave in a wild cussing fit if and when they so pleased [what's up Tyrone]. Actually, I'd like to think most kids enjoyed the little adrenaline rush of coming over to the twin's house, because they knew they'd be involved in some activities they couldn't or wouldn't try at their own place. Not that we were the evil kids that peer pressured your ass into shooting birds or something [not AT ALL], think more along the A-Team lines of things... the Ninja lines if you will.
We were blessed with slightly more adventurous spirits than the average 9 year olds, and this became evident in the post-school hours of the day. Building a cubby house in the sappy backyard pine tree, which honestly only consisted of a single wooden board to seat ONE... it became a race to get up there, and then a charade to make it look like you were having way more fun up the tree than down. This probably started our obsession for constructing things outta the junk in Dad's garage. The ways of the Ninja also became a big part of our childhood... throwing-stars cut from lead or tin, katanas and sais made from sharpened wood, bo-staffs made from... well not really made, more adapted from the kitchen broom. And of course, the black tee-shirt wrapped intricately around the head to reveal ninja eyes, but which had to be taken off due to breathing complications. Night falls, and we'd run around battling nobody, and hiding from nothing.
The 'game' though that achieved legendary, nay MYTHICAL repute in the adolescent community, would have had to be 'Missions'. Missions were born simply through 'dares', like so many other pure games before it. "I dare you to jump our back fence, run through Mr Johnson's yard and meet me on the next street"... or Mission A. "I dare you to walk along our back fence until it becomes the crazy woman's house, then run through her yard, jump the fence into the yard with the rottweiler, over their gate and out through the back lane".. or Mission C [which was only ever done once by the way, and just barely once]. By Mission D, we were on people's roofs, and I'm pretty sure you couldn't complete Mission G without a grappling hook... [or was it bolt cutters?] The one piece of equipment required for every Mission though, was the trusty tennis ball. If ever caught while on enemy territory, you'd immediately resort to making exaggerated head movements while squinting the eyes, and swatting at random plantlife. You'd be surprised at exactly how well "I'm just looking for my tennis ball" can get you out of an awkward trespassing dilemma. One time when I forgot to bring one, I can remember having the owner of the house looking with me for half an hour for a ball that was never there, only to pull out from the garden an actual tennis ball covered in a thick layer of dried mud and leaves that was so obviously NOT the ball in question... "Is this what you're looking for?" C'monnn, what would you have said if you were given such a quick out? Anyway, bottom line is... you came to the twin's house when you wanted to star in your own personal spy movie, and we were proud of that fact [it actually became our most responsive viral marketing line!].
Maybe it was due to not owning a TV for much of our early years? [although I'm definitely sure that's why we're obsessed with it now!] Maybe it was the double-story design of our house that just begged to be climbed up, swung from and jumped off? Maybe it was our parents, that maintained a firm-but-fair attitude of 'just be careful', and were probably okay with letting us prance around because they knew we had each other's backs. I don't know, but I feel like we had a pretty solid childhood... and a part of me wishes we could start up Missions again without the fear of serious jail time.
* 'Deep-seeded' or 'deep-seated'? http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/deep.html
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Here we are, crossing 5th Avenue after yet another fruitful session of 'what special edition DVDs can we find in the Virgin Megastore that haven't made it to our shores yet... and look, only $10', when this nice blonde lady stops us in front of a rather potent cart of 'street meat'. She quickly explains that her good friend, who just happens to be 'the best casting agent in NYC', has asked her to keep a peeled eyeball out for interesting faces around the city. She then rather excitedly goes on to tell us it's all for an upcoming Converse print campaign to shoot in the next couple weeks. O... Kay. "Here... take down her number on that mangled DVD receipt from your back pocket, and call her as soon as you can!!" Obviously this doesn't happen to TWiN every day (it tends to be more of a weekly to bi-weekly occasion)... so needless to say we were surprised, and there was definitely more than our regular required dose of cynicism.
So, four days go by... and it's only on the morning of the fifth day that we come across this now almost unreadable strip of paper from my back pocket. We look at each other and giggle like little girls. We argue about who's going to call... like little girls. I say, "It's ringing", in a high-pitched squeal like a skinny 6'1 little girl that hasn't shaved in a week. For some reason the assistant on the phone asks "is this one of the twins?" [I SHIT you NOT], and before you know it we're standing in a painfully slow elevator on our way up to get our photos taken at the Soho casting office.
(I'll speed through this next bit in point form)... Photos of us are quick, digital, and subsequently quite lame. We're pretty sure we have zero chance. The mood boards and designs for the campaign look quite cool though, and we're pleasantly surprised that they want 'black & white 70's indie-punk-cool' over 'cheesy American kids smiling so wide you wanna kick a puppy'. They give us the "we'll call you when we hear something", and we leave the building expecting that we've just scored a cool New York story, but not much else.
Soon enough we get a call from the casting office - "The photos aren't great... we're gonna need to get you in to take some better ones". Again we find ourselves in one of Manhattan's slowest elevators on our way to the office of John Varvatos. We quickly assume this must be the famous photographer on the job ('cause that's certainly how the room comes across), and we sit there flicking through his massive leather-bound folio. Justin, Tom Cruise, Usher, Hugh Jackman, LL, Matthew Fox... and... TWiN(?!?) Our churning guts switch up a gear. Turns out John Varvatos is the fashion designer [derr!], and a pretty friggin well-known one too! [Lucky we didn't compliment him on his 'work' huh?] We meet... he's all smiles... a little gay... jokes that we're gonna have to get naked... they snap a few (moderately) better photos, NOT NAKED... and we're suddenly back in the elevator not knowing much more than we did 20 minutes ago.
A little more than a week goes by, and we're in the back of a cool coffee shop when my phone rings. It's bloody hard to hear much of anything, but I do seem to catch the words, "You've just booked Converse". Pity the shoot's over in NY, while we're supposed to be on a 14 hour flight back to Sydney from LA! Ultimately we decide, 'if the client loves us, and the agency loves us, and the designer loves us... they'll make it happen.' And they did. Flights back to New York from LA, a hotel for 2 nights, and a car with a driver waiting out front to take us to set.
The shoot was crazy. Needless to say, we're usually on the other side of the camera when shoot's get crazy... but it was cool to experience how a fashion shoot goes down on the opposite side of the globe. There were stunningly gorgeous females, iconic Brooklyn locations, and more TV On The Radio blearing from a boombox than you can shake a big American stick at. The track 'Wolf Like Me' is now a permanent reminder of grab-assing/rooftop-pissing/water-spitting/trash-diving craziness that was the New York shoot for Converse - John Varvatos 2006. Big thank you to photographer Cass Bird, Jennifer & crew, and Mr Varvatos. Only in mofo'n New York City.
[You can peep the final Converse ads in the blog post 'It's in the pudding'].