Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Fill out your Gaa-dammm census form!" Ah... racial!

A couple weeks ago, we had the pleasure to shoot a spot for the upcoming 2010 US Census, focussed specifically towards an African-American target audience. It was an ambitious 2 day cram-fest of a shoot, with 3 camera units, over 50 different set-ups, and a crowd of about 500 extras on a downtown Manhattan street during a work week. The concept was about coming together as a community, and with one collective voice being able to influence positive change in education, transportation and healthcare. A gigantic crowd collects on the street, but their voices aren't heard until one guy (that looks uncannily like the young version of Denzel from Glory but without the severe back scarring), makes his way down from his apartment and joins in... and one by one, we begin to hear the crowd's unified chant, giving it real power.

We were lucky enough to shoot with the cinematographer of 90% of Aronofsky's films, and the Iron Man movies, Matthew Libatique... and the music composer is the amazing Tyler Bates, from 300 and Watchmen fame. Not a bad team really. And, we beat out some big name directors for the spot too, which is always a plus... I won't say who, cause this blog may come up when he late-night googles his name, but put it this way - we were 13 when he directed his most famous early 90's grunge music video. Weird... for him.

So naturally we embraced the scope of the project, shot the absolute cripe out of it from more angles than Terrance Malick could think up, and came up with a 90 second extended version that's really beautiful and emotive. Only bummer is that it's not available to show anybody until early next year... sooooo, I guess there's basically no reason for us to be posting this right noooow... is... there? How do you delete these things again?

Jon [Josh].

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mid year update.

I just read the blog post three or so down that talked about us moving to the States, [below the one of us promising to write more posts, which was an obvious lie and now it's quite clear we can't be trusted], and I noticed the photo that went along with that post of Josh struttin' through the LES back in 2006 or something... about one block from where we've been living on Orchard St for the past 14 months. Weird huh? I could literally throw a rock from our apartment to where Josh is in that photo, assuming there was some sort of tear in the space/time continuum right in front of where '2006 Josh' was walking, allowing the rock to safely pass through from 2009 to 2006 and cane him in the head or neck. This is also assuming that I'm that much of a good shot... which is a given, so isn't as much of a variable in this hypothetical daydream. Not even sure why you brought that up.

So... a quick update on 2009 so far, since it's been established we're liars and have barely written a thing. In April we got asked to host a night as directors who are greatly inspired by music of a range of styles, and got to basically DJ the event with support from Q Department, a sound house here in New York. We chose 20 albums that have inspired us over the years, and gave specific songs to 20 different illustrators to interpret the music as artworks, that were exhibited on the night. It was an amazing event, which you can check out here if you'd like. What else? We've been playing a lot of Donkey Kong, which led to a lot of Mr Do! ['Mr Do!' has an exclamation mark in it's title... that wasn't just me being over-eager]. The Hangover came out... and we laughed and laughed. Transformers 2 also came out... and we laughed and laughed. We recently shot a couple jobs back to back - an LG job in New York, and a Cox Communications job in Toronto. Both weren't exactly award-winning, but fun none the less, and I'm sure you can hunt them down if you're even remotely comfortable with Google. Oh, and something else big happened this year, but I can't tell you about that. Okay, see ya.

Jon [Josh].

Friday, January 30, 2009

Morning Light.

2008 led to some interesting jobs for us, but by far the most enjoyable was the Nissan 'Morning Light' spot we shot in Toronto, Canada in early October.  It was so refreshing to see a script for a truck ad that wasn't about action-packed 4-wheel-drive shots and big hairy men, but more about creating a simple little narrative and being able to inject some charm and wonder into the story.  We got to create this early morning routine for a lonely woodsman, driving out into the darkness to fulfill his unthinkable duties... something he's done every morning for as long as he can remember.  There was a subtlety to the pictures and to the music that made it really gratifing for us, and although the climax had a cool visual twist to it, it didn't feel like a big 'effects' spot at all.  I won't spoil it for you, so if you haven't seen the final piece you can take a look over at under Directors - 'TWiN'.

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.

Jon [Josh].