— THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE

Archive
MY STUFF.

Earlier in the month, I stumbled upon an upload of a documentary (on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network alas), of the designer/filmmaker and all round creative bod Tom Ford. I’ve always been impressed with Ford’s visual sensibilities. From the first bold Tom Ford ads (a barn storming collaboration with Terry Richardson), to the exquisite detailing and storytelling on display in ‘A Single Man’.

In this documentary (the opening titles are visual travesty I might add), we see Ford explain his methodology, we get a bit about his backstory, and the whole the story of his meteoric rise within the hallowed halls of Gucci and Dior.

But this gets really interesting when the doc digs into his creative perspective. What drives him, and also, crucially, that he doesn’t just see himself as a fashion designer. Ford understands that creativity as a skill, is universal. As he puts it:

“The clues for everything that’s going to come next are here now. And either you’re a sleuth and you’re thinking about it cerebrally or you feel it. There are no right or wrong answers – it’s intuitive”

With that sentiment, Ford nails what a creative should be about. Seeking experiences and stimuli, but also not just chasing a trend, or a fad. It’s that intuition which makes creating stuff so… good. Think about it, when you’re designing, art directing, directing, drawing or even strategising, there is a moment where the feel is right. You don’t need to over-explain, or over justify. It just feels right. This makes creativity something that really can’t be taught. It’s in the bloodstream. It’s gives you the strength of your convictions and belief in what you want to tell to the world.

It also helps you keep a clear course, when others haven’t seen, or disagree with your view. His aesthetic, his point of view, his perfectionism cross creative boundaries. But they are all bound by intuition. Which is really why watching this doesn’t just feel like a throwaway bit fashion fluff. This is a true craftsman at work.

The lovely Camilla wrote a post about this same doc. I would say she was copying my thinking, but that would be rude ;). Her words are much more jazzy than mine, (‘rock-hard Branding’, brilliant) and brilliantly bring to life whay Tom Ford’s Brand is so seriously on target. (Desire and attention to detail). But you should take the two blogposts combined might as a clear signal that this video is well worth your time.

You can read her post here.

 

Read More

Lets start the month with a timelapse. Not this time, of a wonderous desert scene, Koyaanisqatsi-esque moving cityscape, but a timelapse of one of the most famous movie sets of all time. Created by special effects artist Jeff Desom, he blends together all the scenes from the courtyard of Rear Window. Widely acknowledged as one of Hitchcock’s finest works. This is one of the few films that stands out as much for it’s art direction and set design as it’s storyline. (BBDO NY used a similar framing device when creating their HBO work some years back). Desom blends all the shots together from that set to create a film that actually both pays homage and elevates the originals achievement in set design complexity.  It’s also a pretty impressive technical achievement on it’s own terms. Here’s the original 1954 trailer for a comparison.

Read More

Marvel’s grand 4 years (plus) in the making film of the Avengers is now mere months away. The studio has done a masterful job of teasing the film. From the ‘wait until the end of the film’ clips from the Marvel films (Iron Man 1/2, Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America), that led to the teaser of the first Avengers trailer last year, through to this months monster 3.00 trailer that left most fanboys on the floor dribbling with anticipation. Marvel has set the bar high for the film.

As you would expect for a film backed with such a fervent fanbase, some things have started to appear on the Internet that utilise fan and remix culture to give a different spin on the action. This example (paired with the 3.00 minute trailer for comparison),  uses slices of the 1960’s cartoon versions of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to mirror the trailer. It serves no higher purpose, but is a great illustration as to how far the Marvel Universe has evolved since the Golden Age in the 1960’s, (animation techniques and all), but also makes you feel that the film luckily, will not stray very far from where the Avengers always was. Slightly ludicrous, but awesome fun.

We’ll have to wait until May to find out for sure if the film has delivered on it’s roots. But it’s another proof how the internet and remix/fan culture can find different points of view that help explain and expand an original idea.

(Via Creative Social)

Read More

Having worked on a number of luxury projects a few years back, I can attest how much fun they are to work on, especially when the brand itself throws some dough at it.

Cartier’s new ‘ad’ (it feels much more like a film in truth), has certainly had money thrown at it as well as the kitchen sink, and all that cash on straight up on screen, it’s suitably bonkers as a result. Ostensibly an ad about Cartier’s history, and a celebration of the Brands 165th Birthday, it’s 3 minutes of Dodgy metaphors and strange leaps of narrative and some sublime, beautiful visuals. The spot is directed by Bruno Aveillan, who has previous with Louis Vuitton, Shangri La Hotels among others. (They are worth watching for their own lapses of sanity, trust me).

In an age where luxury brands are grasping the nettle of how to innovate in the digital arena, creating un parallelled access for their customers and fans, this feels like a massive throwback. But, conversely, it’s is so well put together, so ambitious, you can’t helped but be impressed. A real guilty pleasure. So, for once, let’s indulge ourselves.

(Via Brand Channel)

Read More

This app from the visual artist Rainer Kohlberger looks very interesting. It turns your photos into abstract arrangements using a variety of patterns and shapes. There are 9 different combinations available, as well as cute bit of UI when you shake the iPad, it generates a random selection of patterns and shapes. The UX overall is really nicely done too. Bold and clean. For 69p, it’s probably worth the cash. Download here.

(Via The Creators Project)

Read More

 

Jung Von Matt have really been doing some serious great work the last few years, especially in using to tech to bring their ideas to life. This concept for Mercedes is another example of that quality. To promote the new F-CELL Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology that make’s a Mercedes emissions ‘invisible’, they did just that. Made the car invisible. The video above shows how effective this idea was as the car toured Germany, creating genuine WOW moments.

Another superb example of how tech can be used to create gorgeous simple stories that amaze. I hope this gains the acclaim it deserves.

Read More

With such a strong brand behind them, Amnesty International are always coming up with novel, creative ways to get their (traditionally0 hard-hitting message across.

But, sometimes those messages can be somewhat preaching to the converted. That’s why this idea from the Amnesty and Activision (creators of the Call Of Duty series) is smart, and in some ways, hopefully more effective in spreading their message.

Anybody who even has a passing interest in gaming will be aware that the Call of Duty series is somewhat of phenomenon. The previous ‘Black Ops’ addition to the series was the highest grossing entertainment product in the 2010. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 broke records itself, and the anticipation for the game was pretty self-evident to anybody who walked past a HMV store the weeks of release. However (as this film touches on), it’s really the ‘stickiness’ of the game that provides the biggest opportunity. Online, players are spending hours completing extra game maps and linking online with players around the world.

Here’s where the power of Amnesty’s message steps in. Supplanting their own ‘map’ into the online experience. Now it’s not just about saving the world from Nuclear disaster, or despotic rogue Russian heavies, it’s about helping victims of war crimes and torture escape their captors. Players buy the Amnesty map on the Playstation store and are instantly transported into the narrative. The hyper realism that CoD prides itself on, becomes the most valuable asset in bringing visually to life the suffering of victims and the visceral danger that these victims are constantly under.

I could imagine that there would be critics of this approach, potentially seeing that their message was being diluted with it’s inclusion in a ‘video game’. But as the gaming continues it’s march from geek pursuit to mainstream entertainment platform, the power of these games to create narratives that smart brands can disrupt and twist, is all too real. Amnesty have taken this to the next level. I for one, am excited to see this in action.

(Via Edward Boches)

Read More