A couple months ago the good folks at Preacher asked us to help out with a social campaign for Tommy John’s “Go Anywhere” underwear. Sounds simple enough, but oh man, who knew walking would be so hard.
The big green screen was easy. Craigslist supplied the perfect treadmill we were able to hack and modify the speed control on (and paint green). Adam and Nick lit the scene to be flexible but also have light direction work with the many different scenarios the model would be dropped into. After that, the biggest obstacle was hitting the timing marks to go with stock footage. Adam directed from camera and thankfully our model was fantastic at hitting the timing changes and varying speeds, while always staying on his feet.
We are beyond excited to be able to share one of the studio’s biggest undertakings to date!
This spring we were approached by a stellar creative team from Droga5 who wanted to collaborate with us to develop 4 ultra stress tests to test the strength of the new Dixie Ultra plates. These tests would be used in both a print and social campaign, so motion was part of the package. The kicker, all these tests had to be done for real. No Photoshop trickery. And they wanted video of each.
The creatives had a list of 8 possible tests in mind, but to narrow down to 4, we were going to need to get to work with pre-testing. Could the plate hold 2 lbs of seafood one handed? How much jello could we drop from how high and have the plate still catch it? Where do we get a volcano with fire and lava that would actually get hot, like 500+ degrees hot?
After a week of testing, trying different jello recipes in different shapes and sizes, calculating how many hot plates we could plug into the studio with out causing an electrical disaster, and a visit from the fire marshal, we had our 4 tests narrowed down. The Rodeo Test, Jello Bowling Ball Test, Volcano Test, and Double Boiler Test were the winners. Next up, it was time to turn our studio into what looked like an industrial testing facility.
We can’t say enough about how amazing our small team is and how hard they worked. The sets were all created by Robin, Nick and Katie on a tight budget, sourcing materials from Habitat Restore and spending many hot and sweaty hours in the lot behind the studio custom finishing cement board, ceiling tiles, and bending conduit. Our phenomenal producer Elizabeth Spiva found the most perfect mechanical bull named Boss and a legit cowboy to ride him. And food stylist extraordinaire Tina Stamos killed it between the perfect cowboy steak, beautiful lobster boil, and the tallest chocolate lava cake imaginable while staying within in a 2 lb weight limit. Thank you to everyone who helped us make these crazy ideas come to life.
First off, here’s the cowboy, by far the funnest of all the tests. And yes, everyone got to ride the bull at the end.
Next we dropped a pound and a half jello bowling ball onto 6 jello bowling pins. Yes, we really made jello bowling pins. No, it was not easy to make them stand.
Our third test was a molten chocolate cake over a volcano. Adam Jorgenson and the team at Big Dog Pyro went above and beyond to incorporate all our crazy asks into this construction. We wanted glowing lava, and smoke, and fire, and heat, bubbles, and it all needed to sit neatly on a 4′ table top.
Last test was holding 2 lb of Lobster boil over a double boiler. Thank goodness we got 20 hot plates boiling with out crashing our electric panel!
And finally, here are lots of behind the scene pick from the process. Again, we want to thank everyone who helped make this crazy idea a reality and thank you to Droga5 for trusting us with such an amazing assignment.
We could not be happier to share pictures from our Brookside Chocolate print and social campaign we shot with the fine folks at Anomaly NY last winter. The social posts started trickling out in early December, But the print images were a few months behind. It was so much fun to splash, chocolate, blast confetti, spray glitter, shoot powder, and basically make a giant mess in the studio for 10 days. There were social motion aspects as well but that will have to be another post.
Huge thanks to Milisava, Bonnie and the whole Anomaly team for such a fantastic concept and direction.
Last summer we had the privilege to shoot with a few of the amazing creatives at Leo Burnett in Chicago to help launch Jello Simply Good. Brian Marcus’s creative direction was quick, simple, and clever, just the way we like it. Thank you all who helped make these images so fantastic to share.
Along with the stills we also were able to contribute the end frames for the TV commercials. After much testing we finally learned how to roll the perfect banana slice.
Ok, so Halloween is past, but Pumpkins are for Thanksgiving too!
Super excited to share the images from Jaco-O-Blast, the second Captain Morgan product in the Cannon Blast line. This past April, Force Majeure approached us about this fun idea of a creepy pumpkin patch with mood boards and comps that made us say “HECK YEAH!” As soon as we got off the phone though the reality hit…..it’s April….there are no pumpkins. After a lot of calls, a little clever trickery, and help from friends in locating a few pumpkins that were still around, we were able to build a 8′ x 8′ pumpkin patch in the studio. Nick remembered his high school theater days and rigged up a cooler with dry ice for the fog from the fog machine to pass through and the creepy pumpkin patch came alive.
Thank you so much to John-Paul Elliott and Megan Bradley for trusting us with such a fun project.
Very excited to share a Chase for Business campaign we got to work on this past fall with Droga5. We were in love with the concept from the very beginning, simple objects photographed in a way to make them look menacing and monolithic. Because that’s just what these simple objects became, huge problems to business owners. Thank you Julia Menassa, Joaquin Salim, and the rest of the Droga5 Team. This project was a blast to work on.
Here are the 4 objects together as a set.
It’s been fun to be online looking through websites and randomly come upon these pictures used in various formats.
This year we were thrilled to get the call from Integer Dallas awarding us the job to photograph FedEx’s Holiday campaign. It was 4 days of big sets, creating epic festive bows, and conceptualizing iconic holiday items out of FedEx boxes. Joe, our east coast rep, got to travel to Austin and meet up with art producer Colleen Dean and the whole Integer team for a week of meticulous collaboration on how to create these massive sculptural pieces. He had loads of fun and enjoyed some of the best barbecue in all the country with our new clients
For some fun BTS video showcasing Robin’s styling talents and taken from our mounted Go-Pro cameras, go to these links on the Facebook FedEx site:
Excited to share the release of the Captain Morgan Cannon Blast campaign we worked on this summer with some amazing creatives from Anomaly’s New York office. I don’t think we could have asked for a more perfect combination of prop making, set building, flying debris, and Adam’s magic in post. It was a team effort for sure and the results are killer! Thanks a million to Shalini, Morgan, and the rest of the creative team at Anomaly as well as our wonderful reps Joe and Erica for all coming together to make this campaign a blast to work on. (pun intended)
Here’s some behind the scene shots of the prop making and surface prep in progress.
The bottle needed to be shot in 3 different scenarios, so different slabs of concrete were poured to accommodate the different scenarios. In all we cast 6 slabs of concrete, some with reliefs to hold the bottle. We also dropped kettle bells on solid slabs to get impact craters. Black dye was mixed in during the casting process to get the right color and darkness. We also crushed charcole into a fine powder and rubbed it on the surface where the bottle made contact for a burned/singed effect.
The shot glasses needed to look like cast iron embossed with the Captain Morgan Jolly Roger. However, there was no time to get actual metal cast, so we worked with 3D printer 3Degrees Askew to have plastic and resin shot glasses printed/extruded. The shot glasses were then textured, painted and aged to look like cast iron. In all we made 5 different sets of 3 with different levels of ware and texture so we could test what looked best in camera.
Due to the glasses small size, some of the detail of the Jolly Roger needed to be removed for the printing process. In order to bring back the detail in post, we had a large tile of the logo printed which was able to hold full detail. The tile was textured and painted to match the shot glasses. We then photographed the tile at the proper angles and used it to bring detail back to the glasses.
In May VSA Partners approached us to collaborate on this years One Show Awards posters and promotional material. The idea was to create the iconic One Show pencil out of various objects and food which would then helped emphasize the special nature of the real award.
Some pencils were mainly model making, some were a good bit of Adam’s magic in post, but everything about this process was a blast. We could not be more thrilled with the outcome. Thank you to VSA for the amazing concept and to One Show for having us pull it off.