• 10.20.14   Joe Pugliese Gets Meta with Jimmy Fallon

    Joe Pugliese isn’t known for hilarious photography. It’s not really his thing. So when it came time to shoot Jimmy Fallon for the cover of Men’s Journal, he knew it was going to be something in a different direction. “I don’t really do humorous photography that much, I don’t put a lot of humor into the set ups and concepts that I shoot,” Joe says. But he’s been following Jimmy Fallon for quite a while, so he decided to go for it. “It felt like a nice fit. I feel like Jimmy is a smart comic and he has a pulse on pop culture that’s kind of dead on. We let him really guide the mood. I just let him be himself, which fell into the way I like to shoot anyway.” It ended up working out perfectly, since what Joe likes to do is step back and let his subject be who they are naturally. It didn’t hurt that Joe and Jimmy injected a little something extra into the feeling of the shoot. Since humorous photography isn’t what Joe typically likes to do, he and Jimmy went an additional step to take it beyond typical clownish shoots. When it came to shooting Jimmy at the fake campfire with the burnt marshmallow (in the rain), Joe explains, “It was the joke within the joke. It was almost a riff on that sort of humorous photography. He almost looked chagrined to do it. There was some mystery whether he was chagrined by the photo shoot or chagrined that his marshmallow had burned or chagrined that it wasn’t a real fire. It was nonsensical which was fun, but it wasn’t whimsical.” It was a fine line for them to walk, to get the feeling exactly right. With a less experienced comic, or a comic who has only done scripted work, it could have taken all day to get the perfect shot. But Jimmy has been doing live performance for so long, and it is such a part of his style, that he and Joe didn’t waste any time. “I think he was really natural, I think he was really comfortable, and he was really efficient,” Joe says. “He’s such a pro and such a performer, he hit his mark and used the time well. He thinks on his feet. He can look outside himself to see what’s working and what’s not. Everything kind of just worked.” 
  • 10.21.14   Nathan Fox Finds Stories Everywhere

    Nathan Fox does a lot of work in comics so he was a natural choice for the animated spots for AMC’s “Comic Book Men.” AMC opted to use secret identities and the aesthetics from comic series to advertise the upcoming season of the reality show that follows the daily operations and general hijinx of Kevin Smith’s New Jersey comic book shop. Nathan had never worked on an animation spot like this before which presented challenges and requirements that were beyond what normally is demanded by static 2D compositions. Luckily for him, there was a lot of creative leniency. Each of the five gentlemen followed in the show are represented in the spot, and then are revealed to have their own super powers. A lot of the visual storytelling, and even the specifics of those revealed powers were up to the creative team, including Nathan. “Outside of the general ideas in the brief, the costume, the colors, the detail, were all made on our own, and were on our artistic end to define,” Nathan says. “It was cool having some freedom and collaboration to do visualization.” Nathan worked closely with Nick Flaherty on these ideas and executions to help fulfill the vision as fully and creatively as possible. That transformation of regular, everyday person into superhero is exactly what drew Nathan to this project. In general, superheroes aren’t what he spends his energy on. “Superheroes are not my real forte,” he puts it simply. “But, in terms of this project I think it was really fun to take some real life characters and metamorphose them into crazy superheroes that were going to get animated was a lot of fun.” For a lot of the canonical characters, superpowers are discovered, or gifted, as a metaphor for what that character was lacking, or needed in their life. But Nathan finds there’s already a rich well to draw from in every day experiences. Where the stories of superheroes use those metaphors to make comments on society and the human experience, Nathan looks to that experience directly. “All those people that we pass on an every day basis have stories to tell, they all come from some place. Good, bad, or otherwise. That uniqueness has always perked my curiosity,” he explains. But it goes even a little deeper than that. “A lot of us are odd and unique and twisted and private or weird or shy or whatever. That in and of itself in terms of character and humanity and identity, all of that: that’s always been an interest to me.” Why embellish or inflate when the story is already deep enough? Nathan explains, “It really just comes down to what the story is and how you want to move, engage, or immerse people.”
  • 10.21.14   Stacey Jones Presents Daniel Radcliffe the Man

    Because of the eight Harry Potter movies, America, and the world, watched Daniel Radcliffe go through childhood in front of our eyes. But now that the wizarding world of Hogwarts is behind the British actor, he’s entering a stage of his career where he gets to take on more socially challenging roles. And we get to see him develop into a man. As If constructed a feature around Daniel’s upcoming work and as Fashion Director for the magazine Stacey Jones worked to show off the young man that he is becoming. The apparel that they chose for Daniel is at once fresh and sophisticated, while still being signature to Stacey's aesthetic. Significant layers in rich fabrics and welcoming tones play off Daniel’s energy and natural coloring for a combination that speaks to his personality and temperament. They help present an artist who is at once comfortable but has a point of view. He recognizes the position he is in, and chooses projects accordingly. The larger fitted apparel that Stacey directed make Daniel look both relaxed and stylish, showing a self-assured comfort that is often missing in younger talent. When styled well, apparel tells as much of the story as the subject, and Stacey’s work with Daniel Radcliffe for As If is the perfect example.
  • 10.17.14   Kristin Vicari Takes Your Safety Personally

    Kristin Vicari is known for her bright and energetic photographs. She’s a breeze to work with: relaxed and fun on set. She loves to inject that into all her work; she’s less interested in specific set ups and more focused on getting the right feeling in the shoot. That’s why her latest project with Transport for London was such a departure. But it was important to her. For those who don’t know, London has a system of “Mini Cabs” that can be reserved in advance to be used as a car service. Sometimes drivers claim to be associated with these official services but aren’t actually accredited, and it can be dangerous for the riders. Kristin’s campaign with TfL is to call attention to this problem and attempt to curtail it. A dangerous situation could happen to anyone, so Kristin and TfL had to represent the full breadth of possibilities. “They wanted to convey different types of nights out,” Kristin says. “Not everyone goes out and just drinks.” Using a social media inspired aesthetic, Kristin photographed three sets of women in three different circumstances: one group partying, another seeing a band play, and a third out to dinner. She shot the campaign as though the groups were taking selfies and posting them on their Instagram accounts. “I think the most challenging thing was always being aware that it had to be from the POV of the girl. Like her taking a selfie,” Kristin explains. “The model and I were always connected. She was always holding my hand while I was holding the camera. It wasn’t the easiest of shoots.” What resulted was a natural progression of the evening. The first few images sees the group partaking in their night time activities, and then they head home. The second to last image in each spread has the woman posting a final selfie to say “Goodnight!” But there’s a sixth image. That last image is made to look like it’s being taken by mistake. “It captured the moment when she was being attacked,” Kristin explains. “It was really intense because the girls were crying and screaming because they’re all actors. So they really got into the role of it, of being attacked.” The two models and Kristin were in these tiny cars, acting out these horrible potential situations. But it was for all the right reasons. For Kristin, this campaign was particularly significant because she has a personal connection to the issue. “One of my best friends was attacked in London a few years ago,” Kristin explains. “When I was asked to do the campaign, even though I knew it would not really be my normal thing, I did understand the importance of doing it.” Sometimes a campaign is more than a campaign. Sometimes it can keep people safe.
  • 10.17.14   Trevor Bowden Brings Movement to Cadillac

    Stephen Merchant has staked his career on being the awkward tall guy. The comedian’s HBO show, “Hello Ladies,” was built around his extraordinary height and natural eccentricities. So it was a natural step to have him star in Cadillac’s newest advertisement where he misinterprets attention from beautiful women. They’re really gawking at the candy red Cadillac that happens to be driving by, but he is in their eye line and takes the attention personally. The spot was filmed in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood, and the entire cast of 15 was beautified by Trevor Bowden. The commercial is full of movement, and everyone on set was ready to put that energy into every minute of filming. Including the director, Tarsem Signh. “Tarsem had incredible energy. He didn’t stop the whole two days, from running from one place to the other,” Trevor explains. “Everybody was just flying to the seat of their pants and it comes out in the commercial.” Each moment is more energetic than the last, offering as many laughs as looks at Cadillac’s newest ATS Coupe. The movement in the spot is energetic and edited, and Trevor was able to bring that energy into the hair and make up for the actors. The women and men in the commercial are walking that New York walk down NYC streets, and turning heads in swanky restaurants. Trevor’s secret? “Hairspray” he says with a laugh.  
  • 10.15.14   Douglas Friedman's Music and Muses

    Music inspires. It guides. Music can be a bowl to carry ideas, and a place to find a muse. It can be an obsession, a love, a way of life. It can be a path. For Mia Moretti, Oh Land, and Judith Hill, music is their path. They each have independently chosen a life of music, letting their love and passion of song and rhythm guide them into their futures. Martha Stewart Weddings Fall Fashion 2014 chose these three women to present over a dozen wedding gowns, all picked and styled through musical inspiration. Whether it was a weighty ball gown for an operatic stage, or a gold beaded sheath dress for a jazz hall, each look was rooted in musical tradition. And Douglas Friedman was behind the lens to capture it all. For three days, Douglas, his team, and these three ladies ran all throughout New York City showing off how different all these looks are. “Every shot was a location. Every shot was a mood. It was a marathon. We sprinted a marathon. It was a lot of fun,” Douglas said. As a team they did the work of transforming each of those moods in the space, using lighting, framing, sets, and the performances of each of the women. “They were real good sports,” Douglas says about the ladies. “They really worked hard to channel something that might not have been familiar to them.” Douglas is known for the meticulous framing and composition in his work. He’ll use every minute necessary ensuring that each element sits precisely in the frame where it needs to. And he won’t begrudge a second of it. But he does need his music. “Always,” he says. Always needs the music. But for this particular shoot, since the inspiration came from music, it was particularly important. “We had a soundtrack at every location we shot,” he says “We’d have the music going that was telling the story that we were telling. It was good for morale for the crew, it was great for the subjects.” There is one little tricky thing when it comes to shooting a dozen bridal gowns for one story: it could get boring. But Douglas and Martha Stewart Weddings presolved this by having Mia Moretti, Oh Land, and Judith Hill be the models for this project. They are real people performing inside the dresses. They’re not mannequins. “The three girls are all personalities, they’re not models,” Douglas explains. “So we didn’t want to kind of be deceitful. It could be repetitive, it could look very repetitive.” Instead, they went the route of authenticity and found the inspiration behind every look.
  • 10.16.14   Found Adds a New Dimension to Growing Up

    Growing up is more than scraped knees and first loves. Growing up is closer and bolder, gentler than juvenile foibles and early stumbles. Growing up happens on the other side of childhood, when the score starts to count. For Hiscox latest campaign, “The House I Grew Up In,” the insurance company wanted to show off the lessons and responsibilities of adulthood in a way that was surprising and compelling, while remaining personally affecting. They chose Found to create an immersive experience that could translate seamlessly into a filmed advertisement. Found spent three months working on an expressively detailed projection mapping motion project that played on a real house in a residential neighborhood. As one can see from their provided Behind the Scenes video, each element in the projection mapping was carefully conceived and animated separately with care tantamount to them each being the subject of the entire project. It was the first time they had worked on projection mapping that was this detailed. “Compared to the stuff we do on big buildings where we kind of go really bold and almost shock, there was a lot more emotion in what we were doing with this,” explains Ian Walker, Producer at Found. “We had to be a lot more intricate with the design and put a lot more detail and more thought in what people were going to feel from it, because it was a completely different purpose from our live projections.” Since the piece was filmed to be played over and over, Found had to make sure that every element came out flawlessly. They didn’t have the forgiveness of a one-time audience. There was a little bit of an audience, in addition to the camera. “We had to do it over and over and over again to make sure we got all the elements and make sure it was right,” explains Ian. “Which meant we were making noise in the night on a residential street during the middle of the week. But everyone seemed pretty happy and they didn’t really complain. It was a logistical challenge.” The logistics, in addition to the many elements in the piece, disappear into it. Since the entire motion element was projected on to a static flat surface, but the camera was moving, there had to be a dynamic presentation of space to keep it looking like it was in the third dimension. As the camera moved the background and foreground had to move at different speeds to create the illusion of the third dimension and sell the effects. “It only looked right from the camera’s point of view,” Ian explains. “That was a massive challenge, getting all those elements to work together. It was such a complex thing.” But it was worth it. “We could have done this with digital visual effects,” Ian says. But there would have been something missing. “There’s a certain integrity and loveliness to actually doing it for real, and I think people probably will sort of connect with that. We wanted to do something that people really connected with and I think you get that with doing stuff for real and not faking it.”
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
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