Found Freezes Time with Havana Club
When was the last time you stepped into the past? More than watching a movie, or reminiscing from a familiar smell. When was the last time you stood in a room of old, and was transported back in time, with the sounds, feelings, and even tastes of the past? Probably never, since we haven’t invented time travel. Unless, of course, you’re Found Studio who recently linked up with Havana Club to give their customers the opportunity to see what the past looked, felt, and tasted like. In their fully immersive experience, “Casa Havana,” they invited users to enter a special room that uses a combination of digital displays and practical techniques to offer an immersive historical experience.
“The owner takes you on a journey from the exact same storeroom you’re sitting in, right across the globe to Cuba,” Found explains. “Along the way the story of his bar, the history of the rum and hints of ingredients for his famous ‘Silver Pineapple’ cocktail are revealed, culminating the reveal of the drink itself when you return back to the real world.” The participant wears a virtual reality headset that allows the viewer to look around the room freely, watching as the room changes before their eyes. A fan is strategically placed in the room and is calibrated to simulate breezes coming from a window. Finally, the team running the experience use a hole in the wall to clandestinely place a fresh drink in the room while the participant is viewing the digital display so it seems as though the drink appears from magic.
With travel to Cuba open now, the country is bound to catch up to the rest of the world. Restrictive policies have delayed their progress, but their history will always survive whether it remains tangible or on the other side of a VR experience. What Found proves with their project created with Havana Club is that, in some way, we can hold onto something that we once thought was lost forever but is merely on the other side of our imaginations.
Found Studio Does the Impossible for Fujitsu
The last time we checked in with Found Studio’s projection mapping it was a mind bending exercise of unbelievable proportions. They turned an entire house into a moving image, as realistic as any movie we’d ever seen. But they just took it to the next level. In a spot for Fujitsu, the international information technology company, they created images that would normally be built in CGI inside of a computer. But through their expertise and experimental nature, Found was able to capture everything “in camera.” That means that everything you see in this incredible video is how it looked in the studio on the day that they filmed the spot. Don’t believe us? They also created a Behind the Scenes video so you can get a better idea of what the process looked like.
Each element of the “effects” was created separately, and then every component was brought together into a single projection that would play on the day while shooting the final piece. Those moving images were projected onto the clean white walls of a studio and created the environments that the actors (both human and bovine) worked in. But what was truly ground breaking about this piece for Fujitsu was having projection mapping at multiple depths. For shots where the actors are interacting with invisible touch screens, the moving images were actually projected on a sheer screen that would pick up the projection, but still allow us to see beyond them. When the young boy reached out his hand and an outline of his palm and fingers appears as if by touch, that was happening in real time as well. It almost seems impossible, or truly a glimpse of the future.
In reality it would have been much easier to create many of these elements inside the computer and put them on top of the film. But for Found Studio, creating work like this is inherently valuable. There’s a beauty to the tangibility of it. “There’s a certain integrity and loveliness to actually doing it for real, and I think people connect with that,” says Ian Walker, Producer at Found. “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.” It ends up looking like two parts magic, and if you’re still not totally clear on how it happened, don’t forget to check the accompanying Behind the Scenes video.
Found Creates Christmas Magic with HP
As you read this, Santa is preparing. He's been preparing for most of the year. It doesn't take an operations expert to realize he has a huge job ahead of him. There are more than 500million children in this world that should expect to get presents from him this Christmas, and he only has one night to deliver them all. Everyone from NORAD to The Atlantic will have all eyes on Santa as he makes his deliveries, but if Found Studio and Hewlett Packard have anything to do with it, his CIO won't go forgotten. In a recent spot, the company came together with the creative studio and Quartz to celebrate the woman behind making Christmas Eve possible. And it's not Mrs Claus.
For “The Operation,” Found and Quartz imagined Santa’s Chief Information Officer as the woman who pulls the strings, using a fantastic array of technology to keep Santa on task and on schedule. We don’t ever see her face in the video, and that’s something that they did by design: she’s very mysterious. “Nobody knows the name of Santa’s CIO,” explains Ian Walker of Found studio. “It’s all very confidential. She is highly organized and loves eggnog.” Cheers to that!
Found credits Quartz for a great deal of the creative impetus of the final piece. “Quartz creative came up with the script and the overall concept,” explains Ian. So it was up to Found to bring everything to life. We see the synthesizing of travel routes, the streamlining of Naughty and Nice lists, and even sharing a live video stream from Rudolph’s head cam. It all comes together, thanks to Santa’s CIO, as a stress free night because of integrated technology. The video is really about sending a Thank You to those who go under appreciated, especially during hectic times like the holidays. When everyone does their job right, processes are seamless and Santa’s job is no exception. “Everyone loves a bit of magic at Christmas,” exclaims Ian. “What’s more magical than maps and coordinates for a chubby guy riding around on a sleigh?!”
Ho, Ho, Ho!
Found Studio and Peugeot Back Into Innovation
The introduction of Ford’s Model T in 1908 changed the world. Automobiles gave us the ability to transport ourselves quickly and efficiently without yoking ourselves to gigantic animals. Since the initial creation of the iron horses, the new challenge has been safety. Every year our cars could get faster, but instead we try to make them safer. At the end of the day, innovations in safety are what really count towards making vehicular travel less of a liability and more of a tool. When rear view cameras were introduced with the rise of digital imaging technology it reshaped the world around cars. Blind spots were reduced and the threat of backing into something (or someone) was negated with the flip of a switch.
As a way to build hype around their New Peugeot 208, Peugeot teamed up with Found Studio to create a unique advertisement that used the features of the car as the medium with which the advertisement was created.
That means that not only is the entire thing being shot in one go, making for all the technical challenges that presents, but the “camera man” is actually a diver who is driving backwards. As the “camera man” navigates with the multi-ton camera on four wheels (with room for 4 in the interior!), five different alternative sportsmen ride their skateboards and bikes, as well as engage in parkour, all around the car in real time. “Skaters Tony Gale and Nathan Morris, freestyle BMX rider Keelan Phillips, extreme mountain biker Danny Butler and Storm Freerun’s Paul ‘Blue’ Joseph,” say the folks at Found studio. “There are no cutaways so the stakes were high for this uninterrupted one-take sequence of stunts.” They chose to use the rear facing camera to film a single shot video to show that not only is the car safe, it’s agile and cool.
Found teamed up with Peugeot through Havas Helia UK who saw this as a remarkable opportunity to do something really satisfying. “This was the chance to create something truly exciting, risky and innovative with a supportive client who is as keen as we are to push audience expectations of their brand,” says Mat Denney, Creative Director at Havas Helia UK. Found has made a name for themselves in creating large scale experiences that push the envelope and make us rethink what is possible. This latest video with Peugeot is just another example of their exploration with creative solutions.
Take a look at the video and please remember that everyone involved is a professional. Do not try this yourself!
Found Studio Brought the Sun
The request was simple: all Take That asked for was the sun. For their latest single, “Let In The Sun,” they wanted a video that illustrated the central message of the song: to let the sun’s light shine into your life. According to Joe Binks of Found Studio, they were asked to “bring to life this idea of the sun, but bring it to life in an interesting and abstract way.” As soon as Found was awarded the job, they had just 48 hours to prepare and get ready to shoot the iconic band.
Take That came to prominence in the 1990s, paving the way for British Pop, and they’re still going 25 years later, continuing to create music for their fans, whether they’ve been with them since the 90s or found the band off recent hits. For Found it was a wonderful opportunity to work with names they’ve been familiar with for decades. “They’re icons of the British music scene,” says Joe. “We jumped at the chance to work with them.” In many ways, the question about that jump was “How high?” because now Found Studio had to bring the whole sun into the studio to illustrate the story that Take That is telling in their song.
The solution was to simulate a sunrise using a series of lights and a movable screen. During filming, the physical elements were only 40 feet wide, but using their visual effect magic, Found were able to extend the visuals and paint the impression of a horizon. “We wanted to keep it quite abstract,” explains Joe. “Narrative was never something we would default to.” Shirking the narrative, instead we get visual representations of the emotions that Take That is communicating with their music.
After their shoot with the band, Found reconvened to see what else they could bring to the piece. “Part of our thoughts were ‘do we need anything else?’ Instead of visualizing the sun coming to life in real environments, let’s actually give the sun a character,” says Joe, explaining that next conversation. “Let’s give it a force of its own. Let’s try to build on the idea of the sun bursting into the space.” The day after the shoot with the band Found went into a studio with all sorts of paraphernalia: fireworks, Dyson fans, a handful of macro lenses. For one effect they filled fish tanks with both salt and fresh water, creating a barrier between the two that was maintained thanks to the different densities of the solutions. Then they poured evaporated milk through the water, filming it at 200 frames per second. “We essentially made it up as we went along,” says Joe. “We spent a whole day in a studio, it was like a big science experiment.” The results are ethereal images that reflect the sun in feeling and abstract composition. Once they were intercut with the scenes of the band, the video was complete.
By creating abstract visualizations the sun, they were able to shrink it down just small enough to fit on a screen with one of the most consequential bands in English musical history. It's all in a day's work. Or three.
Found Studio Draws from 20 Years of PlayStation Gaming
20 years ago Sony debuted the PlayStation as a new way to immerse consumers in the fresh world of gaming. In those early days, it was still a young industry that few could ever imagine what would become of it. Gaming is now a $10.5b industry, and like all entertainment sectors, it is built on the dreams and imaginations of the consumers. For many, gaming is about collective play, but the depth of that genre has only recently been plumbed, while most of gaming history has been solo play. These immersive stories have created a form of entertainment that transcends passive entertainment, requiring interaction from the player, creating storylines that gamers can take personally. In these past 20 years since the PlayStation debuted, 20 years of stories have been created, and Sony wanted to highlight this for their 20th Anniversary.
To celebrate, the tech titan asked their Twitter following to tweet stories of gaming from the last 20 years using the hashtag #20YearsOfPlay. Moments that were memorable for loyal players, like remembered stepping-stones over the last two decades. Then Studio Output and Found brought 20 of those memories to life in animation. Moments like smashing buttons, playing whole games in one sitting, or feeling “like a god damn modern day treasure hunter, with style” all come together in an exploration and expression of these stories.
Found’s animation worked to tell these stories in the clearest way. “By taking a more minimalistic design approach, we ensured that the animated compositions didn’t detract from the authenticity of feeling, helping PlayStation give back to their fans and emphasizing that they are ‘For the Players,’” explains Dan Moore, Creative Director at Studio Output who asked Found to do the animations for the Tweets. These stories are about how the players have interacted with these games for a generation, the lily didn’t have to be gilded. By keeping it simple, the emotional heart stays in tact.
For non-gamers, these stories might seem crazy or overinflated, like the player who played so much that their eyes were bleeding. But for those who find connection in these ways to escape and relate they’re stories pulled from their own experiences. Check out the video on Facebook (that has already reached 415,000 views!).
Found Turns a Liability into an Asset
Found has been doing projection mapping for a while, it's becoming a sort of powerhouse for them. After launching the Nike Flyknit Program in Berlin, they brought their mastery to a Hiscox TV spot that changed the way the industry saw projection mapping. What was once an ephemeral experience just for those who attended, was now something that could live on film forever, acting as a herald for the insurance company and a calling card for Found. Each project and experience has built on top of one another allowing for the experience that creates a library of knowledge that far surpasses the casual creator.
When MTV came to Found earlier this year they wanted to work together, but it was not for a specific project. Found has the experience to execute practically anything, so they spitballed for a while to see if they could figure out the perfect project to work on together. Eventually, according to Joe Binks, producer at Found, MTV came to them and cleared the table saying, “Look, we’ve got a better idea, what about a music video for someone. Can we do that?” Found’s response: “That’s perfect!”
Projection mapping has become a marker for the savvy media watcher, it’s intricate and arresting, but even though it’s a new experience to many viewers, there are already tropes and clichés within the form. Found isn’t interested in perpetuating those tired formulas. “Let’s do something different,” Joe told MTV and his team. And then Labrinth came into the mix.
Labrinth is an English musician, singer, and producer, whose multidisciplinary work is taking Europe by storm. His single, “Let It Be” already had a music video (created by friends of Found), but they wanted to put something in the middle of Glasgow on the gothic and ornate City Chambers Building to kick off the MTV Europe Music Awards. The building’s unique architecture presented a specific set of challenges, but because of Found’s experience they were able to work with the building rather than against it. “The challenge was the canvas itself,” Joe explains. “We’ve learned to treat projection mapping in a way that it’s not a screen. You’re not creating content for a screen. So we’ve learned that there are things that don’t work on specific buildings. So we designed this kind of graphic look with this idea that Labrinth was orchestrating a type of light show.” By working with the architecture, what could have been a liability was turned into a strength as Found used architectural elements to better tell Labrinth’s story.
The only downfall to projection mapping is if you’re not there, you really only get to hear about it. There are filmed versions, but it’s not quite like being there. We can appreciate it from afar, but the experience has passed. For Joe and Found, that’s a part of the form. Joe says about the ephemeral nature of the discipline: “It doesn’t change our approach. Even though it was only being shown once, it was a moment. And we felt it was a good story for us to be involved.”
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.”
Found's Immersive Viral Experience for Foot Locker
When it comes to advertising your brand, what you want to build is affinity. It’s not enough for customers to be interested in what you’re doing, you need them to love what you’re doing. Then they’ll love you. You don’t want to give them something to watch, you need to give them something to care about, to interest them, to activate them. You need to involve them.
To highlight Foot Locker’s “Triple Black” Collection, a curated series of black sneakers from multiple brands, the retail chain wanted to bring an extra level of intrigue and excitement to their launch. They wanted to synthesize product and production into one story that could involve their customers. So they tapped Found, the experiential experts, to bring their customers into a three dimensional emotional and immersive experience.
To highlight what makes these shoes special, mainly that they’re all black, Found conceived a constructed live experience that would play on darkness. They created a space for participants that could be explored in the pitch black, with nothing but tactile and auditory senses. The participants would find a pair of sneakers in the pitch black, and if they made it through in time they would get a pair to keep. Using the two pathways of auditory and tactile communication, Found designed a sort of maze with the idea of bringing the participant off balance into a challenging space. They played off the fear and anxiety inspired by darkness to lift the participant up into the courageous brave person they could be when presented with the challenge.
When describing what the most exciting part of the project was, Sarah O’Connell of Found explains it’s “the opportunity to be able to do something for the fans first and foremost. In terms of their experience and interaction with the brand,” she says. “And then the opportunity to put it out into the world.”
The video that’s resulted from their immersive maze has amassed nearly 700k views after finding a click-through residence on FootLocker EU’s website. Their #BacktoBlack campaign is one of those rare occasions where the client asked for a “Viral Campaign,” and the artist was able to deliver.
Not only were they able to construct a piece that was predictive of mass appeal, Found ended up going from concept to execution in less than half the time they had originally asked for. “Everyone that was working on it was quite up for it and excited to do something spectacular,” Sarah explains the energy surrounding the project. “The whole crew that worked on it were really brilliant and put so much time and energy and passion into it.” It was all hands on deck to execute the impossible, and Found did it in record time.
Found Makes Magic for Nike's Flyknit in Berlin
Creating an entirely new two-minute video to be projected on an unnamed obstructed building in the middle of Berlin in less than a month can present a few challenges. Not least of which would be that the client is Nike, one of the most discerning brands in the world. Agency onedotzero went to Found to execute the projection mapping before the site had even been chosen.
They didn’t know what the building was going to be for quite a while. The entire schedule for the project was incredibly condensed: only four weeks from the beginning of the project to the hard due date. “The deadline was looming and immoveable because it was a live event,” Joe Binks, Producer at Found, explains. “In a way that probably helped us. Decisions had to be made towards the end.” For the whole first week, Found worked without knowing the site and instead dove into the intricacies of projection mapping: the process of projecting a detailed video onto a structure whose architecture informs and interacts with the images and motion. The tiny schedule meant the learning curve was steep, and they figured how to best execute the projection mapping very quickly. “That was quite tricky,” says Joe.
After the first week they had all the information they needed (after they executed their “recce” (pronounced “RE-kky”), which is short for “reconnaissance”), and buckled down with the unveiling party sitting squarely on the calendar in front of them. “We wanted to focus on how we could tell the story in the most visual way,” Joe says, after they discovered the most efficient use of the technology. “Using clear, clean graphical lines, as well as typography, and representations of the shoe.”
One of the tidbits of information that the recce informed them of was that the building they were projecting onto, their screen, was not entirely visible from where the audience was going to be. That meant they had to shape their creative decisions around hot spots that everyone would be able to see, and prioritize visual information. All while telling the story of a relatively new athletic technology, and in under two minutes. “There was a lot of content to get across,” Joe says.
Bernstein and Andriulli is thrilled to newly represent Found in the many disciplines that they've mastered and are exploring. Take a look at some of their other projection, including an unbelievable project using fully immersive projection mapping, Great Films Fill Rooms for PlayStation. For the McLaren P12, Found took light painting to a totally different level, using thousands of still images of a moving plasma television to simulate a digital wind tunnel, with breathtaking results. Found also filled China's Olympic Stadium, known as "The Birdcage," with 10,000 square meters of LED screens to construct complete enviroments on a massive scale.