George Ventures into the Outback for Subaru

by Alex Beetham on July 21, 2014

June was a month of relentless travel for George Simhoni. One of his numerous flights landed him in beautiful British Columbia to team up with DDB for some gorgeous work to promote the new 2015 Subaru Outback. A few words from George himself:

It was a great opportunity to work on the 2015 Subaru Outback campaign with Rebecca and Dom. BC during the summer is a real treat. We usually go there for shoots in the winter and we are dodging rain most of the time. I love bringing people into the mix of car photography because it really kicks up the image and makes them more memorable. I had a wonderful team to help bring these images to fruition, from our photography and digital team, agency team and client. All great to work with.   – George

George Simhoni_Subaru1 George Simhoni_Subaru2All Images © George Simhoni
Photographer:  George Simhoni
Client:  Subaru
Agency:  DDB
Associate Creative Director:  Rob Sturch
Art Director:  Rebecca May
Copywriter:  Dom Raso
Producer:  John Stevancec
Assistants: Sean Best, Mark Cohene, Richard Amies, Mike Phang

Producer John Stevancec was kind enough to provide a glimpse behind the scenes:


George Simhoni_Subaru_BTS2

IMG_4246All BTS Images © John Stevancec



    by Alex Beetham on July 17, 2014

    One of the most endearing parts of summer has to be a trip to the amusement park. What with the games, the food the rides and the nausea. No one loves a good midway more than Anthony Redpath. The proof can be seen right here in his most recent print campaign for Playland, featuring The Playland Hot Seat. The experience took ”losing control” to a whole other level.

    Some background on Playland and the hotseat:
    Vancouver’s premier amusement park, Playland, hosts an event where winners get free tickets to Playland, with a catch: the entire experience is out of their control. Everything from the rides they go on to the number of mini- donuts they eat is determined by an online audience, voting in real time.

    Here’s what  AD extraordinaire Dominic Prevost had to say about the whole thing,

    Anthony’s extreme attention to detail and practical thinking was exactly what we needed to bring slick and stylized world of the Playland Hot Seat to life. Anthony immediately understood the concept and was keen to collaborate with us to find unexpected ways to take the execution up a notch — going as far as literally hanging our talent on ropes to have them dangle like “real” puppets!  - Dominic Prevost, AD

    And the finished product…….


    Creative Director: Ian Grais, Chris Staples
    Art Director: Dominic Prevost, Hannes Ottahal
    Copywriter: Danielle Haythorne, Jordan Cohen
    Photographer: Anthony Redpath
    Studio Artist: Jonathon Cesar
    Producer: Scott Russell

    Check out some other BTS from the day,

    IMG_82051_400_by_600 copyIMG_4843Play Land_Anthony Redpath_BTS


      Vicky Kicks off the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

      by Alex Beetham on July 4, 2014

      In honour of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) starting up today, I have the privilege of turning you over to Vicky Lam who was recruited to bring this years ad to life… only to then melt into a puddle. I’ll let her explain.  - Alex

      Every summer, Nathan Phillips Square plays host to the largest and longest running outdoor art fair in Toronto since 1961.   The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is a sure sign that summer is well under way and is a great chance to see hundreds of local artists at an iconic Toronto landmark.  This year, art director and graphic designer, Una Lee, contacted me to help bring her vision to life.

      Vicky Lam_TOAE_Layout1

      I was excited to work on a local project that would help give exposure to hundreds of talented artists.  However, the challenge was apparent – how could we make our shot look like a blistering hot summer day with melting ice cream? And ice cream letters to boot?   The reality was that it was only the beginning of February in what seemed like the longest and coldest winter Toronto has had in years.  So, I enlisted the expertise of stylist, Christina Yan.  Christina and I have worked on a couple of typography projects before as well as a couple of shoots involving ice cream.  It only seemed fitting that we collaborate once again when the two ideas finally collided in one shoot.  After much deliberation and preperation, we worked with fake ice cream, as well as real ice cream components to get the look for a still image and also animated .gif.  With the help of dry ice, a large chest freezer, letter stencils, lots of ice cream, and a family value pack of Crisco, we embarked into this new territory together.

      Vicky Lam_TOAE_Layout2

      From there, we ended up with this:

      Vicky Lam_TOAE_175_email04

      Vicky Lam_TOAE14_layout

      And here’s a close-up of the great textures Christina created:

      Vicky Lam_detail01_TOAE

      The last challenge was to shoot a melting animated .gif.  Shooting an animated time-lapse meant there was no room for error and no turning back.  We had to use real ice cream to make it happen. We weren’t completely sure just how typographic ice cream shapes would look as they melted, but here it is:

      Vicky Lam_TOAE_Timelapse-03-July

      After two days of careful preparation and styling, we ended our shoot with a giant puddle of melted ice cream on the studio floor:

      Vicky Lam_TOAE_MG_9405

      Many thanks to Una Lee for having us on board for such a fun idea, and to Christina Yan for figuring out how to make the impossible happen!  Be sure to check out the TOAE this weekend and support local artists.  Enjoy the summer sun while you’re at it, and maybe grab an ice cream too.


      Photographer:  Vicky Lam
      Client:  TOAE
      AD: Una Lee
      Stylist: Christina Yan
      Assistants: Michelle Brussolo, Brendan Klem

      All Images © Vicky Lam

      **Editors Note** We (I) deeply regret the loss of perfectly good ice cream used for this shoot.  If you wish to contribute to the memorial, in lieu of cash we (I) would ask that you send pints of Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s to 70 Ward Street, C/O Alex.  We (I) thank you for your support at this difficult time.  



        George gets Deep & Delicious with McCain

        by Alex Beetham on July 2, 2014

        McCain Foods has been a staple in the Canadian diet for generations. You’ve most certainly eaten their fries before (McCain produces 1/3 of the worlds frozen fries,) and at least the kid in you still knows all about sneaking fork-fulls from this guy.  I can’t be the only one, right?  Well making light of all the trendy treats springing up in recent, McCain’s enlisted the talents of Entrinsic and our very own George Simhoni (wearing his directors hat) to bring dessert back to it’s roots in these fun spots.  Check’em:

        Motion © George Simhoni

        Director: George Simhoni
        Client: McCain
        Agency: Entrinsic
        Executive Creative Director: Anthony Wolch
        Copywriter: Kyle Carpenter
        Content Manager: Rebecca Brown
        Account Manager: Sasha Bricel
        Producer: John Stevancec
        Assistants: Jon Brown, Alex Beetham, Logan Allmendinger

        McCain BTS_George SimhoniBTS © Alex Beetham & his potato



          by Tom Nesbitt on June 24, 2014

          Winters in Canada can be pretty brutal and this past one was no exception. Polar Vortex anyone? Remember that just 6 short months ago it was dark when you woke up and then again just shortly after lunch? I know that I won’t soon forget. But, all that aside, when winter serves up ice make margaritas or something like that.

          This past winter Chris Gordaneer teamed up with Italo Siciliano from DDB to work on some sweet new ESSO imagery. As soon as we read the “open on palm tree” line, we didn’t hesitate and started packing our flip flops & sun screen

          This project included several layouts that conveyed the best parts of the summer road trip theme. There were both still and some moving images to be captured. The time line was tight, but like a true pros, Chris and his team made it all fit within a days work.

          I know what you are thinking, how could they manage down there in that heat and the humidity. All I can say is these guys and gals are total pros, and they didn’t let a little sand, sun and surf stop them from delivering the goods. Have a look at just some of what they came back with……








          all images Chris Gordaneer Photography ©

          When the stills were all wrapped for the day, Chris dawned the motion rig and directed the talent through these scenarios……

          Beach Holiday

          Grama’s House

          Credit where credit is due….
          Client: Esso Exxon Mobil
          Agency:  DDB Canada
          Creative Director: Barb Williams
          Creative Group Leader:  Italo Sicilliano
          Associate Creative Director:  Brendan Sack
          Digital Tech / Assistant: Aric Guité
          Producer: Kirsten White

          Check out some BTS courtesy of Kirsten White and Aric Guite




          Before we sign off, let me leave you with this little ditty.


            With a list of features longer than a cats arm the new KIA Forte Koup is a well stocked automobile. And for just shy of 21K this is a well appointed piece of technology. One feature that is worth celebrating though is the Cooled Ventilated Seats. Yup, you read that correctly. The seats of the new KIA Forte Koup are both cooled AND ventilated. No need to make your whip look like a taxi cab with those beaded seat covers No sir. All you need to do is get yourself buckled into one of these and you’ll no longer need to pack a change of clothes to bring to the office anymore. Here’s what KIA has to say about the whole thing……

            Drives on hot summer days are more comfortable with the Ventilated Driver’s Seat. Three fan speeds circulate cabin air through perforations in the seat leather, helping you stay cool.


            Earlier this year Tyler Gray teamed up with Jon Lane and Brendan Sack from Innocean on a fun bit of advertising. The idea was to showcase the perils of driving cars with NON ventilated drivers seats. From the results, I think you’ll agree, it can be a terrifyingly sweaty experience.

            Here are a few words from Tyler himself on his experience….

            “Had a blast shooting this with Jon and Brendan, we shot during the Sochi Olympics and as you can see in the BTS of Gabe and Mike, we had the Canada vs Latvia hockey game in the background monitor and US vs Czech game in the foreground monitor”

            They weren’t too distracted by the games and the results a pretty awesome.




            Client: KIA
            Agency:  Innocean
            Associate Creative Director :  Jon Lane
            Associate Creative Director :  Brendan Sack
            Digital Tech : Gabe Nivera
            Motion Capture : Mike Rabinski

            And here are some BTS to keep things real…….







              Nikki you are cleared for take off!

              by Alex Beetham on May 23, 2014

              A photographer works for years developing their own unique style. In the service of their craft, they become ingenious problem solvers, master technicians, and tireless perfectionists. With each new project they take on, they use their technical skills and creative vision to satisfy the needs of the specific job. While not every project can claim a perfect pairing of craft and creative, once in awhile, a job comes along that is so well suited to a particular photographer’s style, it would be criminal for anyone but them to shoot it.
              This was the case when JWT’s Nicole Ellerton created the new campaign for Air Canada’s rebrand — there really was no choice other than Nikki Ormerod. We think it’s a perfect fit. And when the shoe fits as well as it does here, the results are nothing short of amazing.

              May I present Nikki Ormerods perfect fit:  Air Canada’s “Your World Awaits” Campaign.

              Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_1 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_2 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_4 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_3Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_5 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_6 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_7

              A few words from Nikki herself:

              I felt an instant connection to the artwork for the Air Canada Rebrand. I appreciated the beauty Nicole Ellerton and JWT were trying to capture in this campaign. There really is a romantic aspect to the creative and this is a style of shooting that embodies what I truly love to shoot.  I also knew that the nature of the creative would require more work than I’ve had to do for any other project in my career to date. I was just a little excited (a lot) when I found out I had won the job. **Sorry to Nicole for screaming on the phone***.From that point on I was lucky enough to be able to really sink my teeth into every aspect of the process. It was really amazing to work alongside Nicole From talent selection to the pairings of what character belonged in what destination. It was really a delicate process. The post production which I shared with Nick Leadlay was – and still is – incredibly intricate. It’s a completely custom job every time we marry a profile with a background. Every shot deserves a completely different approach. It’s been such a huge opportunity to really let my creativity out. It has become my life for the last month and I’m looking forward to the next phases of the project. The really amazing thing about this concept is that it really is boundless – it has the potential to grown in so many different ways. I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
              - Nikki

              JWT won the Air Canada account just this past September. Here are a few thoughts form the agency side…..

              The breaking campaign, by JWT Canada, Air Canada’s new AOR appointed in September, connects the evolution of Air Canada’s product and service strategy with an ongoing commitment to deliver the world class travel experience today’s traveller expects. It also builds on a key insight from consumers that the richness of their experiences when they travel become a part of them and form a part of who they are.

              The work launches a new tagline, “Your world awaits.” which serves as an invitation to the Air Canada experience and celebrates the sense of curiosity and pursuit of excellence that the airline shares with today’s global traveller. “It’s a new voice, tone and manner for Air Canada, yes, but is also about listening to our customers,” says Selma Filali, Director Marketing Communications at Air Canada. “For us, it’s about reflecting our commitment to meet the highest expectations that will help the globally minded traveller make the most of the experiences ahead of them,” Filali explains.

              A fresh, sophisticated photographic look, a premium and global sensibility, and a more provocative tone of voice support the invitation to the enriching experience that the tagline evokes.

              You’re going to be seeing a whole lot of these gorgeous images, both online & in person.  You may have already seen some of these in your browsing:

              ac_twitter AC_website fbook youtube
              Or perhaps in the paper?

              Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_Media

              I challenge you to find a wall in Eglinton station that DOESN’T have Nikki’s work all over it.  Total media take over.

              Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_EglintonNikki-Ormerod_Air-Canada_Eglinton_2Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_Eglinton3

              It takes an incredible team to execute such an elaborate undertaking, and this group is the cream of the crop.

              Photographer:  Nikki Ormerod
              Client:  Air Canada
              Agency:  JWT
              Associate Creative Director:  Nicole Ellerton
              Associate Creative Director:  Mark Lewis
              Retouching:  Nick Leadlay & Nikki Ormerod
              Hair & Make-Up:  Juuka Sutari & Claudine Baltazar
              Wardrobe:  Nadia Pizzimenti
              Assistants:  Gabe Nivera, Abe Roberto, Michelle Brussolo, Joanna Gigliotti

              Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_2Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_3Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_5Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_6Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_1Images © Nikki Ormerod

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                by Alex Beetham on May 21, 2014

                If you were lucky enough to have found yourself walking the halls of Westside Studio a few weeks back, you would have been greeted with a very pleasant smell indeed. What was this wonderfulness anyway? Could it be our long awaited spring finally making itself known?

                Sadly no, but do not dismay, this gets better.

                Instead, the studio was bursting at the seams with the complex fragrances of some of Higgins & Burke’s latest leafy tea offerings. From humble beginnings in 1912, Higgins & Burke have now brought there infamous loose leaf tea into the single serving market with their EcoCup.  Who better to show off their delectable leaves, then our very own Shanghoon.  Some snaps from the day, along with some insight from Shanghoon himself below:

                Shanghoon Higgins & Burke Tea
                Photographer: Shanghoon
                Client:  Higgins & Burke
                Agency:  Dashboard
                Art Director: Isabelle Santiago
                Food Stylist:  Ashley Denton
                Assistant:  Colin Rycroft
                Interns:  Jasmine DeBoer, Zeren Uyar

                Shanghoon - HigginsandBurke Composite

                It was great to shoot quality teas in the studio all day. The studio smelled like tea a couple more days after that. I should’ve bought some nice tea biscuits now that I think of it.

                Shanghoon_HigginsandBurke_BTS2 Shanghoon_HigginsandBurke_BTS1

                All Images © Shanghoon



                  by Tom Nesbitt on April 28, 2014

                  With the polar vortex now behind us, it’s time to trade in our salt stained boots for flip flops. Tyler Gray was able to do so a little earlier than the rest of us, as sunny California was the location to shoot a campaign for Sanuk. What started as a pair of sandals made in a backyard shed, Sanuk has grown into an international footwear brand.

                  And now for a few words from Tyler……
                  Aside from the job itself and the fun I always have with these guys, the thing I’ll remember most about this job was the 6am LA style earthquake wake up call. Being from a place (Toronto) where “catastrophic” events range from snowstorms to ice storms, this scared the hell out of me. It was only a 4.7 but the epicenter was a short 6 miles away from where we were staying in West LA. Between that and the numerous beers Gabe and I had at Steingarten the night before I stumbled onto set a few hours later looking like Gary Busey. I took a good ribbing from Karin et al but was all in good fun. Never a dull moment.

                  Check out the final ads, and a little BTS below.

                  © Tyler Gray

                  Photographer: Tyler Gray
                  Client: Sanuk
                  Agency: Ignited
                  AD: Jeremy Carson
                  ACD: Karin Djelaj
                  ACD: Chris Schott
                  CD: Jordan Atlas
                  Print Producer: Sam Helpand
                  Exec Producer: Diego Espana
                  Assistant: Gabe Nivera

                  © Tyler Gray


                  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


                  IMG_7200Images © Tyler Gray


                    IN PRINT | VICKY CAPTURES THE SOLE

                    by Matt on April 17, 2014

                    Vicky Lam is taking over the Blog to share her latest cover story – take it away Ms. Lam!

                    © Vicky Lam

                    With all the frosty weather we’ve been getting across Canada these days, it’s hard to believe that Spring actually started over a month ago. Nonetheless, be prepared to look sharp for when the time comes for picking up the latest Spring Style issue of Precedent Magazine.

                    It’s no secret that I have an affinity for shoes of all kinds. So it was even more exciting when I found out that not only I’d shoot the cover, but the cover story featured local shoemaker, Peter Feeney. As much as I like shoes, this was the first chance for me to get a glimpse into what exactly goes into the making of a pair of shoes.

                    We’ve all heard of bespoke suits before, but how often do we think of bespoke shoes these days? A cordwainer, (aka a shoemaker) is hard to come across nowadays. The process of getting tailored shoes made sounds like a luxury and a unique craft that seems extinct in today’s mass produced fashion industry – which makes it even more inspiring to hear Peter’s story.

                    I’ll tell you more while you get a look behind the scenes as we laid out just some of the tools and materials Peter uses on a day to day basis.

                    © Vicky Lam

                    Peter left his job in advertising and home in Toronto and ventured to Florence, Italy, where he apprenticed for four years to learn the art and craft of shoemaking from the real masters (and also learned to speak Italian!).

                    Fear alone would deter many of us to stray away from following such a unique passion and dream, but Peter persevered and brought back what he learned to become one of the very few, unique cordwainers in Toronto.

                    © Vicky Lam

                    It was a pleasure for me to meet someone that is so passionate about their art, and also to learn more about the process that goes behind the construction and design of one pair of shoes. Peter is a one man team, but when I saw all the materials and tools he had in his studio to make just one pair, I was blown away. The amount of detailing that goes into each shoe is impressive, and consequently takes at least 40 hours if not more to construct. Befittingly so as each pair is a unique testimony of Peter’s craftsmanship and representative of his clients’ personalities.

                    © Vicky Lam

                    And here’s a closer glimpse of the final image we ended up with. You’ll notice “the last” in the middle there – that’s terminology for the custom-moulded model which a cordwainer uses to form a pair of shoes. This time, we used Ted’s lasts because his feet appeared slender, proportionate and seemed to be average sized.

                    © Vicky LamPhotographer: Vicky Lam
                    Client: Precedent Magazine
                    Associate Editor: Braden Alexander
                    Art Direction: Gilbert Li & Isabel Foo from The Office of Gilbert Li
                    All shoes, Tools & Materials Courtesy of Peter Feeney
                    Assistant: Rebecca Leach

                    To get a closer glimpse into Peter’s story check out Precedent’s article here. And to see just some of the possibilities Peter offers for a bespoke pair of shoes, check out his site.

                    © Vicky Lam

                    Many thanks to Precedent and The Office of Gilbert Li for having me take part in such a fun, eye-opening and inspiring project! And also for including me on the contributor’s list :D .

                    © Vicky Lam

                    Have a great Easter weekend everyone! ~ Vicky

                    All Images © Vicky Lam