June 2011

Busy Busy Tyler Gray

by Westside on June 30, 2011

Its a short week but Tyler Gray’s packing it tight with work, work, work. Three shots in three days keeps the studio humming.

Let’s take a look. First there was this top secret photo from Monday’s shoot with JWT. The trampoline and megaphone are intriguing no?

Tyler Gray JWT

Then Tyler got into it on Wednesday with Stoli for Oxygen Design Agency with ACD Jennifer Weaymouth and shot part of their “Would You have a drink with You?” campaign. I’m a Stoli fan myself and seems I’m wrestling with the same questions that plague Biz Stone in this ad. So lets watch:

And, hot off the digital back are these BTS shots from today’s shoot with ProLine and The Hive. Tyler shot their campaign last year as well. It looked like this:

Tyler Gray

Everyone in hats:

All ready for Canada Day: Skye Brain from The Hive, Anita Gower from ProLine, and Elspeth Baird from The Hive.

What do you order for lunch for a ProLine shoot? Meat, potatoes and cookies of course.

Tyler Gray Craft

Go Tyler!


    Westside & Cannes = Silver Lion!

    by Westside on June 30, 2011

    Imagine getting a text that you won a Lion at Cannes. Well that’s what happened to Frank Hoedl last week. His phone buzzed and low and behold, Art Director Anthony Chelvanathan was on the screen saying:

    Cannes Anthony Chelvanathan

    Last week, Rep Shelley Hayes spent a good chunk of time glued to her computer screen watching updates on Cannes. She’s synthesized her findings into this tight, patriotic synopsis:

    Canada proudly took home 18 Cannes Lions this year. And yes, one of our very own, Mr. Frank Hoedl was honoured with a Silver Lion for the ‘Raise The Roof’ project he photographed with the team over at Leo Burnett (Art Director: Anthony Chelvanathan, Writer: Steve Persico, Creative Directors: Judy John and Lisa Greenburg and Art Buyer: Leila Courey). Congrats guys and gals!

    Strategy On-line explains the significance of the win:

    With 99 Press Lions handed out, Canada came away with one – a Silver for Leo Burnett (the only Canadian agency to be shortlisted in the category, with five entries) for its ad “Chair” for non-profit Raising the Roof. Based on the idea that homeless youth have potential that most of us don’t consider, the ad shows a discarded chair on the curb outside a house with the copy: “You see an abandoned chair on the street and you think ‘It has the potential to be something beautiful.’ You see a homeless youth on the street and you think ‘Don’t make eye contact.’

    The shot that snagged Frank a Silver:

    Frank Hoedl Cannes Raising the Roof Leo Burnett

    And the spot:

    Shelley continues:

    One of my favorites from the festival was the ‘CAT’ Skittles campaign done by our friends over at BBDO. The You Tube sensation has 4 million views and became one of the highlights at Cannes this year taking home 2 Gold Lions, 1 Silver Lion and 1 Bronze. Their stellar creative team consists of Art Director Mike Donaghey and writer Chris Joakim. Get your finger ready and taste the rainbow here!

    We shipped off some Cannes Survival Kits off to the talented winners of the National Advertising Awards. Here’s snap from one of the recipients, Carson Ting.


    And his accompanying tweet:

    Thanks Carson- I hope they came is handy for you all!!


      In this month’s Canadian Business magazine, Nikki Ormerod’s got a delightful portrait for an article on ordering custom menswear on-line. Who knew?

      Nikki Ormerod Canadian Business

      Thanks to assistant Thomas Dagg, we also have some a fun test shot of Nikki as stand in for model Gavin:

      Nikki Ormerod Canadian Business

      And this lovely shot of Photo Editor Ronit Novak, hard at work.

      Nikki Ormerod Report on Business

      Nikki’s worked for Canadian Business before and had this to say about Ronit: I always love shooting with Ronit for Canadian Business. We always have a good time and work with great people. so I asked Ronit for some words in return:

      Commissioning photoshoots for a business magazine can be tricky, with articles about RSPs, inflation, and in this case, how to buy a suit online, I’ve got to come up with photo concepts that tell the story, but are also visually interesting. I like working with Nikki because she’s creative and loves a challenge. She’s great at making subjects look prestigious yet relatable. And because Canadian Business is a bi-weekly magazine, another thing I love about Nikki – she’s fast!

      Thanks Ronit!


        George Simhoni has been working in motion for a few years and recently shot both the motion and still ads for the new Sony Handycam which features a super cool built-in projector. Here’s the spot, which mostly appeared on-line and was shot with the prototype of the latest in Sony’s CineAlta lineup, the F3.

        And the corresponding still ad:

        George Simhoni Sony

        George explained the job:

        Sony Handycam has come out with a brilliant accessory for the people that would like to project what they just recorded. The idea of the spot is the reveal that you are not at the aquarium with your family, you are at home watching it on your wall after the fact. What a great opportunity, to work on a really good idea in both print and motion and make both work within the same lighting set-up, with no motion compositing. It was a wonderful learning curve.

        I asked George to elaborate about these challenges and he explained that even though the boy is in his bedroom at the beginning of the spot, it had to look like he was actually at the aquarium so that the reveal would have a suitable wow effect when the camera pans out.

        No surprise, making this kind of multipurpose atmospheric lighting look believable in studio can be really tricky. After a bit of research, George and his team decided on LED lights rather than traditional HMIs which provided a cost-efficient solution (budget on this job was tight, so the team tried hard to maximize any saving they could) to cover bedroom, projection and acquarium looks. As George told me, the LED panels were a little “archaic”- the team had to jerry-rig barn doors etc. to direct and diffuse the light, but they gave the perfect effect at a fraction of the cost.

        Props need to go out to the entire team for pulling this off:

        Creative Director & Writer: Hao Huang
        Art Director: Gus Villanueva
        Client and Agency: Sony
        Digital Retouching: Mark Tyler
        Coulourist: Walt of REDLAB Digital
        Editor: Oren Harad
        Motion:George Simhoni Sasha Moric, Mike Heathcote, Scott Baker
        Stills: George Simhoni

          Vicky Lam Hits the Target

          by Westside on June 27, 2011

          First alcohol, now ice cream- Vicky Lam gets tonnes of fun work from The Grid. Here’s her latest which appears in this week’s issue and on-line:

          Vicky Lam© Vicky Lam

          Vicky explains:

          Shelbie told me they were inspired by one of my previous ice cream shots falling down a wall and suggested that I do something with a similar feel but with more mess and on a target.

          The reference shots:

          Vicky Lam © Vicky Lam

          Based on the idea of a target, it reminded me of visuals from pop art and dadaism. So I wanted to do something very bold and colourful and this is my interpretation. We were lucky to have such great people deliver their frozen treats with care via cooler and ice and even luckier to have a taste of each item. The affogato (custard + espresso) is still by far my favourite as I have a weak spot for coffee ice cream. Jedd’s frozen custard + shot of espresso = heaven!

          This time we were working with the real product so it was tricky and a messy shoot. Thankfully our vendors provided us with extras. Here are a couple of behind the scene shots by Nick Wong:

          Vicky Lam© Nick Wong

          Vicky Lam© Nick Wong

          Because I come from the ad world where almost everything is laid out before we shoot I was curious about how much interpretation Vicky was allowed on set. So I asked her:

          Was this totally your idea/execution with no other creative input?

          Shelbie would usually give me a general idea of what they’re looking for, but there hasn’t been anyone on set with me. I’ll usually bounce back some ideas and visuals as to how I may approach the shoot but sometimes it’s really tricky since no one has seen the product beforehand. I’m used to working on ads with layouts, so this is like working backwards for me.

          Sometimes I’ll propose an approach, but it changes accordingly once the product shows up on set. I have a fair bit of control over the lighting, colour choices and composition. This kind of shooting definitely keeps me on my toes and forces me to be innovative on the spot. However, as I’m shooting, I’ll send over lo-res images to the photo editor to ensure they’re happy with the direction I’m heading. It’s a different kind of challenge compared to advertising and other editorial shoots I’ve done before, but I feel lucky that the Grid is open to collaborating with their contributing photographers and allowing them to have their creative input.

          Amen to that.


            Del Lunes en México con Russell: Pigs Head

            by Westside on June 27, 2011

            Russell Monk keeps a studio in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and has been working on series of portraits of his neighbours. Each Monday we’ll bring you one of those pictures and the personality that goes with it.

            Russell Monk Lunes
            © Russell Monk

            Russell writes:

            The truth is that I can’t remember his name. It is written somewhere. He works at the local slaughterhouse. I asked him to make sure he came to my house in the clothes he worked in – covered in blood. When he arrived at my door he had a bucket of blood in his hand.

            “Just in case you needed more”, he said.

            They didn’t in fact have any Pig’s heads at the slaughterhouse that day. There had been a run on them. So – I had to go and find my own somewhere else.


              The Gif!

              by Westside on June 24, 2011


                I Got Gifed

                by Westside on June 24, 2011

                Last night’s Inter-Action event was a raucous affair. If you can stand the newspeak, feel free to go through my live blog below for some random (I was tired) nuggets of wisdom from keynote speakers We Rep Ideas.

                As a fun takeaway, Andrew B Myers (with help from Vicky Lam and Aric Guite) shot quick portrait series’ of the guests which we’re animating into gifs. If you came away with one of these, then you should check the blog later today (finger’s crossed) for the final product.

                It was a night full of fresh ideas, business card swaps, and cold beer. A success!


                  Live Blogging Inter-Action

                  by Westside on June 23, 2011

                  Welcome to our live blog of tonight’s Inter-Action event.

                  Live posts after the break.



                    Another True Tom Feiler Story

                    by Westside on June 23, 2011

                    Tom Feiler Stride

                    Ladies and Gentlemen, Tom Feiler, in his own words:

                    TOM FEILER IS A DOMINATRIX

                    Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to exert total domination of the Advertising World?

                    When Jess Willis and Paul Parolin of the HIVE contacted me about their recent STRIDE 2.0 project, I seized the opportunity for a cross-platform, triumvirate of advertising domination.

                    Our common goal was to spread the word about new STRIDE 2.0 and award fans a chance to win a trip to the MMVAs to see none other than the world’s dominatrix, Lady Gaga. What resulted, was a three-pronged attack of wild postings, a billboard in Dundas Square and a series of Facebook videos (hilarious- they can be seen here, here and here).

                    And now that it’s all been said and done, it’s up to you my friends. Join me, and Lady Gaga. Or just me. And let’s continue our reign of total world domination!

                    Tom Feiler Stride

                    Tom Feiler Stride

                    Tom Feiler Stride

                    Tom Feiler Stride