September 2011

5+ | Gerald Schoenoff

by Caitlin on September 30, 2011

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Gerald since my early days at Westside Studio, he was really one of the first clients I worked with. We’ve always got along wonderfully, so it was natural of me to ask him to contribute to 5+!

Gerald was fortunate enough to have Russell Monk take his portrait, a unique and privileged experience for him. Watching Russell walk up and down King Street to find the perfect backdrop for the portrait of Gerald was inspiring in itself, you could see the creative wheels inside Russell’s head spinning.

Gerald © Russell Monk

Within a few minutes, Russell had the shot! Yup, people, he’s that good!

We finished up with a lovely lunch at The One That Got Away and catching up on old times, Gerald and Russell haven’t seen much of each other since their shoot together for PEI Tourism, back in 2006, it was a great morning!

Thanks again Gerald!


To me there’s nothing more inspiring than walking through a forest on a slightly overcast day with a light drizzle, especially the few times it’s been to a BC rainforest. Another would be driving along the Pacific coast watching the ocean waves pound on the beaches. Nature inspires me like nothing else. I like to observe the light during different times of the day and see how the shadows change along with the colours. Same with design patterns that naturally exist on insects, plants or animals. I find it cool to take a close look and isolate something really specific and study it.

Rainforest by the Capilano Suspension Bridge

HWY 1 Big Sur

Brackley Beach in Prince Edward Island with 2PM light

Bee stuck on my car antenna


It’s funny but I love to go to galleries but I’m not drawn to landscapes at all. Even though they inspire me in real life I’m drawn to conceptual contemporary works that may not necessarily be esthetically pleasing but get me to think about something in a completely different way. Don’t get me wrong of course, I still love the usual Met or Getty but really like the Power Plant or the Contemporary section at the AGO.

Diane and Steph after a long day at the Met with me.

Ken Lum’s work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

People I Work With

What I love about the business we’re in is we get to work some really talented people and sometimes we get to work with some gifted artists. This year I got to shoot with a two time Academy Award winning cinemetographer Bob Richardson. It was a little intimidating to think here’s the guy that shot most of Oliver Stone’s films most of Quentin Tarantino’s films and Marin Scorsese, Robert Redford, Robert De Niro to name a few more. The cool thing was to see the guy as accomplished as he is, love his craft and work as hard as anyone else on the set.

I also got to work with Peter Schreyer on a project which was a thrill. He’s the guy that designed the VW Bettle and Audi TT and is now the head designer of Kia. I loved hearing him explain to me why he designed certain features on the car and what his point of view was on wheels. He says they’re like shoes on a woman. They can either make or ruin the outfit.

Bob Richard at the craft table. Like I said, he loves his craft.

Philippe Starck personally designs Peter’s glasses.

My kids

My kids have always been an inspiration to me for different reasons along the way. When they were younger they were like sponges and seeing their thirst for creativity fueled my own. Now they are into their own things like creating music or social justice. We work on projects together and collaborate on stuff. They haven’t been beaten down by creative directors or clients yet or become overly self aware so they are totally fresh and their insights are so honest.

Nick and Steph probably looking at one of my ads.

Nick spinning some tracks.

Steph in Peru helping build a community center.

My Bike Rides

Finally, I’d have to say my bike rides are something I look forward to. I usually ride up to Milton and North of Hamilton along the Escarpment. Haven’t done enough of them lately but they completely clean out my brain and I come back with a clean slate. It’s four hours of me playing mental games with myself to keep up the pace and not give into the physical exhaustion. Because I’m not trying to consciously solve a problem, it’s then that I often come up with a lot of my ideas.

At the top of Appleby Line north of Derry.

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    Being from Halifax I know Alexander Keith’s beer very well. Like most bluenosers I was introduced to the product at a very young age (most of us get our first taste when used as a baby-formula replacement) and my pride for our local beer grew year to year until finally I was of the age to discover a world outside of my beloved deer headed bottle. So it was to my great pleasure when I picked up some prop glasses for Shanghoon last month and saw the Keiths logo stamped atop the box. I instantly remembered the big man‘s birthday was right around the corner. Maybe you’ve caught it on your tvbox already, maybe you haven’t, either way lets break for the spot.

    Director: Shanghoon
    AD: Kenneth Fothergill
    Account: Dale Harrison & Carlo D’ercole
    Flame Specialist/ Senior Editor : Andrew Rolfe
    Assistant Editor: Lauren Rempel
    D.O.P: Sasha Moric
    Assistant Camera: Nicholas Reid
    Grip: Robert Tagliaferri
    Model Maker/ Set Stylist: Franc Madden
    Photo Assistants: Colin Rycroft & Kirsten White

    A word from Shanghoon about the shoot.

    From the beginning, this project was very fun and special to me. First off, I love shooting beer. It was a challenge to figure out the size relation between the candle and the width of the glass to give that illusion of cake surface. Getting an oversized keith’s pint glass was a fun process. Franc Madden did an amazing job. He also did an amazing job in creating beer foam on set. He did that for 12 hours straight !! LOL In the end the oversized pint glass took 12 beers to fill. I would dare anyone to drink a pint of that!

    Now for some behind the scenes for your eyes to enjoy.

    The aforementioned prop glasses were frighteningly large. Amongst the Westside staff and shoot crew, bets were being placed on how many beers it would take to fill the Alexander Keith’s ‘pimp chalice’.

    Initially 10 seemed like a reasonable number, but to my surprise and disappointed Shanghoon informed me this was only beer #7.

    DOP Sasha mans the camera for a lighting test, while Shanghoon continues to workout his forearms.

    Almost ready to shoot.

    Prop maker and stylist Franc Madden acted as Shanghoon’s ‘Foam Stylist’ for the day. Observe the determination in his eyes while he perfects the ‘icing on the cake’.

    …and ACTION!



      by Westside on September 28, 2011

      Hey there Westside readers.
      Some of you may be wondering whats with some of the changes happening here on the blog, most notably: where did Heather go and who is this Matt guy? You might remember back in July the studio announced that we had hired a new studio manager, well this Matt and that Matt are one in the same.

      The reason behind the sudden shift in blog authors is due to the unfortunate news that Heather has stepped down from her post and will be taking time to focus on her new teaching venture at Sheridan College where she will be molding the minds of aspiring shooters in the schools Photography program.
      From Heather,

      I’m sad to leave Westside and their readers, but am looking forward to the new challenges that Sheridan will surely send my way. I wish you guys all the best and thank you for the support during my time on the Westside Blog. 

      So sit tight and stay tuned readers, Matt and Shelley are ready to set up to the plate and start knockin’ some dingers out there for your eyes to feast upon.

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        TGIW | Point & Shoot Cameras, Not Guns

        by Westside on September 28, 2011

        Warco: A very cool video game that is currently in production, and I can’t wait to play it.
        The name of the game? You are a Photojournalist in a war zone with a camera instead of a gun. Sounds good right? If you make it to the end, you’ll find yourself editing the footage into a compelling news story.

        For all you gamers and shooters out there, this sounds like a perfect way to spend a Wednesday night, accompanied by a 6 of Kronenbourg.
        Here’s a sneak peek.


          IN PRINT | George Simhoni shoots “Bill Gates”!

          by Westside on September 27, 2011

          Earlier this month DDB requested George’s services for a shoot that would ultimately find him peering through the viewfinder at none other than Bill Gates. No, not that Bill Gates, this Bill Gates, of Windsor, Ontario.

          Working with Manulife and teamed with art director Yusong Zhang and writer Daniel Bonder from DDB, George and his crew yet again battled the elements on their quest for the final image (shown below, accompanied by an extra shot from the day).

          Raincoats and a little retouching were a requirement on set that day. In the BTS pictures below, cast and crew can be seen in their waterproofs and huddled in the tent to avoid the rain. As George put it,

          A rainy day turned to a beautiful sunny day thanks to the gods of PSD.


            IN PRINT | Tyler Gray Shoots for Stoli

            by Westside on September 21, 2011

            No doubt you’ve already admired this ad from your own personal copy of Food & Drink or The Financial Times Magazine but Tyler Gray is all over the newstands these days with the latest campaign for Stoli Vodka. Shot with partner and CD Jennifer Weaymouth from Oxygen Design, here are the shots:

            Tyler Gray

            Tyler Gray

            The magazine-heavy buy included this nice double page spread in Food & Drink plus a one pager (from Toronto Life). And hell, it’s a good question- would you drink with you?

            Tyler Gray

            Tyler Gray


              IN PRINT | George Simhoni shoots for BASF

              by Westside on September 19, 2011

              George Simhoni just completed a job with Kenna Advertising for BASF (CD: Dave Kelso, AD: Ken Morgan, Writer: Tim Thompson) that took him deep into the corn fields of rural Southern Ontario.

              © George Simhoni

              © George Simhoni

              © George Simhoni

              Not without it’s drama, the job coincided with a Tornado watch. George tells me:

              The wind was blowing at 30 km/h, the lights and stands were all secured and Environment Canada issued tornado warnings for the area. But, we finished, packed up, then heard the news that a tornado had touched down within 50km of our set. Sometimes the work is exciting in unusual ways!

              Here are some BTS shots from the heavily-secured set:

              George SimhoniAll Images © George Simhoni


                Seems like just yesterday we won some awards. Well here we are again, this time, Frank Hoedl’s campaign for Crime Stoppers graces the cover of the Applied Arts 2011 Advertising and Interactive Awards Annual. Check it out:

                Frank Hoedl

                Did you notice all those post-it notes? That’s cause we won a lot of awards this time around.

                Frank’s cover shot (and the rest of the campaign, shot for DDB with Creative team: CDs: Andrew Simon, Todd Mackie, Denise Rossetto, AD: Yusong Zhang, Copywriter: Daniel Bonder) was honoured with wins in the Newspaper category for both singles and series. Plus, it snagged top honours as singles for the Public Service/Charity.

                Additionally, Frank saw a win in the Complete Advertising Program for his work with DDB Vancouver for BBC Hydro (AD: Daryl Gardiner, Chris Moore):

                Frank Hoedl

                And he also snagged a mention in the Public Service/Charity division for his work with Leo Burnett (AD: Anthony Chelvanathan) for Raising the Roof.

                Frank Hoedl

                Chris Gordaneer’s super fun work for Subaru with DDB Toronto (AD: Paul Riss) won in both the Newspaper Series and the Complete Advertising Program categories. Here they are in all their glory:

                Chris Gordaneer

                Chris Gordaneer

                Chris Gordaneer

                And Shanghoon also won awards for work for Toronto Crime Stoppers with DDB Toronto (AD: Loretta Lau) in both the Newspaper single and the Public Service/Charity categories:


                Go team!

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                  We’re super excited to share with you some work that garnered awards across two different categories for Shanghoon and Bensimon Bryne at Newspaper Canada’s Extra Awards. The creative team behind this campaign for the CFL was CD Ian MacKellar, AD Kevin Fillier and Copywriter Aaron Chown.

                  This first ad won a Bronze as a single in the Entertainment and Media Outlets category. And the whole series garnered a Gold in the Retail Campaign category.

                  As Suzanne Raitt, VP of Marketing & Innovation at Newspapers Canada states, This year… many of Gold’s are ad campaigns that were uniquely designed to fit the medium – enhancing their effectiveness! Indeed:




                  Frank Hoedl also came home with a Silver (not the first for this campaign and not the last- more on an Applied Arts coup in tomorrow’s blog post) in the Local campaign category for this work for Crime Stoppers with DDB Toronto. Creative team: CDs: Andrew Simon, Todd Mackie, Denise Rossetto, AD: Yusong Zhang, Copywriter: Daniel Bonder

                  Frank Hoedl

                  Congrats boys!


                    As you scroll back through the archives of this blog, you’ll note that Nikki Ormerod’s had a very busy summer. A couple of months ago, we showed you some Instagram BTS pictures from Art Director and all around great guy Brad Connell who came all the way from WAX in Calgary to shoot with Nikki for Mitchell Eye Centre. He had such a great time on set that he requested his own crazy portrait. Here he is:

                    Nikki Ormerod

                    Well, after much post-work, we’re finally able to show you the finished product!

                    Nikki Ormerod

                    Nikki Ormerod

                    And here it is in-situ:

                    Nikki Ormerod

                    And, an outtake/work in progress of talent and fellow Westside photographer, Derek Shapton.

                    Nikki Ormerod