Remember when we had to rewind things?  Those funny scribbley sounds if the play button was pressed at the same time as rewind?

It feels strange that this past week cassette boxes were delivered to some folks who had probably never held this archaic, masking-tape-labelled plastic box before.  NO, WE ARE NOT OLD.  It is a pity that our kids will never experience the 7-10 seconds of crackley blank tape at the end of the cassette before the inevitable “cluh-chunk” notifying you that it was time to flip that tape and hit play again.  Good times, good times…

Why the nostalgic rambling?  Well we are just gassed that our very own Tyler Gray has just released a brand spankin’ new motion spot along with an equally amazing new promo to go along with it.  A quick look into the rural Ontarian’s way of dealing with the winter, beard and all.  Take a gander at the motion spot won’t you?

Tyler Gray – THE SPOT from Westside Studio on Vimeo.

“Throw back to the days when cassette tapes and Lee Iacocca were king and K cars were more prevalent than nerds at a Star Wars convention.  After going to the Sparta Dragway (45 minutes south of London On.) a few times over the past couple years shooting and people watching, this idea came to me while cooped up last winter wondering how all the car nuts make it through the winter when the drag strip is locked down tight.  To bring a bit of context and back end, the bearded dude drives a gloss black ’88 Buick Grand National SS in the summer and goes to the track every weekend.  He listens to Lynard Skynard and he’s the guy you don’t fuck with and you don’t touch his car…EVER.  Trapped in the grip of winter, this bearded dude is stuck driving his winter beater but still has his sights on the track.”-T.G

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As you can probably tell, this motion spot shot in the dead of winter, in what seems like the middle of nowhere.  That should fairly accurately show the dedication Tyler put into this creative.  It takes a special kind of guy to willingly go out into the freezing cold to shoot something like this.  At least he was able to drag a bunch of equally fearless/crazy guys with him.

To package the spot up and send to agency creatives we decided to run with the thought “what is under the front seat of a K car?” Duh the bearded dude’s cassette tape collection of course.  Does anyone still have a cassette player?  No.  So we put the spot on a credit card style USB key and stuffed it in the cassette box photographed and designed specifically for this.  Inspired by my own tape collection from back in the day, masking tape and hand written names were written on the back and hand delivered.  -T.G
Director: Tyler Gray
DOP: John Ker
Writers: Tyler Gray & Dave Pigeon
Production: Westside Studio
On Set Audio: Alex Beetham
Audio Mixing: Silent Joe Audio
Voice Over: Evren
Music Track: Stone River
Music Production: Gypsy Soul Records
Colour: John Ker
SFX: John Fenton


    Joey L and The hung over horseman!

    by Chris Payne on May 8, 2015

    What else would this mean?  Yep, another edition of Joey’s amazing Dudes With Cameras series was put up today.  In this one, Joey creates amazing images while avoiding getting stomped by a horse. Yeah, why wouldn’t you end your work week with this?



      Shanghoon with a Tangerine Twist

      by Alex Beetham on May 7, 2015

      In the hustle and bustle of this industry, photographers often have jobs tucked away on a (hopefully multiple) hard drive(s) that, well, just sit there.  That’s a shame, and good work deserves to be shared!  For example, Shanghoon just re-discovered this refreshing campaign he shot a couple years back for Molson.

      Here’s a step by step look at creating Shanghoon magic:

      Step 1)  Acquire many tangerines.


      Step 2)  Have a skilled food stylist peel some perfect twirls.


      Step 3)  Delicately prop said swirls & twirls.


      Step 4)  Take a (many) break(s) to play with Mandu.  Would you look at that face!?  (For more Mandu, search #westsidewoofs on instagram)


      Step 5)  Apply Shanghoon digital sorcery.

      Step 6)  (not pictured) Dedicate a decade of relentless work to your craft, constantly experiment with gear & techniques, surround yourself with talented & enthusiastic people who share your passion, and just be flat out talented.



      Not too shabby for something forgotten about in the archives, eh?

      All Images © Shanghoon


        What’s that Noize?

        by Chris Payne on May 4, 2015

        What is your opinion of Graffiti?  Vandalism or public access art?  Improvement of a bland concrete wall or defacing public property?  If you are reading this, you most likely tend to think of graffiti as expressive art form on potentially massive canvases.  The glass is more than half full when artists and creatives look at graffiti, which is why we were pumped to see that the latest edition of Wallnoize was coming to our hood.




        The vandal culture that the walls seem to speak of sounds like a threat against public security, but the artists painting their respective squares on the wall under the bridge at Bloor and Dundas seemed like a community of diverse styles and personalities.  Much in the same way that artists would share studios, these people share walls throughout the city.  It feels like there may be lessons to be learned just in that idea.






          Pain Free in Portugal with Dave and Advil

          by Chris Payne on April 30, 2015

          Advil, the great reliever of migraines, muscle pain,  joint paint, head pain and in some cases pain cause by arthritis. Yup, pretty much all the pains.  Nobody is a stranger to the magical elixir contained within the liqui-gel or the fast relief found in each pill. Its something called ibuprofen I’m told, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Anyone who has ever consumed one too many alcoholic beverages has longed for an Advil at one point or another…

          Dave Delnea had the pleasure of flying to Portugal to shoot Advil’s most recent ad campaign. Under the creative direction of Darcy Maloney and art direction of Pearce Cacalda of Y&R Toronto, the images that have come back are nothing short of amazing.  With the addition of great copy via Kevin Hoessler these ads are hard to miss.  They have been spotted numerous times around town, maybe you have seen this one?

          “When the opportunity comes to work on a project that allows you to escape from the deep-freeze that is winter in Toronto, one does not say no!  I had the pleasure of spending a week in Lisbon, Portugal working with the creative team from Y&R to produce a series of print ads for Advil.” - Dave Delnea

          “Shooting this in a looser, less-exact style of lifestyle imagery and rolling it out with a bunch of huge wild posting style paste up ads was a really different approach for a pharma company.  Hat-tip to Darcy, Pearce and Kevin for making it happen, and of course to Pfizer Canada for running with it.  …oh and obrigado Lisboa for all the great port and octopus salad!”- Dave Delnea


          The campaign took many faces and contained many humorous Advil and ____ lines.  No one can resist smirking at the site of “WATAAAAAAAA” spelled out, no one!

          53618_B_R0_FootyA_BacklitGymPoster_EN_23x31 53618_B_R0_KitchenA_BacklitRestobarPoster_EN_23x31







          Along with this slew of print ads, there was also a great TV spot made.  Our pals over at Rooster have one of them on their website that you can watch by simply clicking here.  Wow, easy, yep.


          Client: Advil
          Agency: Y&R Toronto
          Creative Director: Darcy Maloney
          Art Director: Pearce Cacalda
          Writer: Kevin Hoessler
          Print Producer: Antoinette St. Angelo
          Photographer: Dave Delnea
          Producer: John Stevancec
          First Assistant: George Moreira
          Local Assistant: Vasco Monteiro
          Motion Director (TV Spots): David Masters



            Spikes, lightning, tequila and Joey L

            by Chris Payne on April 27, 2015

            The latest episode of Joey L’s dudes with cameras came out today.  These behind the scenes looks into Joey’s shoots are amazing, take a look!


              Shanghoon Cuts Deep with Stills and Motion!

              by Chris Payne on April 22, 2015

              We have all been there; falling off your bike, accidentally cutting yourself shaving, a scratch from the alley cat you were trying to coax into friendship, being a little too excited to get the dishes done and forgetting about the steak knife under the soapy suds…  You know, life happens.  Polysporin is a time tested remedy to scraped knees and cuts that is as old as dirt itself.

              Shanghoon created this new ad with Dan Bache and the lovely folks at JWT Toronto.  Keep an eye out!

              Here is the ad running in Canadian Living magazine, where all of our mothers have probably picked up a trick or two about healing minor abrasions of rambunctious kiddies like the younger versions of ourselves.

              Canadian Living

              Never one to shy away from a challenge , Shanghoon also shot a short stop motion animation based on the same creative. Adding to that awesomeness was the help from Animator Phillip Eddolls and some first class editing by the folks at Alter Ego.  You can check that out below!


              • Art Director: Dan Bache
              • Agency: JWT Toronto
              • Photographer & Director: Shanghoon
              • Assistant: Abe Roberto
              • Prop Maker: Franc Madden
              • Food Stylist: Sarah Sweeney
              • Production: Westside Studio
              • Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
              • Stop Motion Animator/Compositor/Tech Director: Phillip Eddolls
              • Editing: Alter Ego


                The New Q with Shad

                by Alex Beetham on April 20, 2015

                Today, Monday April 20th, CBC Radio One is set to relaunch “Q” with it’s new host, Shad. Not familiar with him? If you’re a fan of hip-hop or 5 panel hats, you need to give his discography a serious listen. He did beat Drake out of a Juno in 2011 after all…

                Our Matt Barnes had the privilege of heading down to CBC headquarters to shoot some promo material for the upcoming launch.  Check it:

                Q airs weekdays @ 10:00am and 10:00pm on CBC Radio One.  Be sure to tune in today for Shad’s launch!


                  Joey L and his Dudes With Cameras

                  by Chris Payne on April 16, 2015

                  When you pop open a portfolio and are immediately greeted by the gaze of an A-list celebrity, some of the most traditional cultures in the world or images you have seen a thousands of times on billboards and in magazines…  there is a good chance that the front of that book may read “Joey L”.

                  Have you ever wondered what the life of one of the best commercial photographer looks like?  What it is like to look through a lens and see some of the worlds most rich and famous?  What would it be like to get the perfect shot and then be flown across a continent or two to do it all over again?  Joey L lives a hectic, but incredible life because of his talents.  Recently he published a new series of videos offering you a look into his life has a commercial photographer.  It is called Dudes with Cameras.

                  Dudes with cameras is an answer to all those questions and maybe more.  It will make you laugh and give you a little peek into how awesome it is to work with Joey L and his team.  Check out this video below of the shoot that Joey did with us for the folks at DentsuBos and Canon.  You will also spot our very own Nick Leadlay retouching and Kirsten White producing!


                    A Very Matt Barnes Ballroom

                    by Chris Payne on April 6, 2015

                    Have you heard the one about a tiger, a peacock,  and 19 lavishly dressed people that walk in to a ballroom?

                    Yeah, we hadn’t either – that is until Matt Barnes showed up.

                    Byblos is an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant here in Toronto, but they have recently opened another location in Miami beach, Florida.  It is difficult to convey concisely how incredible these restaurants really are.  They combine classic cooking techniques with a unique atmosphere to leave every patron satisfied by food and experience alike.  The food in the photo was all sourced from Byblos Toronto, so given the full octopus, lobster platter and the plethora of pomegranates, you could imagine what you are in for.

                    So how exactly do you differentiate the Miami beach location from the Toronto location in order for them to live as their own separate restaurants?  Your sentence may sound something like “I bet Matt Barnes could do something cool, lets see what he comes up with”.  Matt was given 100% creative control to come up with the concept, cast the talent, design the set, etc. etc. and the result, well, let’s just say we are damn proud of the result.

                    The photo speaks for itself, but it is the culmination of hard work by Matt & his team, incredible vision and top notch production.  We are happy to provide a little bit of behind the scenes for your viewing pleasure, should you be so curious!

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                    Photographer: Matt Barnes

                    Art Director: Jay Pooley

                    Producer:  Kirsten White, Elissa Parante

                    Styling: Maeve Mckee

                    Food Styling: Nicole Young

                    Hair & Makeup: Nina Farrauto

                    Client: Byblos Miami