Welcome back Westside fans! We’re really excited about rolling out some fun and exciting new content this year on the Blog, but first we have a project from Chris Gordaneer that we’ve been dying to share. He spent a hard working 12 months alongside a great group of people creating what you’re about to see, and we’re very proud to be able to share his latest images. We’ll jump back and forth between work and words, so grab a coffee and prepare for a wave of pride.
On December 31st – to great praise – the Canadian Olympic Committee debuted the largest campaign in its history, “We Are Winter“. With less than a month before the worlds eyes fall upon Sochi and the 2014 Winter Games, the COC aims to bring Canadians closer to our athletes through a strong multi-platform campaign, for which Chris was given the privilege of handling stills. Here’s our Olympian with some of his initial thoughts on the project.
Once I got an understanding for what the COC was wanting to convey with their campaign, I knew #WeAreWinter was the project I’ve been training my whole life for. It would be a massive undertaking, but to be given the opportunity to represent my country and help bring us together as a nation was something out of my “I want to be a photographer” dreams.
Not one to be passed up. ~ CG
Alex Bilodeau | Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
Charles Hamelin | Short Track Speed Skating
Chief Marketing Officer, Derek Kent provided some great insights on the vision for #WeAreWinter in the COC’s New Years Eve press release.
The essence of this campaign originated from conversations with our athletes who all said the same thing: Winter defines them and defines who we are as a country. We wanted to inspire Canadians by showcasing the drive, determination, and grit of our athletes as they train for the Olympic Games. We wanted Canadians to really get to know our athletes and their remarkably inspiring stories. We are proud of what we have built and that we are putting a brighter spotlight on our national sporting heroes.
Denny Morrison | Long Track Speed Skating
Justine Dufour-Lapointe | Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
Kaillie Humphries & Chelsea Valois | Bobsleigh
For the first time ever, the COC will be able to connect athletes with viewers back home though their official social media partner, Twitter. By using the hashtags WeAreWinter and NousSommeslHiver – as well as team handles @CDNOlympicTeam and @OlympiqueCanada – Canadians nationwide will be able to join in conversation and cheer on their podium hopefuls from the comfort of their couch, bus stop, or barstool.
If you’re a tweeter, you can get going by clicking any of our featured athletes names and start following their journey to Sochi.
Mark McMorris | Snowboard – Slopestyle
A quick view from Producer Tom Nesbitt’s eye before we pass it back to Chris.
Its always exciting to work on a project from inspection to fruition. It transcends work when the project is a creative collaboration of the kind of scale that the #WeAreWinter campaign is. From the first meeting Chris and I had with CD Josh Stein (now of TribalDDB) and Agency producer at Proximity Jessica Takas I knew this was going to be one truly exciting adventure. It was logistically difficult, physically exhausting, mentally taxing, but best of all something I was so proud to be a part of.
Snow, Ice, Mountains, Olympic athletes, whats not to love? ~ TN
Mikaël Kingsbury | Freestyle Skiing – Moguls
Noah Bowman | Freestyle Skiing – Halfpipe
From start to finish this was an amazing experience – a job I will forever be proud to have been a part of. It’s always a pleasure to see your work in print around your city, but there’s something special about this campaign that’s been giving me goosebumps since I’ve caught it at transit stops and on TV.
Director Henry Lu (of Moxie Pictures) and I worked closely alongside Josh and Jessica, to collectively ensure the look and feel of #WeAreWinter met the COC’s vision. Now seeing our efforts getting fellow Canadians excited about the Games – it’s a tough feeling to describe. The kind of thing I’m sure all the athletes we worked with could tell you a lot more about. ~ CG
Roz Groenewoud | Freestyle Skiing – Halfpipe
Sarah Reid | Skeleton
Photographer: Chris Gordaneer
Client: Canadian Olympic Committee
Agency: Proximity Canada
Creative Director: Josh Stein
Content Producer: Jessica Valentini
Digital Imaging: Mark Tyler / Stir Images
Photo Producer: Tom Nesbitt & Kirsten White (MTL)
First Assistant: Aric Guité
Assistants : Daniel Tremblay (CGY), Trevor Yee (BC), Stephane Fiore & Frederik Robitaille (MTL)
Those of you who can remember way back to last March may recall a PHOTOGASM of ours, where we teased this project while still in its early stages. At the time, Chris & Co. had been spending their days at Calgary’s Winter Sport Institute, so we’ll get the BTS rolling with a trip down the bobsleigh track before taking a look at the team’s time in Montréal, Quebec City, and Whistler. Be sure to click a pic and get yourself a closer look at the action.
What an amazing year long project this has been. I can’t thank the folks at Proximity enough for thinking of me in the first place. Josh and I went back and forth on these so often in post that we must have driven our retoucher completely bonkers. It was all for the best though, thanks Josh. To Mark Tyler, my long time retouching collaborator you did such an amazing job (as always) so thanks for all of your patience and skill. And speaking of patience, Jessica Valentini – big thanks go to you for keeping all of this on track and delivered on time. You should be putting in for a raise, I couldn’t have done this without you.
All this to say, this was an amazing collaboration with some of the best in the business. Looking forward to seeing these up around town and around the country. As we cheer for the home team in just a few short weeks I was glad to play my part. Go Canada Go!! ~ CG
Images © Chris Gordaneer
BTS © Aric Guité & Tom Nesbitt