Frank Hoedl

5+ | Franc Madden

by Westside on March 24, 2015

Yep, it is time again for us here at Westside to turn the attention to someone outside our immediate flock and add another installment of our 5+ series.  In this series we ask industry people from all roles to let us in on 5 things keep them inspired and able to relentlessly kick ass.  We wanted to turn the focus towards someone who many of us here at Westside have had the pleasure of working with over the years, the tremendously talented model maker, and all round solid dude, Franc Madden.
Image © Shanghoon
For those who know Franc, none of this will come as a surprise. For those that don’t, here is the deal…
Franc Madden is a problem solver, magician and artist all rolled into one.  He is a tireless craftsman.  He remains calm when under pressure and is a true pleasure to work with.  He always goes the extra mile.
As seen here, while the world around moves quickly around him, Franc still has a sense of humor and an infectious smile. He has been an invaluable part of the photography landscape of many, many, many years.  Here are what a few Westsiders had to say about working with Franc…
“Franc is a Solid and Reliable man, he can basically make anything you request, what more could you ask for?”-  John Stevancec, Producer
“Photography and in particular advertising, is about problem solving.  Model making still plays a vital role and Franc’s experience and skill is invaluable.  Being able to capture the majority of your image in camera is still the best and most simplistic route to success.  Without Franc, I couldn’t do most of my jobs.”- Frank Hoedl, Photographer
“As much as I love working with new technologies like photo manipulation & cgi, sometimes nothing can beat the true craftsmanship of model making.  Franc is my go-to model maker, and I have complete trust in his ability to make ideas come to life. I’ve certainly challenged him to create quirky things for me over the years, including a deflated rubber turkey to a car-shaped popsicle. His extensive knowledge and determination in figuring things out, as well as his easy-going nature, makes him a great working partner and a true inspiration.”- Shanghoon, Photographer
“Franc is a magician. I have never seen anyone else create a magical landscape with broccoli toothpicks and lint.”- George Simhoni, Photographer


Without further adieu, here are Franc Madden’s 5 inspirations.  We hope that they may inspire you as they have inspired him.

1.  Last year some guy “died” for a few minutes on the operating table.  His recall was the familiar out of body thing; he floated euphorically above his life, viewing everything through a misty tunnel.  My first thought was that he was riding a dirt bike, as that is how it feels when you launch one.  I love motocross at all levels, from the top guys down to the kid bouncing around his yard on a jalopy.  The sound, smell and rush of it never gets old.  Racer X Illustrated is the best portal for the sport; not only do they cover the results in real time, they also explore the depths of it, answering the questions we have and reinforcing the family values at it’s core.

Mark Moebius SL70

2.  All the painters from early Juxtapoz.  Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Ron English, Jim Woodring and especially Todd Schorr. Master draftsmen.  I stare at their work and envy the satisfaction they must feel from their finished pieces.

3.  The Tetra Society.  They take the abilities of inventors and engineers and apply them to specific needs of people with disabilities, an applied science making the most basic functions of life a little easier.  Noble, heartwarming stuff that is genuine.

4.  Daim the graffiti artist.  His work hovers high over all the others with a depth that evades them.

5.  Artists with ideas.  True story; those who know me will think this inclusion is bollocks.  I never speak highly of the arts as a vocation.  I’m jaded as a result of too many people wanting but not doing.  I like challenging projects from people who have done their homework, are using their noggin yet need a problem solved.  Collaboration.  It’s the name of the game in all walks.  My Compadres, I have no competitors, they are allies.  I know many talented people and we feed off one another, exchanging ideas.  Even if I ‘lose’ a job to one of them, I enjoy seeing their resulting build.  It will be so different than my approach, and good.  We all make custom creations on tight deadlines and all work in our own distinct way.


    Not sure what it might be like where you are, but here in Toronto we are in the middle of a serious cold snap.  Over night temperatures have recently sunk well past minus 20 degrees Celsius.  Prolonged exposure can be deadly.

    The homeless in particular are in tremendous danger at this time of year, which is why when Derek Shapton and Frank Hoedl were recently approached to work on a campaign for Project Winter Survival, they did not hesitate.



    From Derek’s blog: “Frank and I shot two print ads together, an exciting collaborative process that made for a rather unusual workflow. I scouted and sourced the locations, we co-piloted the cameras and co-directed the talent, and Frank applied his post-production magic to the final retouching. Frank has long been one of my favourite photographers and it was great to be able to work so closely with him. The final results are outstanding, and in fact won an Applied Arts Award in the Public Service category back in November.” 


    Frank lying down on the job

    Processed with VSCOcam

    Assistant Rebecca Leach sourcing some props


    Derek in ninja-mode while framing a shot

    “One of the setups also seemed to have some solid potential as a compelling little motion piece, and with the blessing of the creative team at Cundari, we gave it a go. We enlisted the help of Mike Rybinski at Spot Cinema and once the print ads were finished, shot a quick spec spot that turned out surprisingly well.”   See the final result below and visit Derek’s blog to find out more.

    Agency: Cundari
    Creative Director: Andrew Simon
    Art Director: Jason Lee
    Writer: Francesco Grandi
    Assistant: Rebecca Leach
    Motion Camera: Mike Rybinski
    Motion Post Production: Spot Cinema


      Toyota’s 2015 Camry got #Hoedlized.

      by Alex Beetham on December 12, 2014

      1.   To experience a Frank Hoedl set, generally containing a minimum crew of 20, at least 2 cube trucks crammed with gear, bi-tubes rigged higher than any one light stand can handle, and quality espresso. Example: “Oh man,  today I had to figure out how to rig a window light 3 stories up during a mild hurricane… totally got Hoedlized!”

      The experience of a Frank Hoedl shoot has become that of legend in Toronto photo circles.  He and his team work long, hard days (and nights) to bring his images to life.  But after one look at the final product, it’s immediately worth the effort.  This gorgeous campaign for example, just went live for the 2015 Toyota Camry:

      2964 TCi-14-143C 10x11.5.pd2964 TCi-14-142A 10x11.43.pd2964 TCi-14-141A 10x11.43.pd

      Allow me to introduce one of Westside’s long time producers John Stevancec, to break down Frank’s latest campaign with Toyota!

      Once again, Fridays seem to be the day clients call us to make campaigns come to life for them with very tight deadlines.  They obviously know we are always up for that challenge here at Westside!  Joel Arbez from Saatchi & Saatchi had three very impressive layouts for Frank Hoedl to work on for the new 2015 Toyota Camry.  The only issue was they needed to be produced and Shot in 1 week… No problem! We basically scouted over the weekend, Monday was a tech scout with Frank Hoedl, Joel Arbez, Brian Joe (our location scout), and myself.  We looked at various locations that day, made some executive decisions, then sent the client some  recommendations later that evening.  Tuesday we waited for client approvals, but had to start the permit process anyways that morning because it would never have gotten done in time otherwise!  We were really happy our client was onboard with the recommends, as they finally approved the locations on Thursday morning! Good thing we took the initiative to start the process right away!

      Our first Day was shot in Northern Ontario on some amazing roads, that was fun, but near the end of the shoot Coyotes were getting closer and closer to us, a little too eerie in a dark forest in the middle of nowhere and I’m not kidding!

      Comp #1 copy

      Left to Right: The cube truck convoy taking over a Northern Ontario highway, crew watching fog applications, & assistant Gabe Nivera keeping cameras dry.

      Day 2 was going to be, quite literally, a day at the beach, but Joel wanted it to look like snow had just started falling and our talent was running towards the lake for a quick dip! No problem, once again! We had dressed the set with fake snow, had snow cannons for falling snow, and our talent was actually quite warm in their swim suits that day. It was about 15 degrees celsius which was quite the surprise for all of us at the end of October! We got lucky with weather once again! (editors note: *Knock wood*.)

      Comp #2

      Assistant John Wayne Brown keeping tabs on a bi-tube (on a grip arm, in c-stand, in a sky-high), a look back into the set, and an additional angle of the talent on the move.

      Day 3 was shot in Kensington Market, as you know it’s a very busy location with so much happening there at any given time, but throwing in a large production stills shoot, hero car on the road, 20 talent, set dressing, lighting, generators, Police officers, Wardrobe stylists, Prop Stylists, 6 Photo Assistants, and interesting shop owners, the day went very smoothly, and that’s why they hired us in the first place!

      Comp #3

      Frank looking thrilled that his picture is being taken, and a look at setting up shop in the middle of Kensington Market.

      Frank did his magic once again as you can see, the final ads are quite beautiful!  A big special thanks to our crew who worked endless hours, it was fun!

      Lets do it again!

      – John Stevancec, Producer

      Client: Toyota
      Agency:  Saatchi & Saatchi
      Photographer:  Frank Hoedl
      Producer:  John Stevancec
      Executive Creative Director:  Brian Sheppard
      Group Creative Director:  Joel Arbez
      Senior Account Executive:  Kat Ledgett
      Assistants:  Bryan Ulrich, Abe Roberto, Jon Wayne Brown, Gabe Nivera, Peter Olson, Logan Allmendinger
      Casting:  Milo Casting

      Photographer Frank Hoedl shares a great tip for location scouting (ask the locals!), and other insights into this campaign:

      The very tight timeline turned out to be a great motivator and led to my discovery of the best road I think I’ve ever driven in Ontario.  Hwy 13, Southwood Rd, between Hwy 11 and 169 near Bala.  While on my way to another potential location, I stopped at a Motorcycle shop and asked the local mechanic which were the best roads for riding.  He was right about the road.  The beach execution allowed me to discover the beaches on Lake Eerie and drive my 4×4 on the sand.  I had the best espresso in Toronto, in recent memory, in Kensington Market at Casa Acoreana Cafe, the corner of Baldwin & Augusta.  All my locations from now on will hopefully be within 100 ft of a coffee shop.

      Sure the timelines were crazy and yes, we got a car stuck on a beach briefly.  Yes, the locations were approved before we got their permission but we got it done!  As usual, the team at Westside led by John the producer, performed above and beyond the call of duty.  The Toyota job was fun because of the people involved, and the team at Saatchi were great to work with.   – Frank

      All Images © Frank Hoedl
      BTS Images © John Stevancec, Abe Roberto



        by Westside on January 17, 2014

        We mentioned plans for big things to come in our year-end post, and with the #WeAreWinter campaign now successfully up and running, it’s time to throw another big ticket item into the mix. To say it’s been a while since we’ve shown off the work of Frank Hoedl would be an understatement. You’ve seen Frank’s many awards over the last two years, but through the combined faults of a few, we’ve failed to properly showcase the work on its own. Today we change that.

        Over the years Frank has had a wonderful relationship working with DDB Canada. Together they have created some fantastic and memorable campaigns for BC Hydro and Toronto Crime Stoppers – and they’ve joined forces once again – this time for Subaru Canada. Let’s take a look at the work.

        SUBARU XV HYBRID Split

        Aha, a tease, we’re sorry. As you can see though, Art Director Jake Bundock’s layout for the new 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid would require the detail oriented skill-set in order to create the seamless transition between country and cityscape. Something Frank’s got in spades.

        © Frank HoedlPhotographer: Frank Hoedl
        Client: Subaru
        Agency: DDB Toronto
        Art Director: Jake Bundock
        Digital Imaging: Dan Essegern & Michael McDonald
        Producer: John Stevancec
        Location Scout: Steve Connor
        Assistants: Byan Ulrich, Peter Olson, Logan Allmendinger, & Alex Beetham

        We’ve got some nice behind the scenes shots of the team’s time both in the city and country, but first here’s a look at Frank’s shot in this month’s issue of Toronto Life (with thanks to Tom Nesbitt and his .GIF skills).


        © John Stevancec

        © John Stevancec © John Stevancec

        © John Stevancec

        © John Stevancec

        © John Stevancec

        © John Stevancec

        That’s all for our first visit to Hoedl-land, but be sure to stay tuned as we’re sure there’ll be more to come from Frank in the future. Enjoy the weekend readers!
        Image © Frank Hoedl
        Layout © DDB Canada
        BTS © John Stevancec



          by Westside on June 7, 2013

          MAward2-300x195-300x184If you’re anything like us, you like to unwind from putting in hard work with a bit of hard play – and last Thursday night at The 2013 Marketing Awards – we did just that. It’s been a long week of recovery, but we’re finally ready to revisit the spectacular evening with some shout outs to our agency friends who helped a few Westsiders bring home some hardware.

          We’ll kick things off with Chris Gordaneer and BBDO Toronto‘s MerCow, which brilliantly highlighted the GE Profile Double Oven Range’s ability to cook two meals at one time!


          Next up is a great campaign from Matt Barnes and john st. for Wiser’s Small Batch whiskey. For more info and a full list of who was behind this simple genius, give a click on over to THE PASSING SHOT for more from Matt.

          © Matt Barnes

          © Matt Barnes

          Now it’s time we send a big Westside hug to DDB Canada‘s Vancouver and Toronto offices for their work with Frank Hoedl on campaigns for both BC Hydro and Toronto Crime Stoppers (shown respectively).

          © Frank Hoedl

          © Frank Hoedl

          © Frank Hoedl

          Rounding the bend of this years awarded works is Anthony Redpath and DARE Vancouver‘s GiveSpace campaign, which in addition to it’s listed winnings below, took home SILVER for PUBLIC SERVICE – PRESS/ OUT-OF-HOME: CAMPAIGN!

          © Anthony Redpath

          © Anthony Redpath

          Closing out our re-cap of the evenings events with Derek Shapton and TAXI 2‘s Castor Gigashelf. Having successfully transitioned the worlds largest photograph (of a shelf) into a imaginative and unique website interface, the team behind the work is most definitely deserving of their Gold M!


          A HUGE thanks to everyone involved in the aforementioned works from all of us at the Studio, because without you, we’d have no excuse for our overindulgences ;D. Have a great weekend everyone!


            A few weeks back I was listening to the ol’ short-wave at home, and while I can’t be certain, I’m pretty sure awards shows are like baseball games where you can tune in to a local AM station and listen to a play-by-play of whats happening at the gala, complete with a Vin Scully-esque announcer. It may have just been the delirious heat level of my apartment, but I found myself on the edge of my seat as the booming voice from the box called out some familiar names. I jotted down as much as I could, and so to close out this steamy summer month, we’ll read through my short transcript of the,

            Holding strong and true at first base is Andrew B. Myers, who’s work with DDB for Historica-Dominion received Bronze in Public Service: Single (Press/Out-Of-Home).

            Sittin’ pretty on second is Chris Gordaneer with a Bronze M for he and MacLaren McCann’s Out-Of-Home: Campaign (Point-Of-Purchase) for Precision Laser Tattoo Removal.

            With eyes on home, Jean Malek and Publicis Montreal’s work for Belron Canada has the extraordinary frenchman holding third with a Bronze in Magazine: Single.

            Looking to bring the boys home with a big dinger, stepping up to the plate is Frank Hoedl and Leo Burnett Toronto, who’s campaign for Raising The Roof took Gold in Public Service: Campaign, as well as a Silver for Public Service: Single (Press/Out-Of-Home – Red Chair).

            At this point there was some interference from my hipster neighbours’ pirate radio station and I lost the signal so I’m unsure if Frank hit that big dinger; but what I do know is that we here at Westside are proud of all our boys for their achievements and want to throw up a hard hitting high-five to all those involved in the shoots. Click on any of the images to get the full story on the works.

            Images © Respective Photographers


              NEWS | A Photo Annual Trifecta

              by Westside on July 16, 2012

              The 2012 Communication Arts Photography Annual is off the press and on my desk, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s three Westsiders gracing it’s pages.

              It’s pretty crazy to think that the 125 selected photographers appearing in this years’ CA:PA were originally part of a list of 4,685; so with that in mind we extend a huge congrats to not only our own shooters, but to all those showing work in this years collection.

              Starting us off in the opening pages of the annual is Tyler Gray, who’s work with DDB for Subaru landed some recognition in the Advertising category.

              Closing out the Advertising category is Frank Hoedl, who’s Red Chair for Raising the Roof continues to receive top marks from jurors.

              Rounding out the trifecta of Westsiders within CA:PA this year is Russell Monk and his Casa Portraits series, which can be found in the Editorial category.

              Congrats boys! Keep up the good work.
              Images © Respective Photographers


                Established in 1964 by The ADVERTISING Club of New York, the ANDY Awards celebrate creativity in advertising by recognizing both the individuals and companies behind ads they believe raise the standards of craftsmanship in the industry. Held a little over a week ago in NYC, this years big (and only) Canadian winner was agency Leo Burnett Toronto, who’s ‘Nothing But Potential’ campaign for Raising The Roof took home 7 heads!

                The shining star of the campaign was “Red Chair”, shot by Frank Hoedl, which nabbed 4 golden heads including: Outdoor Advertising, Copywriting, and Public Service (NPO), along with a Silver for Newspaper. Also awarded for Public Service (NPO) with both Silver and Bronze were Frank’s “Potato” and “Plant” images from the campaign.

                Here’s a look at the winners.

                Frank Hoedl

                Photographer: Frank Hoedl
                Creative Directors: Judy John & Lisa Greenberg
                Art Director: Anthony Chelvanathan
                Copywriter: Steve Persico

                Huge congrats to Frank on his continuous wins for “Red Chair”, and big ups to Leo Burnett International for their combined 18 wins!

                Images © Frank Hoedl


                  TGIW | Shamrocks and Paddy Wagons

                  by Westside on March 14, 2012

                  Yes, it’s that time of year again. The snow has melted, the birds are singing, the clocks jumped forward leaving us behind with tired eyes, and all the while, shiny paper Shamrocks grace our storefronts. St. Patrick’s Day is upon us.

                  It’s an exciting celebration that most of us don’t remember, except for a late night souvenir of an early morning hangover. This Saturday we’ll see lots of Shamrocks and Paddy Wagons, but until then here’s a festive collection of images from our guys and gals.

                  Chris Gordaneer

                  Frank Hoedl

                  George Simhoni

                  Matt Barnes

                  Ryan Enn Hughes

                  Tom Feiler

                  Vicky Lam

                  Chris Gordaneer

                  Matt Barnes

                  Tom Feiler



                    PHOTOGASM | We Choo-Choo Choose You

                    by Westside on February 14, 2012

                    Being Valentines Day and all, Shelley and I thought it would be fun to go through our computers and try and capture the essence of love within the confines of our photographers portfolios. Some are direct selects from current portfolios. Some we dove a bit deeper into the catalogues. Nonetheless, ALL of todays images are our way of asking, will you be our valentine?

                    Andrew B. Myers

                    Chris Gordaneer

                    Tom Feiler

                    Frank Hoedl

                    George Simhoni

                    Tyler Gray

                    Jean Malek

                    Matt Barnes

                    Nikki Ormerod

                    Russell Monk

                    Ryan Enn Hughes


                    Derek Shapton

                    Vicky Lam

                    As we browsed through the works of our shooters, our eye’s tuned to the frequency of love, I thought it might be nice to attempt some reader/ writer interaction and pit 3 of our Cupids‘ against one another in capture-to-capture combat. So dear readers, it is to you we leave the choice:

                    Whom of three couples pictured below, would you like to spend your Valentines Day with?

                    George Simhoni

                    Matt Barnes

                    Nikki Ormerod

                    The choice is yours!

                    For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.
                    All Images © Respective Photographers