Tyler Gray

Tyler Introduces The New Toys “R” Us CPO

by Alex Beetham on March 31, 2016

It’s the executive role every kid dreams of. Well, perhaps not many children are dreaming of corporate employment, but Émile Burbidge is no ordinary 12 year old. This is one of many reasons that Toys “R” Us Canada has hired him on as their new CPO! (That’s Chief Play Officer, for those not savvy with corporate toy chains.) Émile is the lucky (and deserving) new hire, getting his hands on the latest and greatest toys to test and review for kids and parents alike. Now his penthouse office was still under construction during the time of filming, so we had to improvise and retrofit our boardroom into his temporary work space. We think it turned out pretty well:

Oh, and he’s completely bilingual too.


Client:  Toys “R” Us Canada
Agency:  Open
Executive Creative Director: Martin Beauvais
Copywriter: Samara Luck
Account Executive: Nicolas Rouleau
Art Director:  Tyler Mckissick
Production:  Westside Studio
Director / Photographer:  Tyler Gray
Producer:  John Stevancec
DOP / Camera Op:  John Ker
Audio Capture:  Alex Beetham
Hair & Makeup:  Lisa Vella
Wardrobe Stylist:  Jessa Bissett
Assistants:  Jeff Jamison, Logan Allmendinger, Rebecca Leach
Adorable Dog: Mandu

Émile drummed up a fair bit of press!

CBC-News TVA-Nouvelles Newswire CTV-News
Congrats again Émile! Oh and of course, a little look behind the curtain…

BTS 1BTSBTS 2BTS 3BTS 4 All Images & Video © Tyler Gray


    Tyler’s no Outsider with AGO

    by Alex Beetham on March 21, 2016

    Tyler was approached by Cundari and the AGO to help promote their latest photo exhibit; Outsiders: American Photography and Film,1950s–1980s. This exhibit celebrates the artists who changed the image of American life, including Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Danny Lyon, Nan Goldin, Gordon Parks. Four Torontonians were invited to sit down with the exhibition’s co-curators, Jim Shedden and Sophie Hackett, to discuss what it means to be an insider or an outsider—this is what they had to say:

    Credit where credit is due:

    Client: AGO
    Outsiders Curators: Sophie Hackett, Jim Sheddon

    Agency: Cundari
    Art Director: Jake Bundock
    Copy Writer: Ryan Kukec

    Production: Westside Studio
    Photographer & Director: Tyler Gray
    Producer: John Stevancec
    Camera Operator & DP: John Ker
    Audio Capture: Alex Beetham
    Editor: Taylor Bateman
    Assistants: Brendan Smyth, Logan Allmandinger
    Hair & Make Up: Taylor Savage
    Wardrobe Stylist: Jessa Bissett

    From the curators description of the exhibit:

    Harnessing the descriptive and expressive capacities of photography and film, the artists in this remarkable exhibition, Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s, all participated in changing the image of American life. Motivated by a sense that the status quo was untenable, and that current visual expressions of American life did not reflect what they knew and saw of the world, they deployed their chosen media to reflect a more complex, more authentic and more diverse view of the world in which they had grown up.

    Keep your eyes peeled for these posters all over the city!





    A look see behind the scenes…

    BTS 1

    BTS 2


    BTS 3The exhibit is running now until May 12th!  It’s a fascinating curation… go check it out!

    © – Images & Video © Tyler Gray
    © – BTS Images © Alex Beetham


      Tyler Cheers On Camp Ooch

      by Alex Beetham on March 8, 2016

      When you learn about an organization that helps kids with cancer heal, grow, and recover from treatment, it’s tough to not want to help. When you’re a father of two yourself, it hits even closer to home. Help out is exactly what Tyler did when approached by Camp Ooch to shoot & direct material to promote their Sporting Life 10K run. Camp Ooch was founded in 1983 to exclusively serve children with cancer. It’s privately funded, staffed entirely by volunteers, and completely free. They rely on public donations to operate their facilities, and having sponsors like Sporting Life enable them to continue touching children’s lives.

      The fine folk at MacLaren McCann staged the tunnel to Billy Bishop as a 0.3km mini marathon, with screens of cheering supporters encouraging you over the finish line.

      Heading down to the starting line, getting ready with your fellow runners:
      Elevator wraps_Feb16

      Elevator Wraps2_Feb16

      Elevator wraps3_Feb16Ooch

      And you’re off!
      Start Line_Feb16Feature Q_Feb16JPGFeature Q3_Feb16

      Feature K_Feb16

      FEature L_Feb16

      Congrats!  Crushed that 0.3K.

      Director/Photographer:  Tyler Grey
      DOP:  John Ker
      Stills/Motion Producer:  Kirsten White
      Agency:  MacLaren McCann
      VP, MGR Broadcast Production:  Sarah Michener
      Sound Design:  Alex Beetham
      Assistants:  Abe Roberto, Rebecca Leach, Christa Michelle
      MUH:  Angela McQueen ( assist Cindy M Yu)
      Stylist:  Casey Jane Tuninga

      A big thanks to William F White for helping us out with rentals on this project.  It was greatly appreciated!!

      A little look at how it came together:

      2016-01-20 10.58.52-2 IMG_3967IMG_3940 IMG_3961 2016-01-20 17.03.34 2016-01-20 18.23.26

      All Images © Tyler Gray
      All Billy Bishop Tunnel Images © MacLaren McCann
      All BTS Images © Kirsten White & Alex Beetham


        Tyler’s Slipping and Sliding Over the Finish Line

        by Alex Beetham on February 9, 2016

        For those of you who have run a half marathon, you understand it’s a great feat of effort.  What better way to make it even more challenging, then to do it in the snow!  That’s exactly what the Peterborough Half Marathon (in support of the YMCA Strong Kids campaign) is all about!  The snow and ice can have you finding yourself head over heels before you know it.  That’s exactly what Tyler’s depicted to promote the run. You may spot some familiar faces… Take a look:


        Its never a simple task getting the layouts that are largely based on what we have zero control over….mother nature.  It was no different in this instance considering the mild winter we’ve had and.  With a little luck, lots of patience (waiting for weather) and countless hours of retouching we were able to produce this super fun campaign for the Peterborough Half Marathon in support of the YMCA Strong Kids.



        The initial phone call with Klint involved 1 main ad that would run in local media, he also had this idea of taking things outside the realm of where our client might feel a bit uncomfortable.  He send me a bunch of super rough sketches that only a copywriter could hash together and the whole thing began to take on a life of its own.  We had some time to work with it and ended up with 7 solid pieces to use.



        Special thanks to the smokin’ hot runners who modelled for me in the -15 weather.  Caitlin, Kirsten, Shanghoon, Dave and particularly Tom for putting his balls on the line (or should I say frozen hydro pole) for us.     – Tyler

        YMCA_2016Run_FULLSET_rev1-6Client:  YMCA Half Marathon
        Agency:  BrandHealth
        Photographer:  Tyler Gray
          Rick Kemp
        ACD:  Klint Davies
        AD:  Dave Snider

        YMCA_2016Run_FULLSET_rev1-7A quick peak of how the magic is made… so very graceful.
        IMG_3905All Images © Tyler Gray


          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

          This slideshow requires JavaScript.

          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


            When most people envision a Sunday in late February, they may envision a warm cup of tea, the great indoors and relaxation.  It takes a really good reason to turn that vision into a 10.55km run through Peterborough…

            This year’s Peterborough YMCA Half a Half Marathon runners are about to lace up and bundle up to raise money for the Balsillie Family YMCA branch in Peterborough.  BrandHealth’s own Klint Davies and Dave Snider teamed up with Tyler Gray to create an awesome set of photos depicting what half frozen satisfaction looks like .  Check them out!

            Half and Half 1

            Half and Half 2 Half and Half 3

            “Often my favourite layouts are ones that are sketched on a napkin, much like this one, it leaves things relatively open for creative interpretation.  Dave’s sketches gave me a good guideline to work with without being too specific, and Klint and Dave were both really open to my vision.”


            “Klint and Dave are always chill to work with and going into this we knew it would be a bit of a challenge and would rely heavily on photoshop. Thinking like a retoucher and visualizing how it would ultimately come together I decided to shoot all the ice and dirt in individual pieces and puzzle it all together afterward.  The main benefit of doing it this way was the flexibility of being able to move things around as opposed to using heavy makeup on our talent but then having to retouch things out if I didn’t like it completely or if it crossed the centre line.  It can be a bit of a “leap of faith” for the client often as they go home at night without ever seeing exactly what we captured.  In this case, however everybody was on board and understood that this was the best way to do it.  The retouching was a great challenge and totally worth the time spent on it.”

            -Tyler Gray


            These photos were also brought to you by the ever amazing team plaid!

            Agency: BrandHealth

            Associate Creative Director: Klint Davies

            Art Director: Dave Snider

            Assistants: Bryan Ulrich, Abe Roberto



              Tyler keeps cucumber cool with Sanuk

              by Alex Beetham on December 1, 2014

              Tyler really appreciates a quality piece of footwear. So much so that he’s accumulated air miles twice this year, travelling to California just for sandals. Well, that and photographing a new global campaign for Sanuk, but mostly the free sandals. Here’s a few words from Tyler to tell you all about it:

              Nothing could be truer than the old adage “you learn something new everyday”.  I can’t remember what I learned the other 4 days we were there however the 2 things I took away from this job are 1/ DON’T use the washroom at Fais Do Do, (the Do Do in Fais Do Do is actual do do) a small dingy live music venue on West Adams that makes Grossman’s or Lee’s Palace washrooms look like an aseptic laboratory. and 2/ Don’t meet George Morreira at 2pm for “a couple beers” on a down day.  Thanks for the BarBQ George.

              Continuing with the Gong Show that was created during the last campaign, this series takes us to a place where “Powerstache” thinks they’re still the opening act for Tesla back in ’88 and to “That Couple” you walk past brawling in front of a Dance Club on Adelaide on a friday night and your Sanuk’s have you “Cool as a Cucumber”

              - Tyler




              Client: Sanuk
              Photographer: Tyler Gray
              Agency: Ignited USA
              Art Director: Jeremy Carson
              Creative Director: Stephanie Arculli
              Associate Creative Director: Karin Djelaj
              Print Producer: Sam Helphand

              When Tyler arrived at the Ignited head office, he was greeted by his work on the walls!


              Here’s a little look into what goes into prepping a night club for it’s close up:


              Beers and BBQ are most welcome after a job well done.

              Comp2All Images © Tyler Gray


                IN PRINT | Tyler Feels the Passion

                by Alex Beetham on October 9, 2014

                paSH-uh n/
                1. strong and barely controllable emotion.
                  “a man of impetuous passion”
                  a state or outburst of strong emotion.
                  “oratory in which he gradually works himself up into a passion”
                  synonyms: (blind) rage, fit of anger/temper, temper, towering rage, tantrumfury,frenzy

                  “he worked himself up into a passion”


                2. finding the right Scion for you
                  Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer.’

                  Use over time for: passion

                From the desk of Tyler Gray:

                One of the coolest things about working in adverting is that the surprises are never ending.  I mentioned it in one of my last posts that hearing my email ding and opening a PDF full of layouts is like Christmas morning over and over again.  Vic Bath at DentsuBos now has the unique distinction of sending me my first layout where a guy had an octopus stuck to the side of his face.  Yep, an octopus.  John and I were out in Los Angeles shooting when this came through and had some pretty good laughs with Vic about how we were going to pull this shot off.  We looked at prop options in Hollywood and were both amazed at how detailed and believable some of the options were.  We hummed and hawed over getting a live one and just throwing it at our talents’ face when he wasn’t looking, we discussed a dead one and we even discussed CGI.  In the end, we decided to go with the live option.  We named him Billy and he now lives and works with Lindsey at front reception.  He’s really good at answering phones and typing. (Editors note: Lindsey also really appreciates Billy’s suckers as an alternative to licking the postage stamps.)

                Big thanks to Vic and Ryan at DentsuBos for the opportunity to work on this.  Oh and an even bigger thanks to our client Mary at Scion for introducing the movie frozen to my Kids that day.  **Twitch**

                - Tyler

                All Ads.indd

                Peep some pixels:


                SCION_PAINTERAll Images © Tyler Gray
                Photographer: Tyler Gray
                Agency: DentsuBos
                Client: Scion
                AD: Vic Bath
                CW: Ryan Grosman
                Bryan Ulrich, Christa Michelle, Olga Kozitska

                BTS-Comp_Scion_Tyler_webAll BTS Images © Alex Beetham & John Stevancec


                  Tyler Gray Goes Way Back to School

                  by Alex Beetham on August 27, 2014

                  The upcoming September long weekend is a significant one.  It’s the one you dread growing up, knowing that it’s festivities are overshadowed by the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year.  Tyler has been out of school for *cough* just a few *cough* years now, but has had the opportunity since 2011 to annually acquaint himself with the campus of Western University.  Tyler has been producing some gorgeous images for Western over the years, and this is no exception!  Words from Tyler:

                  …This has been my third year shooting with creative director Terry Rice and designer Scott Woods from the Marketing Dept at Western U.  The early April email full of layouts from Scott has has become a beacon for spring and by the 3rd week of April i’m ripe for my first sunburn of the year.   – Tyler



                  Photographer:  Tyler Gray
                  Client:  Western University Alumni Association
                  Creative Director:  Terry Rice
                  Designer:  Scott Woods
                  Project Coordinator: Diana Cunningham

                  IMG_0320 IMG_0319 IMG_0315 IMG_0159All Images © Tyler Gray

                  Want to find out whats going on in that last BTS image?? Head on over to Tyler’s Tumblr and he’ll tell you all about it!


                    IN PRINT | TYLER WARMS UP WITH SANUK

                    by Tom Nesbitt on April 28, 2014

                    With the polar vortex now behind us, it’s time to trade in our salt stained boots for flip flops. Tyler Gray was able to do so a little earlier than the rest of us, as sunny California was the location to shoot a campaign for Sanuk. What started as a pair of sandals made in a backyard shed, Sanuk has grown into an international footwear brand.

                    And now for a few words from Tyler……
                    Aside from the job itself and the fun I always have with these guys, the thing I’ll remember most about this job was the 6am LA style earthquake wake up call. Being from a place (Toronto) where “catastrophic” events range from snowstorms to ice storms, this scared the hell out of me. It was only a 4.7 but the epicenter was a short 6 miles away from where we were staying in West LA. Between that and the numerous beers Gabe and I had at Steingarten the night before I stumbled onto set a few hours later looking like Gary Busey. I took a good ribbing from Karin et al but was all in good fun. Never a dull moment.

                    Check out the final ads, and a little BTS below.

                    © Tyler Gray

                    Photographer: Tyler Gray
                    Client: Sanuk
                    Agency: Ignited
                    AD: Jeremy Carson
                    ACD: Karin Djelaj
                    ACD: Chris Schott
                    CD: Jordan Atlas
                    Print Producer: Sam Helpand
                    Exec Producer: Diego Espana
                    Assistant: Gabe Nivera

                    © Tyler Gray


                    Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


                    IMG_7200Images © Tyler Gray