Understanding the daily struggles faced by those who work in advertising, Tyler Gray has a new mailer that’s soon to be headed to many-a creative mailbox in hopes of sharing his understanding for those strong soldiers who allow him to do what he loves.
With the assistance of Anand Iyer and Dave Pigeon from Red Lion, Tyler has created three unique blends of coffee, each specifically designed to help its recipient take that small moment every morning and remember that Tyler Gray Knows I’m Special.
With the first half of the NHL season being lost to lockout, there wasn’t a whole lot happening in the ad world with regards to hockey related advertising. Fortunately with that whole mess behind us, our beloved game is once again part of our daily routine, and in celebration we close out Tyler’s TGIW takeover with some new work for two big name players in the Ontario gaming scene.
To get you in the game we’ll start off with Tyler and Marshall Fenn‘s overtime nail biter for Casino Rama, before sending the puck Mr. Gray’s way for a word.
I shot 3 hockey based campaigns during the lockout, these two here plus Proline, all in speculation that the lockout would be resolved. Fallsview had been on the shelf since late august so was nice to have the boys back to keep the ads rolling. ~TG
Part duex of Tyler’s quest of TGIW domination takes us to the depths of ‘merica – Nevada to be precise – where Tyler and his camera spent some time in both, the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon State Park’s, creating the following off road PHOTOGASM. Give the images a click to get a closer look at the rugged terrain and don’t forget to stay tuned for part three of Tyler Gray Is a Workaholic!
In our first of three installments of todays TGIW (Tyler Gray Is a Workaholic), our hero pairs up with Doug & Serge‘s Mike Jones, and brings a fresh look to the promotional material of Formula 2000 racer, Dalton Kellett.
Here’s Tyler to tell you more.
Sometimes the coolest ideas are spilled over a pint of frothy brew at a local watering hole. In this instance, Mike Jones and I were at Allen’s on the Danforth a while back sipping Guinness and mulling over ideas for shooting Dalton. It’s not that often that I become overly involved in initial creative but once in a while I get lucky. We discussed several ideas and direction and almost immediately both settled on the thought of using a non discript simple and visually graphic industrial background with some heavy mood and atmosphere. Race car? Mood? Atmosphere? The only thing missing was some fire. ~TG
As the cover story in this weeks edition of The Grid, writer Danielle Groen brings an intimate look at the life of The Cashman, in a nice profile piece titled Thirteen ways of looking at Russell Oliver. Accompanying the article are some images from our very own Tyler Gray, who jumped at the opportunity to spend the day with Cashman, who befittingly dawned a gold suit for the occasion. Time for the work? OHHH YEAHHH!
A few years back, the City of Toronto launched a highly successful campaign featuring two stocky garbage collectors on a mission to ensure your electronic waste ended up in the appropriate receptacles. Well boys and girls, the dynamic duo of Chuck and Vince have returned with another reminder for all you Toronto residents – and while they still want your mahogany wrapped TV – this time their coming after your plastics.
The layouts for the shoot had Chuck and Vince waist deep in a pool of plastic, so when Dean and I were brainstorming the “how-to”, we figured the easiest way was to just build a pool and fill it with plastics. Boom! Easy-peasy. Aha, if only. While we didn’t end up building a full pool, we did the next best thing.
My assistant Peter put together a box frame and then was tasked with unpacking and forming all the plastic containers. Too many to count by the end, but he was all smiles as you’ll see in the BTS images. Ultimately we had Chuck and Vince stand in the middle of our box and build up the walls of plastic around them. I’d like to say something crazy happened, but it was a pretty strait forward shoot. Mike and Marty (Chuck and Vince respectively) are both really funny guys so the hardest part of the day was probably trying to not laugh all the time. ~TG
The week’s kickin’ off with some new work from Tyler Gray and The Hive. Tyler fancies himself somewhat of a writer these days and so we’ve handed off the pen and paper to the teen literary sensation. Take it away Mr. Gray.
I’ve been shooting the OLG Sports Guts with the dudes at The Hive for a few years now and have been dying to shoot these on location since day one. The OLG green background worked really well as part of their recognizable brand but this year we took it to a whole new level.
When Brad first mentioned the thought of shooting in a convenience store with the idea of following “iconic” sporting moments like Tiger Williams riding his hockey stick and the ever recognizable Heisman stiff arm – I just about did a back flip.
Enjoy, and stay tuned for the third and final ad in the series this coming spring.
Now time for a look at the day on set, where fun was had and a little skin was shown.
A little back story to that last one for you… Klint – being the hockey hero that he is – had sacrificed his body for his team the previous evening by taking a puck to the rump, leaving a battle scar he wasn’t afraid to show off. Ensuring his place as the manliest of men.
What follows is an excerpt from Tyler Gray’s upcoming novel, Shades of Gray. An in depth autobiography that recounts Tyler’s later years of adolescence, leading into his days of parenthood. Erotic, amusing, and brutally honest, readers will be given a unprecedented look at the unique life of the talented Mr. Gray.
A mear eight-teen years at the time, I found myself travelling the backroads of this great nation, alone and carefree. Those long stretches of abandoned asphalt come in handy when you’re doing 160km in a ‘borrowed’ Mustang. And said ‘borrowed’ Mustang comes in handy when you’re making a stop for gas at Billy Hill’s Gas Depot and notice Billy’s cute daughter sittin’ all by her lonesome.
We exchanged smiles while I filled up Blue Lightning (my name for the beast), which I guess Billy noticed from his perch behind the cash because by the time I had made my way inside to pay, the old man’s .22 Long Range had started gettin’ a fresh polish. Taking the hint, we did our business quickly and I made way back to Blue doing my best to avoid Elly May on the way. But didn’t I know she’d be trouble.
“Name’s Bessie,” she shouted with just the right amount of twang. An’ before I got a chance to say otherwise she was up front ridin’ shotgun and we were off with nothing but the warm summers’ night ahead of us….
For the cover of his latest literary work Tyler set out to recreate that fateful night with Bessie, and because he’s that kind of guy he sent along his image complete with dust jacket sleeve, featuring a portrait of the eloquent author at home.
For 80 years and counting Farmers Dairy has been a daily part of life for lactose loving Atlantic Canadians. To be honest I don’t even remember what the competing milk brand is back home in Nova Scotia, which coincidentally is exactly where Tyler Gray went to hang out with a few rad gals and a whole bunch of cows.
Here’s Tyler to show you the work and tell you his tale.
Why does a milking stool only have three legs? Because the cow has the udder. BMooooo!!! Pull up a chair, a cold glass of milk with a squiggly straw and tuck into the latest campaign for Farmers Dairy.
Having grown up just outside what was once the small farming community of Maple Ontario and once home to Shur Gain, Canada’s largest dairy research farm (pre Canada’s Wonderland and 4 lane roads), this job took me back to when watching the sun rise over a field of low lying fog was more important than the price of a litre of gas. At one point during the job, Vicki (the CD) had asked me what my ideal job to shoot was and in her disbelief I told her “this one”.
The night prior we all stayed in Truro, Nova Scotia. After a long day of shooting we barely made it into Greco Pizza for some late night eats, a round of pints, and selects, before finally tucking in at around 1am at the not so comforting Comfort Inn. The following day I wanted to shoot Farmer Dean with his big white beard at sunrise so up and at ‘em at 4:30am, into the van, grab a coffee and with burning eyes we start the 45 minute trek through Nova Scotia’s rolling interior to Middle Musquodoboit and that glorious facial hair.
The roads wound through small virtually non existent farming communities; the sun started to rise with an amazing cool palette of colours as we drove up and down through pastured valley’s full of rolling fog with Dire Staits “Walk of Life” (not necessarily fittingly but memorably) playing on the radio. Ahead of schedule we arrived at Dean’s farm to shoot the stills and some pre roll spots. I walked out behind his barn and sat in the pasture next to the corn field a few hundred yards out and took in the moment.
The late night, the polyester sheets at the hotel, and the 3 1/2 hours of sleep were all pushed out as I sat there and watched a huge 150 year old (extremely rare) American Elm appear and disappear through the fog on the other side of the field. I watched a huge Black and Yellow Argiope Spider in his dewy zipper-looking web, deep in the fence row next to me. I could hear the quiet odd rustle of the corn leaves in the next field over, the sun was just starting to come up over the east side of the barn and I absorbed it all like a sponge.
Anyway, going back to Vicki’s question, yes, this is why this is my ideal job. Contrary to to how I’m making it sound, this was actually an extremely hectic and busy shoot. We drove over 800KM in 3 days and shot both stills and pre roll video but I guess my point is, often its the tiny and sometimes short moments that make the experience. Huge thanks to Vicki at M5, Krysta at Wavelight, and of course the whole crew who all added their mark to this project.
As mentioned above, there was also some motion work on the docket for Tyler and his merry band of milkers. Short, sweet, and to the point, the spots bring further emphasis to the love we share for farmers and what they provide our bellies on a daily basis.
When Tyler and crew we’re packing up to head off on their journey, I gave both he and Gabe very specific instructions that I wanted to see LOTS of behind the scenes images – that way I could get really nostalgic, miss my mom, and show off some of that beautiful Nova Scotia scenery. The boys didn’t disappoint.
When Zac Muir-Vavrina from INNOCEAN informed Tyler Gray that their assignment from KIA Canada would require that he return to college, T-Dogg showed up to their pre-pro meeting 15 minutes late, whiskey breathed, and wearing a toga. Fortunately for Tyler the pre-pro wasn’t actually until the following day and when he arrived (on time) the receptionist didn’t seem to recognize him without his traditional Roman garb.
It was here that Tyler learned what Zac really meant by his back to school comment. Team GRAY-OCEAN would be taking over a local frat house in order to create the following ads as part of the KIA Grad Program, where the auto-maker is calling on students to show them their latest innovations. There’s prizes and money giveaways so if your still in school you might want to check out their Facebook Page. Here’s the work.
Photographer: Tyler Gray
Client: KIA Canada
Art Director: Zac Muir-Vavrina
Copywriter: Freddy Nduna
Producer: John Stevancec
Assistants: Aric Guite & Drew Grav-Graham
Here’s a look at one way you might find Tyler’s images in use.