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!



            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



              by Westside on December 17, 2013

              Those of us who can recall the nauseating terror that was The Great Strike of ’09 have a pretty good idea of how much waste a major city can create on a weekly basis. We survived that summer, with sense of smell in tact, and hopefully learned a thing or two about how awesome it is to have your garbage removed once a week. It’s an unfortunate by-product of todays modern lifestyle – but while some do better than others with their waste – it’s most definitely a ‘crime’ committed by all.

              The City of Toronto has been working towards solutions to our dependency on garbage, with an end goal of reduced landfill use and a 70% waste diversion rate. According to their website, in 2012 single-family homes nailed it with a 66%, while apartment and condo dwellers warmed the bench with a less impressive 24%. In hopes of targeting this low number while raising awareness to the importance of proper sorting and disposal, Tyler Gray got together with Art Directors Dean Hore and James Grnak from Publicis to create the following multi format campaign.

              © Tyler Gray

              © Tyler GrayPhotographer: Tyler Gray
              Client: City of Toronto
              Agency: Publicis
              Art Directors: Dean Hore & James Grnak
              Producer: John Stevancec
              Assistants: Adnan Saciragic, Abe Roberto, & Alex Beetham

              In addition to the two ads and online motion piece, the campaign required Tyler and company to make the trip out to one of Toronto’s landfill sites to get some high-resolution pictures of trash. Glamorous? Not quite. Effective? Yes, as you’ll see thanks to these images provided by Pattison Outdoor.

              © provided by Pattison Outdoor

              © provided by Pattison Outdoor

              Producer John Stevancec joined the boys for the day at the dump, and between deep breaths managed to grab a couple shots of Tyler’s time with the glorious heap.

              TylerGray_CityofToronto_Dump01 TylerGray_CityofToronto_Dump02


              Big thanks to everyone involved in the campaign, with a nose plugged high-five to Assistants Abe and Adnan for trucking through the dump day like a couple of pros, and a special shout out to Pattison Outdoor for being kind enough to send us those transit pictures. If you’re in the mood for some more movement from Tyler, click on over to his freshly updated Motion portfolio at WestsideStudio.com!

              Images/Video © Tyler Gray
              Transit Images © Pattison Outdoor
              BTS © John Stevancec

              { 1 comment }

                IN PRINT | TYLER’S QUICK FIX

                by Westside on November 18, 2013

                Clinically proven to speed up the healing time on your frightful facial flaw, Abreva is there for those of us who – at some point (likely in childhood) – contracted the dreaded herpes simplex virus. Working with Brand Health‘s Mike Pezoulas, Tyler Gray was asked to shine some light at the end of the tunnel with the following one off.

                © Tyler GrayPhotographer: Tyler Gray
                Client: Abreva
                Agency: Brand Health
                Creative Director: Mike Pezoulas
                Stylist: Marie-Eve Tremblay
                Hair & Make-Up: Taylor Savage
                Producer: John Stevancec
                Assistants: Peter Olson & Gabe Nivera

                We’ve got a look at the work in print for you, but first here’s a peek behind the scenes featuring Peter’s sexy legs.

                © Tyler Gray© Tyler GrayAll Images © Tyler Gray


                  IN PRINT | EXPOS NATION

                  by Westside on September 24, 2013

                  One of the fonder memories of my youth is a 1994 road trip with my dad to Montréal, where along with my brother and dad’s buddy Jim, I got to see my first Major League Baseball game. Being from Halifax, where pro-level fan-ship tends to come from regional proximity, my brother and I were big Expos fans. They were the top team in baseball that year, and we had tickets to 2 games of a triple-header against the second place Atlanta Braves. Catchers Club seats for game one, 3rd baseline for game two, Ken Hill beat Greg Maddux and the Expos won both games. It was rad.

                  I left Montréal about as jacked up as a 10 year old can be, with high hopes that my Expos could help calm the tense Anglo/ Franco relations of Quebec, perhaps even do away with the separatist movement all together should they win the World Series. Then about a month later baseball went on strike, and to mine and many’s horror, Expos ownership threw away their team with a bunch of insane fire sales. My hopes and dreams for The ‘Spos died that year, and 11 year old me would later go on to site this as a primary reason behind the 1995 Referendum. With that – I stopped watching baseball.

                  Much time has passed since that summer, and I imagine many of us Expos fans have moved on with our lives, leaving behind a slew of ‘what if’s’ and ‘coulda beens’. But as Tyler Gray is about to show, turns out for many the dream is alive and well.

                  I got a call from Kate at ESPN Magazine back in mid July wondering if I could shoot the gathering of over 1000 hardcore Montréal Expos fans at the Sky Dome the following weekend. In short the Jays were playing the Rays and this hardcore “Expos Nation” group was trying to make an impression on MLB and sending a message that they wanted their team back.

                  © Tyler Gray

                  Considering the Tampa Bay Rays poor attendance and lousy management, this gathering was well calculated and certainly a big step toward luring a franchise back north of the border. Not knowing exactly what I was getting into, I was a bit hesitant in saying yes to Kate at first.

                  © Tyler Gray

                  This wasn’t a simple portrait in some dudes office. Would the roof be open? Could I bring lighting into the stadium? Would the fans give me what Kate wanted me to capture? These were all unknown variables that make editorial assignments very exciting but also insanely nerve racking. Ultimately everything worked out really well (as it always does) and we captured some really fun and cool moments. ~TG

                  © Tyler GrayPhotographer: Tyler Gray
                  Client: ESPN Magazine
                  Associate Photo Editor: Kate Marron

                  Of course with such an event taking place there was sure to be some news coverage, and sure enough Tyler can be spotted working away (wearing red) in media images from both Dave Abel (Toronto Sun) and Frank Gunn (Canadian Press). Here’s a look along with a tear from ESPN Magazine featuring some of Tyler’s work.

                  BBO Expos Fans Toronto 20130719TylerGray_MontrealExpos_ESPN_BTS02TylerGray_MontrealExpos_ESPN_Mag

                  Big thanks to ESPN’s Kate Marron for giving Tyler a great time with Expos Nation, and to Tyler for sharing the work. Enjoy the day folks.
                  Images © Tyler Gray
                  BTS Images © Dave Abel & Frank Gunn



                    by Westside on September 17, 2013

                    Getting older in life can be a scary thing if you put too much thought into it, so let’s not do that.

                    Instead, on behalf of Tyler Gray and Ground Zero, we invite you to take a look at some of the exciting options availible to those who need a bit of help on the day to day thanks to the leading provider of all things ‘senior living’, Revera Inc.

                    © Tyler Gray© Tyler GrayPhotographer: Tyler Gray
                    Client: Revera Inc.
                    Agency: Ground Zero
                    Art Director: Rick Perri

                    A quick look at the work on the web before we send you back to the day. Enjoy.

                    TGRiv_WebImages © Tyler Gray