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Ivan Cash, L’Oreal Draw ‘Inspiration’ from Streets of San Francisco

“If you could give one piece of advice to your childhood self, what would it be?” That’s one of the prevalent question being asked by artist/filmmaker Ivan Cash and his crew at Cash Studios, who were commissioned by cosmetics giant L’Oreal of all brands to make “a film about inspiration.” Rather than create an actual original film, though, Cash, the man who once told us that “reality is malleable,” to “stop making ads” and who was also a collaborator on the Couchella project from last year , turned his lens on the citizens of San Francisco to see what inspires them. As you’d expect, the four-minute film above features random strangers ranging from street musicians to former basketball coaches in SF sharing their thoughts on the aforementioned question or others like “What’s your greatest struggle?” and “what does inspiration mean to you?”

The New Age-y music combined with the people of San Francisco and the city scenery make for a very “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey”-esque effort, but what the hell, we could all perhaps use a little life-affirming insight from time to time. Of course, this type of project where Cash turns his camera on the people is nothing new for the man, as this SF project follows up his film from last year in NYC, where he asked people what the “Last Photo” on their phone was. While different in concept and tone  of course, Cash’s two efforts on two coasts follow the same basic template and leave us wondering if his next short film will do the same and take somewhere in between. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Credits after the jump.

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The Richards Group, MPC’s ‘Godzilla’ FIAT Spot Goes Viral

The Richards Group teamed up with production house MPC Creative for a new FIAT campaign featuring the King of Monsters, Godzilla.

The 45-second spot utilizes the film asset of the CG Godzilla crafted by MPC Film Warner Bros. for the Godzilla reboot (which couldn’t possibly be worse than the last attempt at rebooting the franchise) hitting theaters today, with CG of Godzilla crafted by MPC Film. In the spot, Godzilla eyes a FIAT, shoves it in his mouth and then spits it out, which prompts the “It’s a lot bigger than you think” tagline. The spot has proven a huge success, racking up over 5 million views since its debut less than 2 weeks ago. That’s not too surprising, as it’s a pretty fun tie-in that manages to balance promoting Godzilla and FIAT pretty well. Stay tuned for credits after the jump. Read more

Toronto Shop Bemoans ‘Stupidification of Society’ in Short Films for TED Event

We here at the Spy couldn’t help but be reminded of Mike Judge‘s highly underrated 2006 film, Idiocracy, when checking out these shorts from Toronto-based agency, Capital C. The shop paints a bleak portrait of a social media-addled future hinged on 6-second sound bites versus long-form content and one which lacks any thought-provoking communique. Yes folks, behold the “Stupidification of Society,” which Capital C created pro-bono for the  TEDxColumbiaSIPA conference that took place in New York on May 8. According to the agency’s chief creative officer, Gary Watson, the films “The Vine Effect” (above) and “The Glass Era” (below) “…very much play into cultural and digital trends. Shortened attention spans. Technology overload. Things that get in the way of spending time with inspirational content that ultimately makes a difference in our lives.”

Short films lamenting the loss of longer-form content? Oh, the irony, but perhaps that’s the point of all this to begin with. Full credits after the jump.

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Logan Expands Into Film and Television

lpCreative studio and production company Logan is expanding, with a new content development arm called Logan Pictures.

Logan Pictures is launching with “a diverse slate of film, television, and new media projects,” including the company’s first feature film, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, the film was met with critical acclaim at Sundance Film Festival 2014 and kicked off the 2014 New Directors/New Films Festival at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Logan Pictures will be led by producer Nick Moceri with oversight from Logan founders Ben Conrad and Alexei Tylevich.

“Logan Pictures gives us the opportunity to explore an entire new spectrum of production,” said Conrad. “With a festival-favorite already under our belt, it’s clear that our team harnesses the talent and vision to produce visually-appealing and emotionally-captivating film concepts in a new era of truly innovative feature films and avant-garde artistry.”

Wing Showcases Power of Film for Havana Film Festival

This weekend, Wing (once again: not that Wing) created a new campaign for the Havana Film Festival, taking place April 3-11 in New York.

Wing’s goal for the campaign was to “show that the films developed at the Havana Film Festival showcase authentic stories and characters — so much so that its storylines stick and resonate with audiences beyond the time spent in the theatre.” To accomplish, they created a pair of television spots in both 30 and 15 second formats, in addition to full-length versions on Havana Film Festival’s website. These spots attempt to show the staying power of the Havana Film Festival’s movies, showing a couple of individuals projecting stories from the films they saw onto people in their day to day life. For example, a hairdresser doles out sympathy (and extra highlights) for her customer, because, she says, “I know the nightmare you are living.”

The second spot, “Office,” gives a similar treatment to the work environment. The results are a bit over the top, as the premise spills perhaps a bit too far into the absurd. It appears the spots reference real films in the festival, though, leaving viewers to wonder how the story ends, which is a nice touch. Both versions of each TV spot will air in the tri-state area in both English and Spanish until the end of the festival on April 11th. You can watch the full-length version of “Beauty Parlor” above, and stick around for “Office,” along with credits, after the jump. Read more

72andSunny Marries X-Men, Bacon for Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s

72andSunny have launched a new campaign for Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s’ X-Tra Bacon promotional tie-in for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, which premieres May 23rd.

The X-Men themed campaign from 72andSunny features appearances from iconic characters using their mutant powers to take down the extra bacon on the  Western X-Tra Bacon Cheeseburger and X-Tra Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit. 72andSunny’s campaign kicks off with “Mystique” in which Mystique takes on the Western X-Tra Bacon Cheeseburger, morphing into just some dude who loves Carl’s Jr. and back over the course of the spot. Additional spots starring two more characters yet to be revealed will be unveiled this April.

In addition to the broadcast campaign, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are inviting fans to engage in “X-Men Digital Makeover.” By submitting a photo of themselves eating or drinking at a Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s, on Instagram using the hashtag #EatLikeYouMeanIt (#That’sWhatSheSaid, replies @MichaelScott) fans get a chance of receiving a mutant makeover transforming them into an X-Men character. Stick around for campaign credits and the actual trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past after the jump. Read more

JWT Toronto Plugs Canadian Film Festival in Zombie-Themed Spot

JWT Toronto worked with director Jonathan Bensimon to create the above zombie-themed spot promoting the Canadian Film Festival, which runs from March 20-22.

The 2:49 effort follows the story of Antoine Zombé, a zombie actor who is an actual zombie and also happens to be Canadian (so he’s a polite zombie). “Canadian Zombie” traces Antoine’s career arc from his early days struggling with auditions — “More zombie, less polite Canadian,” one director tells him — to his success as a movie star (complete with zombie takes on popular hits, like “Raging Zombie,” “Eating Private Bryan,” and “I, Zombie.” It’s a fun, tongue-in-cheek approach to promoting the Canadian Film Festival, where “The films are great” and, like Antoine, “they just happen to be Canadian.” Stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

Saatchi LA Concludes Muppets Campaign for Toyota Today

Saatchi & Saatchi LA released the latest online video for their Muppets Toyota campaign yesterday, featuring Kermit and Pepe filling up at a gas station en route to the premiere of Muppets Most Wanted in Los Angeles. The campaign, which began with the Muppets at the Super Bowl and followed them on a schlep across the country as they posted images on Facebook and Instagram en route to their film’s premiere, concludes today as the Muppets pull up to the red carpet at the Muppets Most Wanted premiere.

The new video, one of four released for the campaign thus far (we imagine there may be one more filmed on the red carpet), sees Kermit and Pepe shooting the shit with gas station attendants, and even hitting on some ladies. Notably, when Kermit mentions that Miss Piggy will like it that they get the windshield cleaned, Pepe badmouths her and says she’ll just make the inside dirty anyway. Kermit can’t help but agree. Upon leaving the station, the pair realize they may or may not have actually filled up the tank.

The spot is kind of fun, but leaves a lot to be desired (it doesn’t help that they already did a gas station spot with Pepe). Maybe it’s just that I have high expectations for all things Muppets, but it feels like there was the opportunity for something more here. The other videos released for the campaign elicit much the same reaction, although Rolf and Rizzo’s video is a slight step up. It’s great to see the Muppets in action, and these are far from terrible, but I wish Saatchi and Toyota could have done more with the opportunity. Stick around for a pair of Saatchi LA’s other Muppet spots for Toyotoa, along with credits, after the jump. Read more

Red Urban, Volkswagen Tell the Story of a Still-Running 1955 Beetle

When they stumbled upon archival pictures of a man and his 1955 Beetle, Volkswagen Canada and Toronto-based agency Red Urban realized they had a story to tell. As it turns out, that story is pretty amazing. They tracked down the man in the photo, Paul Loofs, who has driven the car around the world three times. Amazingly enough, that car is still running.

So Volkswagen Canada and Red Urban teamed up with Academy-nominated director Hubert Davis to tell his story in an (approximately) 30-minute documentary film. That documentary, Once More, The Story of VIN 903847, premiered on Discovery Channel and Bravo in January and is featured above (not a bad way to spend a lunch break). It tells the story of Loof’s unlikely, low-budget solo treks around the globe, which included many obstacles and unexpected, fortuitous events. Loofs eventually sold the car back to Volkswagen for use in an advertising campaign. A man named Emmanuel Thuillier bought the car and tracked down Loofs on the Internet, then surprised him by reuniting him with the vehicle for the first time since 1967.

“We feel that it really speaks to our fans, not only reinforcing the emotional connection so many people have to the brand, but celebrating the truly remarkable stories that so many of our owners have. It is not so much about a single car, although this Beetle is remarkable, it is more about how one car connects so many different people and their experiences, proving itself as The People’s Car,” said Volkswagen Brand Marketing manager, Lynne Piette. The documentary will continue to air on Discovery Channel and Bravo until February, with the following showtimes:

Bravo
Saturday February 22nd at 1PM
Discovery
Sunday February 16th at 8:30AM
Sunday February 23rd at 6:30AM
Friday February 27th at 6:30PM

B-Reel Premieres Short Film at Gothenburg Int’l Film Festival

Living_Soul_5_550_1001Production company B-Reel recently premiered their film “A Living Soul” — directed by noted commercial and music video director Henry Moore Selder – at the Gothenburg International Film Festival, receiving an honorary mention from a jury who declared ““For a film with outstanding use of visual effects, it manages to visualize mind-boggling existential questions in a manner equally playful, hilarious and poetic.”

Selder was pleased with the film;s reception, stating that it was “great that the jury motivation highlights the seriousness of the questions that the film poses, while acknowledging the humour involved. This is the exact combination that drew me to the source novel in the first place!”

“A Living Soul” will make its international premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France this weekend. Based on P.C. Jersild’s controversial 1980s sci-fi novel, the film “follows the subjective perspective of Ypsilon, a human brain being kept alive artificially.” B-Reel is calling the film a “Novella Film” (which is not a term I’ve ever seen before, but I’m assuming means it’s longer than a typical shorter and shorter than a typical feature length film). The production company worked in collaboration with “Hungarian prosthetics and [animatronic] master-minds Filmefex Studios” and VFX production company Swiss and Chimney. Head here for the trailer, and stick around for credits after the jump. Read more

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