• 6.24.16   Shotopop Wants to Annoy You

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    Do you know what’s really annoying? Because Shotopop does, and they’re using it to sell coffee. In their latest piece for Maxwell House, the creative agency brought to life an insufferable cup of fancy coffee that they made precisely to piss you off. “We tried to make the character as annoying as possible with the voice over, his mannerisms, the way he moves, and the way he speaks,” says Casper Franken of Shotopop. They did this for a really good reason: Maxwell House stamps out the character at the end. After all, Maxwell House has always been the coffee for regular people and it’s time we saw regular people win instead of the elite. We get to see that with a simple Cup o’ Joe. In execution, creating the super-annoying cup of coffee was actually quite complex. Shotopop had to balance aesthetic wishes with material limitations. So they used stop-motion, photography, and CGI to bring together a comprehensive visual experience. Ultimately the annoying dude was made entirely out of CGI so they could have him perform actions that they wouldn’t be able to do with any other medium (and hit their deadline). “We decided to go with a 3D approach so we could keep the character a little more flexible,” Casper says. “If you look closely at the character there’s actually some motion that’s a little unrealistic in terms of what paper could actually do but it brings a little more life to him.” Whether he’s fluffing his foamy coif with a whisk or blowing himself a kiss while taking a selfie, the agility that Shotopop found by bringing him into a 3D space made it a successful endeavor. This video will be seen all throughout the Chinese market, and with that different audience comes different expectations. Shotopop noticed a different, more vigorous work ethic from their partners in Asia, and with that came a really positive experience. “We had a good time collaborating with them,” he says. “It was our first proper 3D animation character, and it was a good one!” They were able to hit a couple birds with one stone all while making a memorable character for a very funny spot. Even if it’s a little annoying!
  • 6.28.16   Christmas in June for Jeremyville and Kiehl’s

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    The holidays come earlier and earlier every year. And honestly, today we’re a part of the problem. It’s June and we’re already telling you about one of our artist’s holiday projects, but we couldn’t hold the secret anymore. This winter Jeremyville is debuting his collaboration with Kiehl’s in an unprecedentedly huge collection that runs the gamut from beauty projects to accessories. Jeremy applies his signature playful look mixed in with traditional Holiday imagery bringing the season’s joy with a splash of silly. Jeremyville created a series of tessellating prints that play off wrapped gifts, stars and holly, and tree ornaments, that will be featured on traveling toiletry bags and gift boxes for any well chosen gift. He’s also created a winter ice skating scene that will grace a similar box. Inside these boxes and bags, customers will be able to place their, Crème de Corps, Calendula Herbal Toner, and Ultra Facial Cream that also feature designs by Jeremy on the packaging. The exchange of gifts every holiday season is guaranteed to leave smiles in its wake, but with Jeremyville’s work included on these items the smiles are sure to be that much brighter.
  • 6.27.16   Marc Hom Catches Norman Reedus

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    Norman Reedus is the surprise star of The Walking Dead, AMC’s currently most popular show. When he began on the show he was a supporting character whose personality was mostly defined by the crossbow he held in his hands. But over the intervening seasons his unique relationships and quiet manner have made him a fan favorite, inspiring a vicious passion from his base. Part of Reedus’ draw is his enigmatic energy that is personal, but draws on for his professional life. He follows a path that is set inside of, that is mysterious even to those closest to him. In their latest issue, Men’s Journal wanted to highlight some of the few things that are clear about Reedus to the rest of his: his love for motorcycles. Using that as a root, Marc Hom met up with Reedus in Louisiana to get the best picture of him possible (both photographic and conceptual). Often, magazine shoots that are paired with lengthy profiles are high concept and about executing ideas more than they’re about giving us a better idea of who the subject is. In this case, it wasn’t a question. Reedus’ newest project is a documentary series that is centered around motorcycle culture, something that Reedus has been a part of for decades. So Marc and Reedus met down in New Orleans just as he was wrapping up the last episode of the series. They found an old vintage gas station and fitted it out to look just like a mechanic’s shop. Reedus has spent a fair share of his private life around motorcycle mechanics, so although it was a set up for an image, it was something that he was totally comfortable with. Then they went on the road, both figuratively and literally, setting Reedus up in a tent and getting him in action on his bike. Even if Reedus is beyond our understanding, at least we can understand a part of his world and his experience. At least we can see a part of a shared vision, and thanks to Marc we get at least that.
  • 6.22.16   Craig Ward Balances a Creative Mix for Starbucks

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    There’s a reason you’ve probably never seen a Starbucks commercial. Their brand recognition is some of the best in the world (plus all those strangely misspelled names on social media are doing the job of a huge campaign without any of the cash). But every now and then Starbucks wants to bring attention to something new they’re working on, and for their latest foray into cold brew coffee they asked Craig Ward to help them spread the news. We don’t have to tell you that Starbucks knows what it’s doing when it comes to the confluence of coffee and customers, but cold brew has captivated the caffeine-addled masses in ways a java trend hasn’t in a long time. That’s for good reason. Craig wanted to take that energy and make it palatable in a visual way for a company with the international responsibility that Starbucks has.  “My task was to come up with a bunch of ways for these titles and headlines to interact with the footage that was happening behind them,” Craig says. As their House Made Vanilla Cream hits the coffee it explodes as a white addition to the clear black coffee. The visual was already there so it was up to Craig to communicate the information that Starbucks needed to teach its customers, while still playing with the beauty in the mixture. He created a tension of movement and stillness, the clear hard lines of type against the natural action of the ingredients. Those visual contradictions draw us in and keep us watching. For a spot that will be mostly seen online where distractions are unrelenting, these visual cues are crucial to the job. Striking that balance can sometimes be a heavy lift, but Starbucks gave Craig and 72 and Sunny (the creative agency involved with the project), a very specific set of parameters to help guide them. “The challenging part was, as always, treading the line between legibility and communication,” Craig explains. Craig found that line and then worked with his own team to execute it exactly the way he needed it done. Once they wrapped it up it was time to share it with the world. As it zips around from one corner of the internet to the other, Craig couldn’t be more pleased. “Of course, it’s always nice to be involved in a big project,” he says with a laugh. Cheers!
  • 6.21.16   Platon's 'Service' at Milk Studios

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    When Platon began photographing Army recruits at the beginning of their training, his goal was to get a glimpse at what they go through. What he found was a meditation on loyalty and sacrifice. "I wanted to find out what happens when you're asked to do something and you do it - and it's very dangerous, and the sacrifices you make,” Platon explained to NPR. “This is where I learned about the other side of leadership, which is service." The resulting series, SERVICE, shows us what he found and teaches us how we should understand the 2% of Americans who uphold the mantle of this service.  What brought Platon to this project was his recognition of power structures in the world, and the vacuum that certain systems left open. Some of Platon’s most recognizable images are of powerful people like Putin, Clinton, and Gaddafi. But these people represent a very small piece of how we operate as a species. “I think at one point I had photographed maybe 160 or 170 of the world’s leaders,” Platon tells Milk. “I had seen up close and personal that sense of supremacy, but there’s another side of leadership, and that is service. To be a good leader, technically speaking, you are a servant of the people.” Platon wasn’t seeing that service in the broader media, so he took it upon himself to change that. Platon spent years exploring these themes and following the lives of service members through their training and into their tours of duty, sometimes meeting their families after the service members didn’t come home. His new book acts as a compendium of the images he captured, but this week marks the opening of his show SERVICE on display at Milk Studios.  SERVICE is on view June 22 to July 24 at Milk Studios, 450 West 15th Street, on the ground floor. For Milk Studios’ full hours click here.  Platon will be available to answer your questions about his process and the SERVICE project this Thursday, June 23rd. He’ll be sitting with Elisabeth Biondi, the former Visuals Editor of The New Yorker. Come by Milk Studios at 450 West 15th Street, in New York City, 7-9pm. If you’d like to attend this talk please RSVP on the other side of this link.
  • 6.28.16   Jenny Wichman Makes Magic

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    The trick with still life is that an image needs to tell a story without including a living being. It’s the arrangement of objects, the play of colors and textures, and the contrast and blending of each of these elements that comes together to make an arresting image. Prop Stylists are the artists who make this balance possible, and Jenny Wichman is at the top of her game. Her unique style allows her to create incredible compositions with the photographers she works with, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to the roster at Bernstein & Andriulli. Jenny always brings a playful eye to each of the images she helps create, blending reality with unexpected textures that highlight bold colors and attractive shapes. She knows just the right way to imply personality and carve contours using nothing but the materials and products she has within reach. She makes magic from the ordinary. Jenny’s clients include Bloomingdales, Nautica, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Kate Spade, Surface Magazine and Paper Magazine.  Please join us in welcoming Jenny Wichman to Bernstein & Andriulli.
  • 6.23.16   Joey L Gets Real for Lifetime

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    “I don’t care what it is, I always like working with her no matter what,” photographer Joey L. says about Ilene Block, the Creative Director at Lifetime Television who recently asked Joey to shoot their campaign for UnREAL's second season. The TV drama lifts the curtain that covers the inner workings of reality television. Rather than focusing on the antics in front of the cameras it dissects how reality TV shows are put together, replete with the manipulations and machinations that make the on screen chemistry burn. Good television requires drama and when the drama doesn’t show up naturally it has to be inspired. The two main character of UnREAL, as producers of their own reality show, must make the drama happen whether it’s authentic or of their own creation.  Two portraits support the main image that Joey captured, one each of the main characters. In the set up of taking these photographs, Joey has created more than just a portrait; he has built multiple layers. Joey usually sits with his subjects and draws out of them authentic moments that he captures on film. This time he sat with real people and drew out their characters. It’s a unique creative challenge that he struck with some masterful lighting. “We balanced the lights to match the light that was emanating off the TV. On their set they were shooting with constant light so flashes balance that daylight,” he explains. The two colors - the blue from the TV and the yellower natural light - show the conflicts these women face as they strike their own balances between real lives and the ones they manufacture for television. As its core, reality TV is a feint at reality. Even in the rawest form of drama, documentary, production has a real effect on the results and that’s something that Joey knows very well. When he’s not shooting commercial work he often takes the role of a documentarian, like on his recent trips to Kurdistan and the Omo Valley. As a photographer he gets as close as possible to showing life as it is, but there’s always going to be some change purely because of his presence. “No matter what you do whenever you bring a camera somewhere to document it you’re changing the reality because you are documenting it,” he says. “The very act of taking a photo and not doing anything to it is implying something in itself.” He’s describing The Observer Effect - when a subject feels a camera on them, their behavior will change, however subtly. In documentary, like what Joey does, they lessen the effect as much as possible. But in reality TV, and in UnREAL, the directors and producers use that effect to their greatest benefit. It’s the heart of their drama, and for UnREAL that’s attracted acclaim and a Peabody Award. It’s an examination of this cultural phenomenon and a recontextualization how we think about our own displays of “reality.”
B&A Instafeed
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