Amazing year for NASS Festival. Huge thanks to all who helped pull together the look and feel including Upfest, Hot Soup House, True Concept. More to follow!
Thank you to the folk at Lignum for creating the custom trophies for our 2017 WSL surf contests.
Using local sustainable materials and craft was important to us. Local surfboard shapers Lignum sourced the timber for the project from a supplier based in Dartmoor, Devon. The timber of choice was Elm and Ash, both grown and harvested in the South West, from plantations established over 100 years ago. The stringers were made from offcuts generated from their surfboard building business.
They used in-house CAD/CAM to create the shape of the iconic Boardmasters 'B' icon, then sanded the timber by hand and finished the trophies with natural linseed oil to bring out the rich colour and grain of the wood.
It is great to have such passion and authenticity going into a key part of our surf competition, and the trophies were really appreciated by the winners. Using ecologically-friendly natural products is a key part of our brand ethos, and to have locally-sourced wood crafted by pro shapers into the Boardmasters symbol has given us an iconic trophy that represents the key values of the brand.
Boardmasters worked with Marley to create a limited edition Edition Get Together Mini. A scaled down version of the classic Get Together Speaker, the Get Together Mini packs a lot of power into a small package. Crafted from sustainable materials, the bamboo face and rewind fabric, it doesn't sacrifice solid performance or a great-looking design.
Congratulations to all 2017 NASS winners across all skate & BMX events. They were presented with custom-made engraved medals and bespoke trophies with laser-etched black anodised aluminium base, featuring artwork from illustrator Squirl.
Great to have Fanakapan and Cheba onboard creating some beautiful balloons at NASS Festival 2017.
NASS (6th – 9th July 2017) is a unique festival in the UK events calendar, providing a celebration of key passion areas within street culture: music, skate, BMX and street art. Showcasing some of the best urban acts, artists and athletes on offer, the festival at Bath & West combines high-octane action sports with big tunes and night time revelry, all with a backdrop of top quality art.
The creative team were keen to combine these elements for 2017’s artwork, so set about finding the ideal artist to collaborate with. The chosen man was Greg Stobbs AKA Squirl, part of the Lost Souls crew, who was the perfect fit as he is both an illustrator and street artist. It was the best of both worlds: assets were provided to us in a format that was easy to use and adapt, and we knew he could translate the artwork onto 20-foot-high walls for any announcements or onsite. He had also previously painted with us at the festival, so had a good sense of what the event represented and it helps that he is a lovely chap. Due to his large variety of illustration styles, we worked together to choose and develop the ideal route – one that was fun but with a dark side.
We discussed the brief over a few beers and a theme emerged. The festival represents urban culture but is located on a greenfield site. Even though our audience can skate and ride much of the site, the large amount of grass and trees gives it the feeling of a classic camping festival. We wanted to capture both sides in the creative, so together we developed this idea of a post-apocalyptic urban world that was overgrown and inhabited by strange souls representing different parts of the event. Think Twelve Monkeys meets Spirited Away with a sprinkling of Ghostbusters.
Greg found his thinking fitted well with what we were after:
"I painted at NASS in 2016 with the Lost Souls so had a good feel for the festival. Working with the creative team made it much easier to get the visual vibe, and after a solid meeting talking about how you would skate a post-apocalyptic world, it felt like my work could fit pretty much perfectly with the kind of characters you find at NASS. I had a loose leash creatively that gave me the freedom to take it my own way, whilst knowing that the NASS team had the skills to pull a lot of the elements together into a cohesive set of designs. Now I'm looking forward to getting some of this stuff up, large-scale on site."
Combining the core pillars of NASS (music, action sports and street art) is always the team's goal when showcasing the event, and this is particularly true with this years' announcement videos. The festival's first release saw headliner Pendulum stencilled onto a canvas of ten skate decks amongst Squirl's festival creative, to the backdrop of their monster hit ‘Tarantula’, and to date has had more than 410,000 views on Facebook.
The eight characters covered every requirement for the festival's promotion - skate, BMX, music, street art, photography, hedonism and camping - bringing both consistency and flexibility. The background assets were provided in vector form as clusters and individual elements as the NASS team would be rolling the artwork out across all touch points, from website and social channels to print ads and video content.
It is always a pleasure working with talented artists who add something extra at every stage. I’m excited to be rolling this artwork out, not least at the festival site, where we plan for Greg to paint these awesome characters somewhere huge onsite: either on 14 foot ramps or all over NASS’s pub (the Truck & Bearing).
Onsite, NASS collaborates with Bristol-based Upfest, Europe’s largest street art & graffiti festival. In 2016 the site was transformed by street art from some of the UKs best graffiti artists, muralists and stencillers including Captain Kris, Si Mitchell, SPZero76, Squirl, Loch Ness, Paul Monsters, Voyder, Lemak, Kid30, Lokey, Soker, MOA and more. Find out more about NASS street art here.
NASS Festival takes place 6th – 9th July 2017 with headliners Method Man & Redman, Pendulum and Kano. Tickets are available online. Street artists can apply to paint at the festival here.
Here are two skate contest crests designed for NASS Vert and NASS Pro Park.
The aim was to elevate the competititons and to give them an identity that can be built on year on year. Looking forward to overseeing the roll out, including the inclusion of sponsors, social content, onsite branding and potentially some custom trophies.
A few highlights from a very successful Boardmasters Festival. With specific thanks to my creative team Indra Waughray, Callum Chambers, Wario and Lucy Hall.
I'm proud to have designed the Boardmasters 2016 headwear range in collaboration with Starter. Below are some pics of just some of the designs.
Have a gander at our Vision Nine activation at the Sports Direct annual conference to launch Puma's new Tricks football boots. Included a human-sized pinball football table, with re-active LED lighting and sound, alongside live sound effects/commentary, and a number of pinball-style targets and obstacles. Guests had to shoot the ball and hit the targets to score points, which were added up on the leader board. In addition to this we installed a changing room locker area, temporary grass flooring, graphic wrapped walls, full AV and conference area.
Built by Vince Creative.
Epic artwork from a collection of ace artists. Lost Souls, Loch Ness, Paul Monsters, Also, Voyder, Lokey, Hass, SledOne, MOA and My Dog Sighs amongst many others.
Virtual reality (VR) is here. It has a platform. And it’s starting to get very interesting.
When virtual reality is mentioned, it’s hard to avoid thoughts of dodgy graphics from early 90’s drug-fuelled sci-fi flicks such as The Lawnmower Man (starring Pierce Brosnan, no less).
Luckily it has moved on a little since then – VR is no longer a playground for rich eccentrics, and like it or not, there’s no need for the light up lycra jumpsuits.
TAKING IT TO THE MASSES
So what’s changed? Put simply, it’s now accessible, and it’s no surprise that Google are leading the charge to take it to the masses. YouTube recently developed the ability for 360° videos to be uploaded and viewed (both via a head-mounted viewer and without), working in tandem with their Chrome browser. Impressive, but that’s not all as they have been hot on the product side also. Their collaboration with GoPro on ‘Jump’, has spawned an affordable filming rig to give more people the power to create 360° video, and they have also recently won a Cannes Lion for their low-budget origami-style viewer known simply as ‘Google Cardboard’. This houses your mobile device – your phone slides into the viewer and plays stereoscopic videos. Add headphones and you’re in a fully immersive experience on the cheap. The latest release of these viewers (created by Google engineers David Coz and Damien Henry in their ‘Innovation Time Off’) has better compatibility across devices (so not just Android this time), making the immersive ‘virtual reality’ version of the 360° experience even more accessible. Cardboard is also open source – Google are challenging manufacturers to improve on their work.
The YouTube development is the major game changer – its one billion users will provide brands with the masses that the best content deserves. 360° on YT may not be perfect just yet – it can be laggy on slower connections and (as with any medium) it relies heavily on the quality of the content itself. The experience without the head mounted viewer is far less immersive, however the ability to rotate your view by moving your device is pretty thrilling when first viewed. YouTube quickly introduced the option to switch to stereoscopic view (only on Chrome and Android currently), so that Google Cardboard can come into play to make the content fully immersive.
For those with a bit more budget, or wanting to showcase 360° content at one-off events, there are more extravagant options. Samsung VR is a more comfortable (and more expensive) version of Google Cardboard (but will only currently house a Galaxy Note 4) and Oculus Rift is the Facebook-owned, PC-based head mounted display that showcases custom built apps – currently aimed more towards developers and gamers.
But one could argue that it’s not necessarily the technology itself – the real magic is in its application. There is some great platform-exclusive content out there that deserves a greater audience, such as Mountain Dew’s skate experience and Dos Equis’ masquerade ball, both available on Oculus Rift.
THE ULTIMATE EMPATHY MACHINE
So it’s the easily-accessible VR options that arguably represent the greatest potential for brands due to the huge audiences on offer. Millions are flocking to view this content, despite much of it being limited to cheap thrills such as sky dives, Formula One laps and fighter jets. The consumer demand for this innovative new experience is clear, but how long will this last?
Specialist VR director Chris Milk talks about the medium being the ultimate empathy machine in his TED talk earlier this year. Clouds over Sidra, his video for the United Nations, followed Sidra, a 12 year old refugee in the Za’atari camp in Jordan. It was shown via Samsung VR to attendees at the World Economic Forum, all powerful people with the ability to make a change. “When you’re sitting there in her room watching her, you’re not watching it through a television screen, you’re not watching it through a window, you’re sitting there with her. When you look down, you’re sitting on the same ground that she’s sitting on, and because of that, you feel her humanity in a deeper way. You emphasise with her in a deeper way. I think we can change minds with this machine.” Put simply, Brands can harness this connection to provide their audiences with memorable, emotional experiences that leave a lasting impression.
THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Firstly, it is important to understand the limitations of 360° video – not least the potential for disorientation, claustrophobia and motion sickness. Not ideal. But those aware of what causes these can not only avoid these, but can actually create a comforting environment where the user is placed directly in the scene. Elements that detract from the realism need to be canned unless they are crucial to the narrative. Touch (you can’t feel it), POV limbs in shot (clearly not yours), jump cuts (takes control away from you), poor video stitching (a reminder that it’s not real) and neglecting the audio experience (reduces the immersive feeling) can all shatter the illusion. The best experiences cast the user as an inactive observer, or as having occupied someone else’s body. If done well, then an understanding of the limitations can become an advantage, heightening the experience as the action takes place around the viewer without a need for them to get involved.
The other key consideration is core reason the video is being made. Many 360° videos being released seem to have been signed off because there’s a wish to be seen as cutting edge due to the use of this new technology rather than its relevance to the content or narrative. Many of these would arguably work better as a non-360° POV video (best showcased by the brilliant, Cannes winning La Sortie en Mer experience). The content has to be relevant to the medium. Where have you taken the viewer? What are they looking at? Why would they want to be there?
When these are taken into account, you have the foundations for a successful 360° experience and the benefits of the format can come to the fore. An expert use of sound, space and subtle guides to move the viewer through the story (while still giving them control over what they are looking at) combine to make the viewer feel like they are reacting naturally to the new environment.
The Converse Chuck 360° app (now available online) puts the user in the world of four artists who each tell a story about how they approach their creative work. Not only does it give access to someone’s world, you can hear their narration as though it is an inner monologue. By varying the volume of this narration, the viewer’s attention is directed where the action takes place, as they naturally move focus to where the sound level feels most comfortable.
This clever use of specially recorded binaural sound (also known as spatial sound or 3D audio) adds an additional layer of believability to the experience – reinforcing the sense of space and ensuring the viewer doesn’t miss out on key narrative elements.
THE POWER OF STORYTELLING
When executed successfully, the experience goes far beyond the initial wow factor of the technology itself, and can transport the viewer to the perfect place to tell your story. Brands are already transporting customers into a first-hand experience of their product or service via 360° – looking around a property, exploring a museum, viewing the interior of a new car, or getting the best seat in the house on a TV show – but it will be those that manage to tell the most powerful stories that will stand out from the rest. If the user’s experience is put first and the brand message becomes the reason to view the technology’s capabilities, then you have a unique combination: their undivided attention, an emotional connection and award-winning potential.
Get in touch if you want to discuss a 360° video project. We work with some of the best tech partners in the business to create immersive worlds in which to tell brand stories that form an emotional connection with the user.
Flexible, lightweight and the ultimate in comfort, the 1979 Aztec OG. A stitch for stitch remodelling of this iconic shoe makes this bring-back a collector’s favourite. In the film, the Co-founder of Reebok, Joe Foster, re-visits the factory in Bury where the original Aztec was produced and explores the deep heritage and monumental impact the shoe had back in 1979, as well as discussing the importance of today’s eagerly anticipated return of the sneaker. Joe’s personal recollections are complimented by a modern take on the story from Crepe City’s Morgan Weekes, who details the relevance and importance of the shoe to the current sneaker community. 1,895 pairs were produced to celebrate 120 years of the brand.
Filmed by IncrediBull
Role: Art Director
I've been working on some top secret pitch work for a couple of upcoming Warner Brothers films including Batman vs Superman. I've never been a fan of Superman - he seems to have every superpower going. In a battle against an ageing man in a heavy metal suit, I'd presume Mr Kent and his laser eyes would be disappointed if he lost this one...
We are currently working on a video for a re-issue of a classic 70s runner. Watch this space!
We recently finished Skype's epic Avengers partnership campaign for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Fans from round the globe entered Skype group chats to win the chance to speak to the stars on a live group video call. The chats were filled with quizzes, challenges, messages form the stars and prizes and engagement results hulk-smashed all targets. We created all promotional material, collectible character cards (with cross platform treasure hunt), competition merchandise and downloads. See full project here
Messing around with a photo of the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg from our trip to NY a couple of years ago.
Our video showcasing the live group video call at the LA press junket for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
This shows the London junket, where fans from the official Skype group chats got their questions asked to the stars.