There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea. You became the light on the dark side of the weekend.

There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea. You became the light on the dark side of the weekend.

Rudoji (thanks, J).

Domino, motherfucker!

Kids from around the world photographed with their toys (thanks, J).

Amazing promo made entirely from wood (thanks, J):

Where’s Wallace (Where’s Wally meets The Wire).

The Time Kanye and Ninja of Die Antwoord Played Basketball at Drake’s (thanks, D):

Now that’s how you pilot a drone (thanks, D):

This is fun:

 



ITIAPTWC Episode 34 – Caroline Pay

Caroline Pay has been one of the most successful UK creatives of the last twenty years, which obviously makes her one of the most successful female creatives of that time.

Her Mother partnership with Kim Gehrig made them the most awarded creatives in the UK.

Then BBH, her own place, W&K, Karamarama, becoming a mother, working at Mother (again), BBH (again) and now Valenstein and Fatt.

Great work, great agencies, but what runs through this chat like a stick of rock is Caroline’s burning ambition (‘I have to feed the monster!’).

You can hear all about that and…

Watford!

Working with Ben Tollett.

Kesselskramer.

Getting together with ‘hotheaded, ambitious’ Kim Gehrig.

Not happy if not winning.

Working with Alison Jackson.

Worried about being happy. Driven by being scared.

BBH.

Making your own agency up as you go along.

Wieden’s Tokyo (not much of Tokyo).

When maternity leave makes you realise you’re an ‘ambitious, career-driven show-off’.

Going back to ‘somewhere brilliant’.

But having to fly the coop back to BBH.

Shaping the work by shaping a department (it’s more complicated these days).

What was going on at BBH at that time?

And then the power-lady coupling at Valenstein and Fatt.

A responsibility to bring up the ‘female’ issue and create role models.

Grey=Mother+BBH

Here’s the chat, the iTunes link and the Soundcloud link (apologies: the first 5-10 seconds of our chat got cut off by gremlins), and a shit-ton of Caroline’s best work:



I am your possession unopened at your feet. There’s no balance, no equality. Be still I will not accept the weekend.

My friend is organising a weekend course for creatives of all types, run by actors. Check it out.

The Grey Plaque scheme (thanks, R&J).

Ghost signs:

25 best films of the century so far.

Same list from some top directors.

27 styles of rap (thanks, J):

Cool skyscrapers in remote Russia (thanks, D).



ITIAPTWC Episode 33 – Stef Jones

Stef Jones (along with his longtime creative partner, Tom Burnay) is the founder of Big Al’s Creative Emporium.

For those of you unaware, it’s that very rare thing: a successful ad agency founded and run by a pair of creatives.

How does that work? Well, have a listen to our chat and you’ll find out. If you still have any questions, do drop Stef a line at stef@bigalscreativeemporium.com or pop into Big Al’s Creative Emporium, 1st Floor, 77 Dean Street, London, W1D 3SH.

Otherwise, press play on your listening device and hear about the following…

The choice of paths in your thirties.

‘Better, quicker and costing less’.

Lots of starts and stops.

No premises, funding, staffing etc.

200 business cards as a metaphor for personalities.

Learn from lodging in a production company.

Little detour making a TV show.

Great creatives made available because they were squeezed from the new digital depts.

Creative client contact=smoothness.

Every client has their own level of creativity.

The three commandments.

Women ‘of a certain age’.

Once you commit the stars align.

Have lunch as cheaply as you can with as many people as you can.

Planning=somebody to tell you ‘why’.

Is it a big fucking hassle?

You either get it or you don’t.

Who finishes the work?

The Last Minute hypocritical anomaly.

Here’s the chat, the iTunes link and the Soundcloud link (apologies to you and Stef for a slightly abrupt ending, but it’s only a few seconds missing off the end).



Oh, oh, Sheila let me love you till the morning comes. Oh, oh, Sheila you know I want to be the weekend.

Walkable world map (thanks, D).

Scorsese on the power of movies.

40 years of hip-hop (thanks, A):

All 213 Beatles songs, ranked from best to worst (thanks, A).

This game looks interesting:

Best actor of all time:



Cameron Crowe

Last week I went to a talk at the Writers Guild of America. It was an interview between Winnie Holzman, writer of Wicked and My So-Called Life, and Cameron Crowe, writer of Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Say Anything and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, among many others.

He’s exactly as nice as he seems in this picture he kindly agreed to take with me (I had just thanked him for making Almost Famous, a movie that especially resonated with me and my wife when we saw it in LA just before getting married):

So here’s some of his advice:

Life is a better storyteller than you are. Just after moving into a new apartment Cameron heard a knock on the door. He opened it to find a man dressed in martial arts gear who introduced himself as Lloyd and proceeded to explain that kickboxing was the sport of the future. He invited Cameron to watch him fight but Mr. Crowe declined. When Lloyd left Cameron went back inside to tell his roommate what had just happened. His roommate asked what he was waiting for and told him to write it all down. Check out Say Anything.

He actually wrote Say Anything as a novella first. This was advice from James L. Brooks, who said it would mean he’d have a lot of background material to give his actors and lots of nuance to use in his script. Cameron found this very helpful.

He thinks that people really just tell the same story over and over, but from different perspectives.

His family motto was from Winston Churchill: Never, never, never give up.

The most satisfying writing you can do is have two characters look at each other and say nothing. That’s when you know you’ve written them well.

Choose your own music. Don’t come up with entire story then let some music supervisor add his own taste to your work (or even worse, the taste of what he thinks the audience might like).

He has a list of names for characters all ready. When he needs one he just calls them into action, as if they’ve been sitting on a subs bench.

You have to really earn an ‘on the nose’ line (such as ‘You complete me’) by building up to it in a way that makes the audience OK with accepting it.

This one isn’t advice, but he once interviewed Pete Townsend for Playboy. It was going to be a cover story but Pete thought that was the kind of thing you did at the end of your career. So Cameron explained that the alternative was a little 750-word piece with a small mention on the cover. Pete preferred that, but proceeded to give him a five hour interview, almost all of which couldn’t be used.

Thanks, Cameron.



ITIAPTWC Episode 32 – Brydon Gerus

Four years ago my good friend Brydon Gerus created an advertising award scheme called Adcan.

Unlike literally every other award scheme in the entire industry, it seeks to combine young, hungry creative people with briefs for companies that do GOOD THINGS©. It also taps into some of the best production companies in the world for support, opportunities and judging.

From Partizan and Rattling Stick to Psyop, Nexus and The Mill, many great production partners have signed up help Adcan grow. But they’ve also been joined by companies like Anonymous Content and Vice to give young creative talent as much exposure and support as possible.

If you’re interested in taking part (it’s free!), visit their site.

We discussed…

What Adcan is and how it started.

Why Cannes was a turnoff.

How to do good in the world.

And make a name for yourself.

The morality of advertising.

Advertising as a force for ‘good’.

Change from the inside.

How Adcan went from a thought to a reality.

Managing the partners.

The more Brydon tries to give Adcan away, the stronger it comes back.

The exposure it gives filmmakers.

The vision for the future.

Good Yin balancing out a questionable Yang?

Why awards?

How did they get the word out?

‘Using Creativity As A Force For Good.’

You need a team (big up Dan, Debs, Eric etc.).

Here’s the chat, the iTunes link and the Soundcloud link.

Cheers! x



We were talking about the space between us all. And the people who hide themselves behind the weekend.

Elle Fanning fan fanning etc. (thanks, S):

David Fincher Invisible Details (thanks, J):

The best albums of hip-hop’s golden age.

Trump Tripadvisor (thanks, P).

Making a cutting board with 3D effect (thanks, T).

Top five plot points of all time:

i think I’ve put this up before, but it bears repeating:



ITIAPTWC Episode 31 – Javier Campopiano

This week’s interview is with Javier Campopiano, Chief Creative Officer of Saatchi and Saatchi New York.

On the basis of his award-winning work and super-high-flying job, he’s a very worthy interview subject, but I also wanted to chat to him because he achieved all that from a starting point of Argentina. Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that South America is some kind of creative backwater – far from it – but I wanted to explore his story to see if the lessons we can take from it are universal. And indeed they are.

Javier has made great work and moved to the top of his industry, just like you’d like to. But his path could be anyone’s path; it just happened to start in Argentina.

So have a listen and you’ll see how that journey happened, with the following specifics…

Advertising = Business + Art.

Networking by fixing Macs.

The influence of Agulla y Baccetti.

Start your own company before you get a job.

Move jobs via tennis.

Or weddings.

The benefits of working abroad.

The rise of South America.

How awards affected networks and vice versa.

How to become an ECD and what to do when it happens.

The experience and effect of winning a Cannes Grand Prix at an agency you’ve left.

The pros and cons of winning awards.

Zombie grannies.

More moves to the US.

The power of ‘Nothing Is Impossible’.

Cracking the Superbowl for P&G.

Comedy/Darkness.

Here’s the chat, the iTunes link and the Soundcloud link:

And here’s some of Javier’s best work (more here):

 

 

 

 



It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities (1859).

After writing the best of times/blurst of times post below, I decided to look up the real quote.

It’s one of the greatest sentences ever written, it’s about comparing 1775 to 1859 and it’s skin-crawlingly relevant in 2017.