“We’ll add it in post”

[bit.ly/sw1cPz]

This is quite an impressive demonstration of technical abilities and demonstrates clever ways to save a few dollars but to me it just seems lazy. I miss model miniatures, on location filming, claymation skeletons and hand-drawn backdrops. They have been used since the start of cinema and in my eyes look more real then… well… anything from the Transformers films.

Metropolis (1927)
Smoke and mirrors was pretty much all that Fritz Lang used to make Metropolis. They used their head as opposed to their computers. The Shuftan Process (below) is just one technique used to create vast surroundings.

This is almost 90 years ago and it still looks good. All CG does is get old and look like CG. If we are talking model miniatures and physical special effects there is one to me that stand out miles from the others for being completely flawless.

Alien (1979)
H.R Giger’s iconic monster looks real and terrifying. Now I look at the newer films (Alien vs Predator etc) and the cgi copies have no effect on me. The original is special because it is so real and actually there as opposed to a million of them added in post production. Tons of model miniatures are used through the film to create stunning scenery and creepy alien objects.


Now it may be more complicated, expensive and take longer but surely it’s worth it. I just wish that the “We’ll add it in post” attitude wasn’t such a major feature in modern films. If it continues, we’ll just be drowning in a sea of bland computer animated things that we forget about as soon as we leave the cinema.

Liverpool Design Festival

Friday 7th October (11am-7pm) was the day where design agencies from Liverpool opened their doors to anyone who wanted a look round. Lizzie and I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to get a look inside some agencies. Out of the 10 that were open, we managed to get to 8 of them. Starting at 11am we made our way to Error Creative and had a good chat to the guys. On to a basement which housesNonConform where we managed to persuade one of them to have a look at our portfolios before they popped out on a Kebab run.

Lizzie showing her portfolio

Next was Mercy where they run an placement scheme where the interns basically run their own company. They get their own work in, have their own mini studio, their own name and their own style. It’s an unusual way of doing placements but one that sounds very appealing. After a good chat with them we moved on to Uniform where they had the most modern and open plan studio out of all of them. Once again, we managed to rob ten minutes and got some good, honest feedback.

After a beer & burger it was time to get back to visiting places. Next was PH.Creative who, even though they are a primarily digital agency, still offered us a lot of useful information about our work. After a walk up some very wobbly spiral stairs, Black & Ginger it was a really relaxed atmosphere with cocktails being provided by a local bar; one of their previous clients. Free stuff was also available with a tote bag designed for the occasion full of interesting things. We also bumped into a fourth year from UCLAN and had a good chat about the day.

Black & Ginger - Cocktails and Red Tote bag

Pushing 6pm we moved on to Bolland & Lowe where they had the most impressive selection of food and a really interesting studio full of illustrations.

After a good long chat, we didn’t have long to get to our last planned agency and as it was a bit further out of the city in the Novas Centre we arrived there just after 7. Smiling Wolf had a great studio where work and play seemed to run side by side. After a beer and a chat, they also had a freebie in the form of a limited edition poster celebrating their tenth birthday.

Finally getting back at around 8/9pm it was a long but very productive day. When it happens again, it won’t be something to miss.

[For more posts like this, visit ThePlacementYear – a blog about mine and others time during a year in the industry]

Brian Cannon

A few months ago, our course was lucky enough to get a talk from Brian Cannon. My favourite anecdote was one recently posted on the Computer Arts website.

How did you come to work with Oasis?
I took my mother to Rome for her 60th birthday. Whilst there, I bought a pair of Adidas squash trainers – not that I’ve ever played squash – which you couldn’t get in England. Later, I was in the lift in the building in Manchester where I had my office, and this guy got in. The first thing he said to me was, “Where the fuck did you get them trainers?” That was how I met Noel Gallagher. We got chatting and I told him about the work I’d done for The Verve. As the lift door opened he went, “Right, I’m in a band; we’re going to get signed soon. I want you to do the artwork.” – [CA]

I need some new trainers.

“Stop being who you want to be and be who you are.”

The first Manchester D&AD lecture (just for Manchester) was last night and I was lucky enough to attend the captivating talk from Greg Quinton, Creative Partner, The Partners. The talk, entitled ‘A String of Pearls’ was an interesting insight into how the company works, what they believe and what they have done. The ‘string of pearls’ consisted of 10 points:

No1. Have a totally unreachable goal
No2. Keep it simple
No3. Less (strategy) is more
No4. Don’t be cool
No5. Fail
No6. Make a difference
No7. Love good clients
No8. Work damn hard
No9. Change
No10. Create the future

It creates an interesting ist of guides to design even without going into the details which I think only Greg could do justice given a pint and an hour and a half. There were a slew of soundbites that could be taken from the talk but my favourite would probably be ‘The packaging is fine but – we want to do more than that’. I think that completely sums up The Partners. They don’t just settle for good, it needs to be perfect.

This was the first in a series of D&AD North lectures, the next being ‘Two World Collide’ – 05/11 (more information to come)