Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The Best music videos of 2018...I think.

I miss MTV.
Not MTV of today - filled with reality shows. No. I miss the pure MTV music video channel of my youth.
I miss having the time to just sit and watch it too.

You can learn a lot from music videos - cultural trends, fashion, new art directional styles, editing techniques, scene transitions and pure wacky ways of seeing the world. They also have their fingers on the pulse far more than any TV show or newspaper. 

So, with Christmas providing a much needed lull I decided to see what was happening out there in 2018. 

And here are my picks. 

1. Janelle Monae - Make Me feel. 

This is so Prince isn't it? And the style is very iPod. I just love he fashion as well. I would wear those see through embroidered trousers if I had the guts. Apparently this video is about Janelle's bi-sexuality - running from man to woman unable to choose. 

2. John Mayer - New Light

This is so shit it's kinda genius. Apparently John Mayer asked some guy in LA who specialises in making bat mitzvah videos.

It also reminds me of my favourite show "Glow" - there is a great episode where they spent the whole episode showing the recorded TV show complete with tacky scene transitions and bad acting. That's what this is like. 

3. Travis Scott: “SICKO MODE” [ft. Drake]

Directed by Dave Meyers and Travis Scott.

There is so much going on in this video. Really interesting camera techniques and trickery, some neon paint, coloured smoke, singing murals, very jiggly butts (like how does that butt actually move like that?) and Drake sounding super cool. 

4. Drake - Nice for What.

Sorry for another Drake but this guy is on it with his video game. For "Nice for what" Drake gave the camera to 22-year-old director Karena Evans. She shot scenes of powerful women celebrating their worth and doing their thing. The result is a video that's joyful and strong - nice one Drake, nice one Evans. 

5. The Carters: “APESHIT”

Probably the most talked about video of the year. Beyonce and Jay Z in the Louvre and some amazing modern dance. New, pop and cool meets classic high brow art. The meeting is mesmerising and you need not delve into anything deeper than that. But if you do then the message is about blackness, its relationship to Western colonialism and about black capitalism as act of radical subversion. Deep man.

Oh and if you are not viewing this on a public screen you may wanna check out the video for Duck Duck Goose by Cupcakke. She is not shy. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Creative Makeup

I have figured out what I love so much about Halloween. It's not the parties, or the trick or treat kids or the spookiness.
It's transforming myself into someone else.
And for me the most exciting bit of the whole costume, is the makeup.

Doing makeup for a Halloween event is basically like creating a painting on your face. Watching yourself transform as you apply colours and lines to your face is hugely satisfying.

But stage makeup is a real art form. I am but a mere amateur when you look at those who have studied it.

Here is the amazing Mirjana Kika Milosevic's spring in a box toy makeup.

And another - because she is so good - The Copse Bride.

And here's some of the Prosethetic work by Amazing School Jur.

But makeup isn't just for Halloween or movies. It's also got more serious applications, helping to support governments and protecting us from terrorism. 

Yep, I'm not kidding. It's an important part of undercover operations by the CIA.

Also how cool is the job title Former Chief of Disguise? The coolest!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Blood is normal.

I always hated tampon and sanitary towel adverts. All those rollerskating women. Why was it strange to be able to roller-skate when you were bleeding? It never occurred to me that it would be a problem.

But the thing that annoyed me the most was why was period blood always blue? Who would we be offending if it was the colour it really was: pink, bright red,  dark red, sometimes rusty brown, but never blue. Surely we wouldn't be upsetting women. We see our own blood every month, we're made of stronger stuff.

So it must be for men. Adverts for women written with men in mind.

I longed to write a TV advert that featured red blood.

And now there is one.

And seeing it made me cry.

These are real periods. Ones that make you feel hormonal and cry easily for no good reason and knot your tummy in pain. Ones that come with the relief of knowing you're not pregnant. Ones where you have to stick your sanitary pad up your jumper to carry it surreptitiously to the loos. Period sex with the less squeamish of your boyfriends. Real stuff. It touched a chord.

After watching it I feel more proud to be a woman. I'm not sure why. But perhaps its like finding acceptance to something that you've hidden because the world suggested it was dirty. 

But it's not dirty. 

It's normal. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

No fat may pass!

Hey, long time no see. So long in fact that my domain got cancelled and I didn't even notice. I am a bad blogger. I can only plead an insane work load.

But I did, whilst on the hunt for a Cannes winning idea, come across this brilliant ad by McCann Worldgroup, Bangkok for a slimming pill that I wanted to share.


Monday, 25 September 2017

Balls to this

Meat and two veg.

I am currently researching how men shave their balls.
Advertising has led me to develop some funny areas of special knowledge in the past but I must say that this one tops them all.

The difficulties of men have never weighed so heavily on my mind. Shaving a ball sack seems like a mission and a half - all that wrinkled saggy skin just begs for nicks and cuts.

Whilst researching the way men deal with such issues I found this really amusing advert for men's pants. I'd love to write something like this. Maybe one day I too can imagine what it's like to be a ball.


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Paint, soap, oil - galaxies, emotions and beauty.

I'm feeling a little emotional this morning. Freelance has been wonderful so far but the prospect of leaving a placement I've loved is always hard. Maybe that's why I found these beautiful paint, oil and soap films actually quite meaningful and emotional.

Watching the colour forms rip apart and form beautiful new patterns is like an analogy for life. So one beautiful whole ends and will be replaced by new beauty, new forms. Freelance too is full of uncertainty, ever changing and full of new beautiful experiences.

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Big Leap: Going Freelance

I spent 7 years at my last agency. Let's just think about that. That's long enough for a child to be born, learn how to walk, talk, go to nursery school and finish infants. It's also roughly the time it takes for your body to totally regenerate itself.

Perhaps that's why every 7 years you need a big change. Leaving the safe, comfy nest of my last agency was hard. I needed a push. That came in the form of widespread agency redundancies. I was offered the chance to fight for my job and I took it. But after spending an entire weekend locked in my bedroom polishing a creative pitch I began to wonder what I was doing. I was fighting to stay in a place that no longer challenged me, where my main attitude was cynicism and where many of my best friends would no longer be. The redundancy package would be the cushion I needed for my fall. I handed in my notice the next day.

Suddenly having no job was both wonderful and horrible. I went to see the Hockney exhibition in the middle of the day and then spent the rest of the day in the pub. I gardened when it was sunny and went for walks in the park. But mostly I sat at my kitchen table writing to every person I'd met who I thought could give me a lead on Freelance work. When the freelance work proved hard to secure I applied for permanent roles. Some days I worked from 9am - 10pm just emailing contacts and headhunters, applying for jobs and membership of freelance organisations and researching agencies.

I spoke to anyone who could give me advice. Once I met a guy in a bowling alley who turned out to be a Freelance creative. I asked him for advice and he told me, "Don't worry if it takes you even a week before you get a job". I almost cried. By then it had taken me a month.

I thought about packing it all in and rang my dad to talk about backup plans. Then, the next day, two big freelance opportunities landed on my plate. I was ecstatic.

Now I'm doing a stint at Ogilvy and feeling far more alive than I have in years. I don't even care that I'm editing toothbrush ads. I love to edit. I didn't even get that opportunity much where I was before. Every day is challenging and new, the day flies by and I haven't had to check any legal lines yet.

Of course there's always the possibility that when this job ends I'll have another quiet period where I doubt myself. But perhaps freelance is teaching me to live more in the "now". That's a problem for another month, one I'm not expected to have planned yet. And that is exciting too.