everynone: losers.

It’s no secret how much I love Everynone. They have an amazing knack at cutting together visceral, universally human moments into montages that almost everyone can immediately understand and identify with. Their vids are amazingly shareable (the term “viral” should be banned from the internet lexicon, btw…) because they strike a chord that’s direct and true. From the exquisite balances cast in their last vid “Symmetry” to their gorgeous type-based series “Words”, they exemplify the power of a quick, well-shot visual to tell incredibly vibrant tales.

As of this writing, their latest video “Losers” is at 7,000 views on Vimeo in only 5 hours. I guarantee you that it will be all over the internet in the upcoming days…as it should be. With the growing awareness of the true impact of bullying, I think this type of raw, insightful and connected portrayal of the slices that bullying cuts out from all of us is exactly the type of thing we need to see, and continue to see, until we do something tangible and real to stop it. I know what it feels like to be called a “faggot” in my high school highway. I also know what it feels like to call someone else a name because I was weak and want to feel stronger. As with any type of bullying – no matter which side of it you were on – it’s something you get over, but not something you forget.

I particularly love the shift in meaning from the beginning of the video to the end. Humourously unassuming at first, I laughed while not knowing where I was being lead yet. Then I realized I was slowly being shown that the losers are everyone. Each of us has the power both to bully and the responsibility to to learn we must end bullying. The true impact came at the very end when I realized that, only two minutes before at the beginning of the video, I was being the unwitting bully myself. It’s that kind of immediate emotional impact, and psychological realization just afterward, that lets you know you’ve just watched something very special.

everynone: symmetry.

In the middle of watching Everynone’s lovely Symmetry, the thought that overwhelmed me was “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That Newton, he was a smart cookie. I love the philosophy of science; that is, that Newton’s Law of Motion is much more than a scientific truth (though it definitely is that). It’s also karma. It’s kindness. It’s what goes around comes around. It’s how the transference of love and respect is a psychological action that, like ripples in a pond, created a tangible, physical reaction in those who experience it from you.

In a whiplash, purely visual style that reminds me a lot of one of my fave short vids, Chris Milk’s Last Day Dream, the vid starts out light-hearted, but further in I realized that was just part of its elegant ploy. Start with simplicity, entice us to watch, and then the symmetries become harder and more thought-provoking.

Symmetry is filled with a deep ease, a contemplative review of questions asked but not answered. Because each of these truths – the steak-eater or the cow, the light bulb or the sunshine  – will be different for each of us. The power is not in that we agree, but that we recognize and understand what they mean to us. Are you a consumer or a creator? A destroyer or a deliverer? For everything you do, each of your action, what reactions are you sending back into the world?

+ via kateoplis

patrick boivin: at-at day afternoon.

Ah, Star Wars. Though I fear it’s starting to become the Helvetica of retro pop culture design references, just like Helvetica, or anything over-played, when it’s done really well in a new and exciting way allowances can be made. And if the outcome is as totally kick ass as Patrick Boivin‘s “At-At Day Afternoon”, then everything old is new again.

The premise? Gloriously simple. Imagine your dog was an At-At. Film it. Rejoice. Spread its awesomeness to the world. Make everyone feel like children again. Done.

And if you’re not sure what an At-At is, then I’m afraid I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

Via Motionographer.

ryan mcginley + nowness: entrance romance.

I first started following photographer/artist/wunderkind Ryan McGinley more than 2 years ago, when I posted about his gorgeous (and still my favourite) photo exhibition “I Know Where The Summer Goes.” Since then McGinley has blown up huge and deservedly so. Expanding his visual scope from photography, he moved into film last year with a short for fashion house Pringle of Scotland starring Tilda Swinton.

Last weekend, in collaboration with LVMH-branded website Nowness, McGinley released an incredibly hot looking short film (shot partially by a Phantom Camera at 1500 fps) called “Entrance Romance (It Felt Like A Kiss).” I’m a big proponent of art not necessarily needing to be “about” something, so this is right up my alley. In the short, supermodel Carolyn Murphy shoots hairspray at a lighter, makes out with a wet dog, and has a few glass objects thrown against her head. I fucking loved it. What’s it about? Don’t know, don’t care. It seems so gleefully confident in it’s abject weird nothingness that I fully bought it.

Though the whole concept of filming shit being thrown at people isn’t original (the work of New York City-based photographer Meg Wachter comes to mind) the production value is through the roof and, plus, Murphy is simply incredible to look at. The look of serene intensity she maintains while knowing, somewhere, that a bowl full of goldfish is hurtling towards her is somehow completely fascinating. However, it’s the sly wave of sadomasochistic discovery that spreads across her face after being drilled in the head with a bottle of Heineken that really makes this worth the price of admission. Except that it was free… but you get my point.

Via Towleroad.

spike jonze + method: i’m here.

So, facts are facts and Spike Jonze is a genius. Along with Michel Gondry, he’s one of my long-time favourite directors (ever since his legendary vid for Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” all the way up to last year’s “Where The Wild Things Are”).

His work is filled with explosions of colour, reality mixed with fantasy, waking from daydreams, the importance of memory, sunlit yearning and moments of loss and explorations of our never-ending searches to find ourselves. Jonze is the shit and that’s all there is to it. I’ve felt more full and more empty and more loved and more alone watching his films than any other director.

And now he’s about to explore the humanity of being a robot…

His latest half-hour short film “I’m Here”, screens tonight at Sundance and is scheduled for a release in March. Commissioned in collab with Absolut (and say what you want about corporate sponsorship, Absolut has a long history of supporting the arts and working with up-and-coming designers and artists through various campaigns) it’s the story of  two robots meeting up and falling in love in LA.

The CG character work, from bi-coastal shop Method, is clearly outstanding. The trailer is only 30 seconds and I basically died when I saw it. Once again, Jonze is taking the concept of our most cherished entities – love, beauty, connection – and turning them onto their heads and into something we’d never imagined before.

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dark igloo + the pump: do you eat crap?

Last time I was in New York, we stumbled onto The Pump. We were hungry, we were in a hurry, and we’re the kind of assholes who’d rather starve than eat non-organic bison. Luckily The Pump took care of all of that with a killer menu of organic, healthy, chic “fast food.”

I’m hyped to see that their marketing is as savvy and aware as their menu. Their new witty, satirical, retro-tinged online promo vid subtly taps into part of a larger conversation that been evolving the last few years; of what exactly we’re eating, where it’s coming from, and what it’d doing to us. I’d never really looked at the side of a cereal box until I started reading the frighteningly enlightening work of Michael Pollan. His best-sellers “In Defense Of  Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” (both highly recommended, by the way) are at the forefront of a social rediscovery of “food.”

Created by Dark Igloo,  “Do You Eat Crap?” speaks to the new food movement with a series of snappy, detailed parodies of a whole series of food ads from the last few decades. The cheese spot above is my fave – it’s a perfect throwback to those ’80s, Doyle Dayne Bernbach-esque copy-heavy prints ads, right down to the font. Oh, what I would give to have been a copywriter during the glory days of long copy. A boy can dream…

To me the best part of the spot is that it’s informed by the growing hyper-awareness of food culture but it’s not sanctimonious in its stance. In fact, the video is totally hilarious, but the more interesting bit to me is that I don’t think the real meaning layered behind the humour would have been possible even five years ago. People just weren’t aware enough. While I think it would be still be funny no matter, what really makes it so killer is that it’s a total insider wink to its target: people who are willing to spend $15 on an organic, free-range lunch  and who want to feel like they’re in on the joke everyone eating at Burger King isn’t. And those people, myself among them, like to be winked at.

Via Kitsune Noir

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alex roman: the third and the seventh.

It’s still messing with my head, but this entire gem of a video is CGI. Like a vision brought into a reality so startlingly real that it almost can’t be believed… yet, there it is. The amount of detailed work that director Alex Roman would have had to put into “The Third and The Seventh” boggles me. His dedication and deft eye is matched only by his extraordinary vision.

An examination of the way we visually record the physical world we live in, chronicling our 3-dimensional reality through a 2-dimensional visual, “The Third and The Seventh” is  a fantastic glimpse into a future world of impossible beauty. Or, rather, hopefully through the inspiration of his vision, a world of possible beauty.

Unlike a grand fantasy, impressive but unattainable, Roman’s detailed, modern, sparse film seems dreamy, yet so close to the truth as to almost be real. It’s like an understandable improvement, an attainable evolution into a world of architectural, environmental, intellectual, elemental, and ecological fusion. A place where all of our potential has been realized.

To me, it feels like fleeting second immediately after you’ve woken from a dream, where for a moment that dream is your entire, thrilling truth.

Now that you’ve seen it, can you believe that none of that is real footage? This isn’t VFX, it’s fully (painstakingly, amazingly) created with a mix of 3dsmax, Vray, After Effects, and Premiere.

For proof, watch Roman’s compositing vid, where he’s show us his process.

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michael fragstein: a wet day.

A haunting, dark, and deceptively simple-looking short from German artist Michael Fragstein.

charlotte cornaton: vanitas.

I love it when you stumble across something that proves yet again that no matter how often a technique is used, it’s the idea behind it that creates art. Stop motion is anything but new or underused, but with a vision and unique take from Charlotte Cornaton, “Vanitas” becomes an original entity unto itself.

anthony burrill: acid washed.

No words. Should’ve sent a poet. Some vintage-tinged graphic kick ass from U.K. designer Anthony Burrill.

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