Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Case study IKEA 365 campaign

Case study film for the IKEA 365 campaign

The case study film for IKEA is finally finished. Thanks to the help of my advertising friends abroad, postproduction agency ShoSho, my colleagues and last but not least the limitless perfectionism of my art-director Luiz Risi we've managed to make a film that truly reflects how huge this beautiful campaign is.

Work like this is so unorthodox, that it was hard to find a category at festivals. There isn't really a perfect category yet, so it's hard to say if this stands a chance in Cannes. But whatever happens at the festivals: I'm more than delighted to give this campaign a permanent place in my portfolio.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Case study craze

Cannes is coming closer. So all the creatives in the privilege of having made a big campaign, now have to sweat on a brilliant case study film. Making such a film has become an art in itself. It used to be sufficient just to mention what you did and which media you used, but nowadays your case study needs to be advertising in itself. Advertising to convince the jury at advertising festivals to buy your idea.

Case studies are the pro active campaigns of the cross media agencies. At the more traditional agencies, the creatives are motivated to make a good print-ad or commercial for a small client. At agencies like Lemz, you're motivated to make the most out of your case study film.

I can't escape the case study craze this year. I've made my biggest campaign ever and I seriously doubt that I'll ever make a campaign as big as this one. So Luiz and I gave the case study for our IKEA-campaign extra attention. How to show a campaign in which you send out a new TV-commercial every day? It's almost the start of a briefing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brian O'Blivion

Sometimes I see a movie that is so good, I hit myself on the head for not seeing it before. Like Videodrome by David Cronenberg. It's about a TV-producer who gets strong hallucinations from a pirate broadcast. After a while even the viewer, as well as the main character, can't separate real life from illusion.

What was very interesting about the movie, is that it contained a few interesting theories about media. One of the characters, Brian O'Blivion, was actually based on a real-life scientist Marshall McLuhan; a man who first used the term 'Global Village' and who predicted the internet almost 30 years before it was invented. The character Brian O'Blivion only talked to people with videotapes. But nobody knew that he already died. He built a big library of videotapes that could be used for any occasion. This way he lived on for the world, long after his death.

Nowadays you don't need a library of videotapes anymore. A simple profile on Facebook is enough to make yourself immortal. Sometimes it's sad to see a profile of a death person. You still see vivid, happy photographs. People still write messages to the deceased. And even the age is rising, like nothing ever happened. Social media creates more and more Brian O'Blivions every day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

200 commercials

A special performance at cinema De Uitkijk

Daniel, Wendy and I at the big screen

It's cinema week this week. Sunday at the 301, Monday at the Nieuwe Anita and today I saw a special performance at cinema De Uitkijk: we celebrated the 200th IKEA commercial by playing all the commercials so far on a big screen. Everybody who had anything to do with the production was there. So people from IKEA, Lemz and Cake were in the audience.

I thought that 200 TV-commercials would bore me to death. But it was actually really cool to see all the work combined. Sure there were some bad commercials -it's inevitable when you make so many films- but there were enough good, funny and interesting commercials to make this screening worthwhile. Furthermore, it was an ode to one the most sensational campaign I've ever made.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Satisfied generation

What's great about Amsterdam is that there's a big underground movie scene. It's full of cult cinemas and cultural places like Nieuwe Anita and OT301 where they play quality movies. In other words: movies that do not need 3D, because they have depth from themselves.

Recently, I saw two great documentaries: Jesus Christus Erlöser and William Burroughs: a Man Within. In the first film actor Klaus Kinsi had to endure hecklers who insulted and asked questions during a performance in the 70's. The second documentary was about William Burroughs, the author of Naked Lunch. About his bizarre life, his books, his creativity and the ideals that people had. After the film there were people who told that they knew Burroughs and the people who surrounded him. One woman told about the beliefs in that time and how she wished that people would become more of an activist.

I think there isn't a lot that people in Holland are fighting for nowadays. Even in a place like Nieuwe Anita, where people are quite open minded. I most people accepted the lovely speech of the woman, but afterwards did nothing about it. There wasn't even somebody who disagreed, or who asked further questions. Afterwards everybody just drank a beer and talked about how impressive the movie was.

We live in a satisfied generation. A society without a lot of problems, where everybody gets equal chances and without movements, leaders or enemies. Even subcultures seem to disappear or become less extreme. The rave generation, the alternatives and the gabbers of the nineties shared just one common goal and that was to party. Nowadays they party together on big festivals.

I have to admit that I'm part of this satisfied generation as well. After the documentary and the interesting speech I drank another wine, talked a bit and the next it's another day at work. Is this the silence before the storm? Is a new, radical movement that will shock the nation in the pipeline? One that revolutionizes art, politics, music and the way people think like the dadaïsts in the 30's or the beat generation in the 50's? It seems that those times are over, but only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

It's a wrap

Another boring evening on Saturday, when I couldn't go out and when I drank half a bottle of wine while watching a movie. Another Sunday getting up at 6.00 on Sunday and go by car to IKEA at the other side of the country. Another exhausting day of shooting commercials for 12 hours in a row. Once again sleeping in the car on the way back.

And once again on Monday we managed to finish the offline edit of 14 commercials. An amount that any creative is happy to make in one year. The total amount of TV-commercials for IKEA has now exceeded 200. Although it's tough to make so many commercials, I was happy to do it. And for once I felt a bit sad when the director shouted 'It's a wrap!' Because this was the last shooting I have for IKEA. This week I already started working on other clients and although it feels good to do something else again, it's difficult to let go of this wonderful campaign that we started almost a year ago. I guess letting go is the start of going further.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Robin on stage

Copyrights Luiz & Leena

Yesterday my art-director Luiz Risi opened his exhibition called Heart on Stage. It's a project of visual art combined with poetry that he made together with his girlfriend Leena Yliportimo. I had to play as a DJ at the party afterwards. Now the last time I played a DJ-set was in some club at the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. I used to play a lot in Parkhof Alkmaar, a punk/alternative club that unfortunately doesn't exist anymore. These parties were so popular that the manager asked me to change my aggresive music style because too much right-winged scumbags came to the party. My most memorable gig was without doubt the one at the Young Dogs beachparty in Cannes, France.

If there's one thing you learn from DJ'ing, it's that you can never trust anyone who says it's going to be fine with the technique. At Parkhof there was always somebody who did the technique for me. And you have to bring everything yourself. I once came to a club where they had no headphone. I had to mix without it, which resulted in a set where the separate numbers where connected such clumsy transitions that they were almost painful to hear. Since then, I always brought my own headphone.

Yesterday, Luiz hired a place above a pub to have the party. When I came there, the technique was a total disaster. Nothing was installed, cables were missing and the dusty equipment looked like it hasn't been used in ten years. In the end I had to play behind the bar and I had to borrow a bike to get my own mixer from home, because the mixer of the pub didn't work. I hurried back, zigzagging through the traffic on the bridges of Amsterdam, while eating a sandwich because I didn't have time to eat yet. It was a race against the clock, but a race isn't over before the finish.

I rushed upstairs, and connected all the stuff just in time, giving me about 10 minutes to practice and to revive my long neglected turntable skills. The party was a big success. So was the exhibition. In a small space there were around 70 people and that night Luiz already sold some of his work. If you live in Amsterdam, it's definitely worth to see Heart on Stage. Until the 24th of April you can see the work at the ABC Treehouse gallery, Voetboogstraat 11.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Red red wine...

It's March and finally my alcohol free month is over. I just saw a great movie called Quadrophenia, at the Nieuwe Anita and when I came home I poured myself a nice glass of red wine. It's 0.15 now and I already took two sips of it.

It's great how you learn to enjoy something again when it's not there. It wasn't difficult at all. But I have to admit that it was boring from time to time. At the advertising party of the Young Dogs and a party of Lemz where all my colleagues sang Dutch folk songs I definitely missed the absence of beer. But even on both of these difficult occasions I enjoyed myself a lot. And I didn't have to cope with the hangovers the next day. It proves that once you get used to it, life can also be good without alcohol.

But I'm not ready for a life as a buddhist yet. So until then I choose the fast way to enlightenment by enjoying a nice glass of beer or wine. My glass is almost finished now. My throat feels warm all the way to my stomach and my head feels cloudy. I'm happy to have done this alcohol free month. But I'm even happier that it's over.