Thursday, 1 October 2009

Metropia Movie Trailer

The new film by film maker Tarik Saleh, has such an individual look, i had to post it. The film premiered recently at Fantastic Fest, and reviews have been encouraging. The budget surprisingly for the Swedish film only cost $4.5 million. Although there is a tiny element of the film that reminds of the adverts for Capri Sun... buts thats being churlish.

Voiced by Vincent Gallo, Roger, a working stiff with no social life who rides his bike in defiance of a massive underground transit system in Europe. It’s 2024 and he's haunted by a voice in his head that seems to be related to a bigger conspiracy. Its very '1984' and 'Brazil', so count me.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Many Ogilvy Hands on Twitter

There's nothing quite closing the gate once the horse has bolted or indeed the goat, but if you fancy a retrospective look back at the Twitter updates, check out twitter/manyogilvyhands.


Uganda - MOH Day 6

Forgive me if this is a little foggy in places. We had a bit of a BBQ party last night at the local Ogilvy office and although we were all perfectly well behaved, the introduction of alcoholic drinks after a week of healthy living has left me a little worse for wear, thankfully its not punishingly hot this morning in Kampala, as i sit on our tiny balcony overlooking the city.

Yesterday morning we left Buikwei, to head back to the city. Over the course of the 5 days that we had spent at the school, we had met a host of kind and generous people who we had bonded with very quickly. We all became very fond of the area and had quickly settled into a Ugandan-style routine, of hard work and simple pleasures. So it was inevitable that leaving was going to be a sad moment.

We said our goodbyes to the builders, who all came to say fairwell, and David the site manager and soon to be teacher, made a small impromptu speech which touched us all. He said "that even though you are not here in person, you will be here in spirit' which is a wonderful testament to the past few days work, and completely clarifies to me how much positive impact the project has already had.

During the drive back to Kampala, we stopped off at a roadside market so a few of us, could purchase some drums. Some of the group had been lucky enough to be taught some basic drumming skill by Joy, the music teacher at the school and suffice to say, they all now think of themselves as the next African Drum Keith Moon. Several drums were purchased, i think the lady who owned the shop had thought that christmas had come early. We now only have to figure out how to get them all back to the UK. I have suggested disguising ourselves as a touring band, but i fear that would be a lost cause.

In Kampala, we briefly stopped at a craft fair, to pick up some gifts and yes, more drums were bought. The craft stalls are all similar, but worth a nose about, though i was the victim of some rather creative maths when receiving my change after one particular purchase. Lunch was ate at the local Nandos and although everyone was ravenous, we all immediately regretted the culinary choice and began to miss Irenes cooking a lot.

We were driven to our new hotel/hostel, which is at the top of the town, near the catherdral, and before we headed out to the Ogilvy office, we were briefly introduced to Justice. Not i hasten to add in the old fashioned terminology, as in "i shall show you the true meaning of Justice", no, Justice is the big cheese behind the IN projects in Africa, and does a tremendous amount of work for the area. He has just returned from Australia the previous day, where he traveled for 3 weeks, giving presentations, meeting schools/business' etc. Time is short and i feel this is becoming a long rambling post so i shall talk about Justice and the projects separately.

Finally, we make it to the BBQ and met David Case and his team. Its a small operation as you can imagine and there clients and work vary hugely from any London or indeed Western offices. There's a few nuggets of interest to mull over regarding African advertising, but i might wait until a later blog to talk turkey. The BBQ and drinks were excellent and it was great to see that the vast majority of the office was populated by local talent, headed up by David and his Creative Director James. The evening went by rapidly, helped no doubt by the Wariga, or War Gin, we were drinking, dangerous on any night, but especially after our extended break.

We returned to the hotel in high spirits and i spent the next 20 minute trying to take night shots of Kampala (see above) with mixed results, but eventually crawled into my, slightly short bed, and tried to black out the intruding light from the corridor,, with an advanced, lycra short headband (don't ask). Sleep was hard to come by, but we have one more day in the city before we head home, so i must away, will ramble on later.


Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Uganda - MOH Day 5

It was to be our final day on site, which seems to have come around far too soon., and we were split into 2 teams for morning/afternoon shift work.

We had been invited by the IN team Paul & Tom to visit some of the other families around the area, some of which are less than fortunate and live far below the nominal Ugandan bread line. Many families are without mothers/fathers due to approximately 15% of the population being HIV positive. Other husbands are polygamists, allowing them to have more than 1 wife (some have 3 or 4) which not only means they are absent from their homes a lot, but the multiple partners plays right into the hands of the virulent HIV virus.

I wasn't visiting until the afternoon, so i made my way up to the site with the others. The sun was beating down but thankfully, we had made such an impact on the building over the past 3 days, that there was less hardcore work to be done and mostly included helping to finish the dividing walls and general tidying up of the site.

It was hard work none the less and to emphasise the workload, I've managed to wear a hole in my leather work gloves - you just cant get the quality these days.

In the afternoon, after another stirling lunch, we took it easy until we were bussed around to visit the families that IN sponsor and therefore enable to get to school. We were guided by Peter, a local social worker, who took us via the village into the jungle, where small pockets of people live in small 2/3 house settlements. The life they lead, truly, makes you aware of the difference between us and them. The vast majority of people we met were happy and very welcoming, but the standard of living is vastly different as you would expect. Children (who are lucky enough to afford the $15 a month) have to walk up to an hour and a half to get to school, for 7:30 in the morning.

We were introduced to 8 different families, one specifically that Peter was very proud of who had successfully been sponsored and had just qualified as a primary school teacher, all she needs now is a school, oh, hang on.....

I could go on and on about the kids and how, despite their circumstances are bright happy and enormously charismatic, not to mention beautiful, you could take photos of them all day every day, and all your pics would be great (massive disclaimer).

Its sad that this part of our trip is already over, as we make our way back to Kampala tomorrow. What is brilliant is that David, the site leader, believes the contribution of work from us, has saved them 5 days, and they were able to start pouring the cement pillars today, a full week ahead of schedule. If that doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy i don't know what will.

Uganda - MOH Day 4

Firstly, apologies to any readers of this blog (hello? anyone?) but Day 3's blog is being written on the morning of Day 4 due to some excellent entertaining last night of some local folk and International Needs workers, but more of that later.

Initially though, Day 3 was all about working on the site. The weather was hot and as we made our way from our hostel up the path to the building site, you could sense that whatever we did today was going to be hard work, because of the heat. We set to work straight away to help clear the huge amount of broken bricks that gather around the site as builders either dispose of the oddly shaped cast-outs that don't fit in with the rest of the wall, or simply brake when you pick them up.

They were everywhere.

The group split in smaller groups and formed chains from one side of the building to another, to enable us to quicken the process. We managed to clear an entire side of the site and began to make our way around the building, linking and chucking as we went. Smaller rubble was piled into a wheelbarrow and heaved around to join the rest. 6 wheelbarrows later and i had noticed my load and upgraded from 'small rubble' to the more standard 'bricks' and had gradually become very heavy, but like the frog in the slowly boiling water, i had failed to notice and it was only my aching forearms that were spreading the news.

The best lunch of the week so far (mushy peas!) was followed by the majority of the group helping prepare dinner for our guests later in the day, either by peeling (Stephen nearly losing fingers) or shopping. Meanwhile 3 of us (Myself, Karen and Adrian) returned to the site to learn bricklaying and help to finish off the final few layers on the last wall to be completed. Bricklaying is a bit of an art form, and after some excellent tutorage by David, the site manager of the day, we set about slowly contributing to the wall. My slightlt OCD nature lead to some fairly treacle like progress, but the afternoon passed by quickly and before we knew it the local workers had stopped leaving us 3 to finish off our sand/cement.

Our visitors that i mentioned earlier started to gather at about 6-30, but similar to kids at a school disco, they hugged the perimeter and waited for all their group to gather before making an entrance. We built a campfire and after all helping ourselves to the amazing food on offer (we still don't know how the chef Irene knew exactly how many kilos of food to buy to feed the exact amount of people). It was obviously very well received as there wasn't a bean left. Irene explained that many people wouldn't have eaten meat for a while so the chance to tuck into some beef was too good an opportunity to miss.

It was great to be able to share an evening with everyone, and Adrian our house musician entertained us with an excellent acoustic set, including such its as 'Toxic' and 'Man in the Mirror'. We were thanked for our hospitality and our hard work on the school by Sarah a senior IN worker who looks after this project and it was clear to see on everyones faces what this project means. We were worried that we would be seen as surplus workers or as white people getting in the way, but im in no doubt after the last few days that this is the polar opposite of the truth.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Uganda - MOH Day 3

Some people might say that a rest day, directly after the initial work day, is a little, lightweight, and frankly, i would have agreed with you before we actually came out here and did anything. However, we were all blessed that today is Sunday, and we couldn't work today, even if our already calloused hands would let us.

This allowed us to spend the day exploring the surrounding area, which started with a 1 hour rally/bus drive to the nearest town of Jinja. Jinja is home to the source of the River Nile as well as the burial site of Ghandi (though no one could quite explain why, answers on a postcard/email/twitter, much appreciated).

A brief boat trip took us up river, where we able to clamber up onto a small island and from there see the water ripple and bubble as it rose quickly out of the ground beneath. Before the river reached its current height, the source was a spring that would rise several feet out of the ground, now though, if you didn't know where to look, you may miss the swirl and negative currents as the Nile continues to grow.

Post river exploration, was followed immediately by a lunch at a local hotel. On Toby's recommendation, we all ordered a Tilapia fish. They are a local delicacy of these here parts and we were all curious to try the kind of fish you can eat 98% off. "Don't eat the lips" we were told by our guide, which raised several questions of A) whether fish actually have lips & B) Whether other parts of its anatomy such as the eyes, are free game (it is by the way, and is a required taste to say the least).

After a hearty meal, we were whisked off to the Jinja Rapids, which is a true force of nature to behold. We rather Britishly kept our distance from the river edge, apart from a few keen photographers, and watched in disbelief as a young guy threw himself in from the top of the rapids, and rode the river down to the calmer waters, all for a princely sum of 2000 shillings (approximately 60p), only aided by what seemed to be an inflatable yellow ball, which he rode expertly through the rocks. Clearly bonkers.

On our way back, we stopped off at Lugazi Market, which is a fantastic amalgamation of fruit stalls, fish mongers, clothes shops and fridge shops and anything else you may want. We mixed in as best you can when you are clearly white, rich and dripping in camera gear (me especially), but gradually we were welcomed by the vast majority of the town and ventured about to take in the various smells and flavours. Mark experimented with some Yam, which i'm fairly sure he wont be doing again.

As the sun began to set over the town, we made our way back to the hostel to another tasty dinner courtesy of our cook Irene who had worked her magic on a chicken that had been given to us by an appreciative local. You don't get fresher than that, not even at Morrisons.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Uganda - MOH Day 2

Our first full day on the site, has rendered the vast majority of us, utterly shattered. The 9 of us started work at 9am sharp, with mild trepidation that we were simply going to get under foot and generally be the useless 'mzunga; or whiteman.

This theory was quickly despatched as were split into 2 groups and set to work clearing up bricks, organising materials and generally getting stuck in. A few of us were lucky enough to learn some rudimentary brick laying skills. The heat made things particularly tough, especially when i was asked to help collect some more cement, which lived a 10 minute walk away, and required a climb back, up to site, which was exhausting, made worse by the fact that the 15 year old did two turns on the wheelbarrow to my one - i could not hide my envy or mild embarrassment.

We all gradually found our comfort (or non comfort) zone and slogged it out until lunchtime, the highlight of the morning being a small group of very little children, no older than 5/6, joining us to separate and move broken bricks from new. The image of the kids, clambering over piles of rubble, desperately keen to help, is an endearing and lasting one, the video footage and pics are well worth a look, which I shall load up tomorrow (once I've stopped faffing with the photos...).

Lunch was well deserved and some of us decided to enjoy a drumming and dance show, put on by the primary school. Toby and I, returned to the site and helped the remaining workmen, finish off some brick work and helped construct some scaffolding, that would have turned the stomach of any UK health and safety inspector. The work was quick paced and tiring, as the brick layers demanded more cement (delivered up a ladder in 'Wok' like bowls) and additional bricks, that were delicately 'thrown' up to the worker.

By the time 5:30 arrived, i was balancing on some of the aforementioned scaffold, learning to lay bricks, and both Toby and I, felt very chuffed with our work.

As a thank you to the group, the builders offered to take some of us down to the village to watch the Man Utd/Arsenal game. We gathered with most of the male population from the village, in front of a 28" TV, and was in awe of the noise and dancing that surrounded us, when Arsenal scored, i genuinely thought someone had been killed the noise was so shrill, but no, it was but a man, removing his shirt and whooping with joy. Just your standard Saturday night in Buikwe, Uganda.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Uganda MOH - Day 1

Its been a long, long day, but ultimately hugely agreeable. The flight from Heathrow left on time and fortunately it wasn't fully booked, meaning more room for people to relax, myself included. Thanks to a combination of the new Star Trek movie and 3 free seats, the flight went very quickly and we were soon landing in Entebbe.

Our group was swiftly guided to our mini-vans for the hour long journey to Kampala, where we changed some of the Queens sterling into Ugandan Shillings. We congratulated ourselves for navigating the Ugandan bank system with a strong coffee at the supermarket, where we also collected some vital provisions, including numerous bottles of Cola and M&M's.

We arrived at the village of Buikwe, where we are staying at the local school and were immediately blown away by the surroundings. The countryside is beautiful and not even the 10 minute thunderstorm could dampen our high, but sleepy spirits.

We were guided around the school by Andrew from International Needs and met some children who were in over the holiday to study for their exams. Further exploration lead us to the site of the new building, which has grown considerably since Toby's last visit, but still requires a lot of hard work to complete, which we will start in earnest tomorrow morning.

After a full and tasty chicken dinner, our post cuisine coffees were disturbed by a sizeable and rather hyperactive bat, who insisted on doing laps of the hostel living room, to which all manner of techniques were employed to catch him including some of the worst 'towel bull fighting' i have witnessed together with Toby trying to verbally encourage the bat out of the room..... which did not work.

The bat is still in here as i write this. I am going to bed and I'm closing the door behind me.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Dog & The Butcher - Jonathan Holt

This is a great little short film, beautifully designed and with some lovely character design, the dog is great and the whole look and feel reminds me slightly of the 60's Tom and Jerry cartoons (when Tom was regularly seen as an evil genius and Jerry had a car.... odd). Thanks to /Film for flagging this up.

The Dog and the Butcher by Jonathan Holt from Jonathan Holt on Vimeo.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Trowbridge Village Pump Festival

Trowbridge-27, originally uploaded by neile2007.

It was only a week ago that we were huddling from the rain, trying not to spill our 'old rosey' cider on each other. Trowbridge Pump is a brilliant little gathering (well, not quite little) with some fantastic alternative/folk & country bands from all over the place.

Sorry to say i can't remember who this particular band is, but it was fun that much im sure - more picks on my Flickr if you fancy it.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Yellow Bird 6 Camera Video

Yellowbird were founded only this year in 2009, but the technology has been a few years in the making. Originally launched as a tech to create a still 3D image. The technology evolved into being able to capture moving image, but it was not until Flash 9 was released that enabled them to properly distribute the content and allow the user to scroll around the video enabling a full 360 degree view. Check it out below and go to the niftily titled


Coldplay - Strawberry Swing - Cracking Video

Love em or hate em (i happen to be the former), you can always rely on Coldplay to produce a fine music video and this is no exception. Their previous video for 'Life in Technicolor' (directed by Dougal Wilson) was a fantastic puppet based fantasy, and the new video for Strawberry Swing, plays on the slightly childlike theme again, setting a real life (though stop frame animated) Chris Martin against a chalk drawing background.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Advertising Genius, by yours truly...


TRON Legacy Trailer, nuff said

At the Comic Con in San Diego this week, Disney unveiled the new 3 min teaser, which is quite wonderful. I love the way they have gone with the design, and its a great combo of nearly full CG animation and live action, the helmets are a great touch.....

Thankfully, after a rethink they seem to have dropped the rather naff sounding TR2N, looks nice, but hard to say....

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Augmented Reality - Get your kids outdoors

The chaps behind 'The Hidden Park' have managed to combine the best of ARG (Alternate Reality Gaming) with Geocaching together with the iPhones ability to accurately pinpoint your location. With the additional Digital Camera as well as the Accelerometer, which is the funky feature that allows the iPhone to respond accordingly to any physical motion.

The adventure begins with a video call from a friendly Troll called 'Trutton' who is asking for your help with the Magical Wildlife Protection Association. He explains that the park he and his friends live in are in danger of being destroyed by greedy developers and that he hopes that you are able to follow his map and collect vital evidence to help prove their existence.

The application built by the Ozzie company 'Bulpadok' has been designed to work with 10 different parks worldwide including Central Park and our own Kensington Gardens, each one following a unique magical map, which as it is followed via the iPhone, brings a collection of riddles to solve and magical beasties to combat in order to save the park.

The ability to document your journey with photos, helps give each adventure a unique twist, especially as the parks mystic inhabitants magically appear in your finished pics.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

World Builder by Bruce Branit

A strange man uses holographic tools to build a world for the woman he loves. This is a short by filmmaker Bruce Branit known also as the co-creator of 405, which i've included below. World Builder was apparently shot in one day and posted over 2 years, very cool indeed. If ever there was an argument for it being all about the operator and not the kit, this is it.


Thursday, 2 July 2009

Informant Trailer = Funny

The trailer for Matt Damon & Steven Soderbergh's new movie 'The Informant' is out now and i urge you watch it. I was nervous that it was a heavy, 'Fat Russell Crowe' (i.e. Fat Crowe = Serious Role) type of movie, it appears my fears were unfounded....

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Fireflies update.

So, we're nearing the end of our adventure, just about to cycle into the Palm Beach, just down the road from Cannes. As you can see, we've just been rewarding ourselves with a big old lunch. Here's to an amazing trip, though looking forward to removing the Lycra for a while!

Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Thursday, 22 January 2009 - GOES LIVE!

Here at Ogilvy in London, i sometimes have the pleasure of working with Rory Sutherland, who is Vice-Chairman across the group here in the UK. His thoughts, comments and speeches are regularly the highlight of many blogs around the advertising world and beyond, and his personal blog is the only real reason to log into our intranet. So it comes as a great pleasure to announce the launch of, put simply, its Rory, on screen, doing what he does best.

There are 4 episodes that you can select via his TV set, and with more to come i urge you to keep an eye on the site.

So far Rory has covered such hot topics as to why Mass Marketing is the nearest thing to an egalitarian state, and why putting security on your potato patch might not be such a bad idea.


For more info on Rory click here.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Movie Boy - How interesting can this really get?

Firstly, yes, its been a while, i know by now i've had more come backs than Madonna, but i thought this was an appropriate article to blog about as its been done by my pals over at Glue London.

As part of The Suns 'Hollywoods Greats' movie give away, they have seen it fit to lock a poor boy up in a room, to watch movies, back to back.... You can message him, pick his next film and enter a daily competition to win £1000 if you guess the amount of hours watched in total over 7 days.

Most of the recent comments seem to involve, Jamie's rather unfortunate choice of vest, but generally , its built up quite a little following, though i do wonder, who will be watching this by the end of the week. Saying that, i've been logged in since this morning, so....

The free movies that are available won't set many film fans alight, but anything with LA Story and Bill & Ted, has got my vote.

Check out the link for yourself, here.