Archive for June, 2007

Video: Oh My God!’s Sultry CG

June 22, 2007

Lily 1

British director Nima Nourizadeh has come up with a great concept for Mark Ronson’s song “Oh my god!” featuring Lily Allen. The song is a cover of the Kaiser Chief’s “Oh my God” and for consistency Nourizadeh decided to make video a ‘cover’ as well.

The appropriate homage would take the form of Lily Allen as a Jessica Rabbit style animation. I think it’s a great decision to keep the video paced slowly in tune with the sultry but playful style of the song.

Lily 2

Check out the video in flash, quicktime and then listen in to the Kaiser Chief’s original.

– chris
(via TickleBooth)


Portfolio: German photographer Martin Klimas likes to destroy things.

June 21, 2007

Klimas Tape

Martin Klimas’ portfolio is full of items in the process of being destroyed, mostly by projectile objects. Klimas has taken the art of high-speed destruction photography into new territory.

One of his most impressive series involves the destruction of porcelain figurines to emote action. I have no idea how he did it, but he’s captured intricate scenes using only still objects.

Klimas Fight

To compliment his work, Klimas has also done an excellent job with the layout and feel of his portfolio. It’s simple, clean and effective. Take notes as there’s something to be learned here.

Klimas Vase


– chris

(via Fubiz)

Advertainment: Hydro’s Jaw Dropping Viral Commercials

June 21, 2007

Young Engineers


The Norwegian energy company, Hydro, has created some impressive viral commercials in an attempt to attract a new generation of engineers.

The commercials are shot handheld, with realistic lighting and movement. I was absolutely floored when I watched their train commercial this morning on reddit and I had to learn more about them the campaign.

Commercial 1: A bunch of kids weld together new tracks before an oncoming train. Mayhem ensues.

Commercial 2: Kids hack a car so that it can be controlled by remote. Once an adult gets in the fun begins.

Their slogan at the end of the commercials translates to “There are many little engineers. We are looking forward to them growing up.”

– chris

Real Time Ad Changes on MTV

June 20, 2007


AdAge is reporting that MTV has just inked a deal with Visible World, a company that allows custom fitted ads to be placed in real time. That is to say, an advertiser can change an ad 5 minutes before it airs to reflect the recent developments of a live broadcast or anything else they want.

This technology brings with it the possibility of intriguing interactions between advertiser and consumer. The ads could change dramatically from commercial break to commercial break. A well designed campaign could even help to stop the ‘dreaded’ Tivo take-over. I’m sure Fallon Worldwide could think of something even more effective than their incredibly successful Buddy Lee Control Freak.

As the good people at Unbeige point out, “The question, of course, becomes: does this mean a lot, lot, lot more money for ad agencies if they’re going to have to start creating 15 spots for every :30 buy? And it also seems like potentially great news for production companies.”

Sounds good to me.  Time to contact your local ad agency and let them know why you’re the production company they should choose for all their new commercials. Money in the bank.

Read the AdAge article, take a look at Unbeige’s thoughts and then head to Fallon Worldwide’s website. Check out their work on Buddy Lee and the BMW films if you’ve got time.

– chris

Killer Little Planets from Daily Dose of Imagery

June 20, 2007

King’s College Circle

Daily Dose of Imagery, the unbelievably good photoblog of Sam Javanrouh, continues to impress me. I’ve covered his blog before, but this morning’s image begs to be talked about.

Javanrouh decided to make today’s photo a little planet done in the style made popular by Seb Przd of Flickr fame. Javanrouh choose King’s College Circle at the University of Toronto as the subject for his first public “little planet.”

It’s a great photo to compliment such an interesting concept. It doesn’t have the eye-popping colors I’m used to with Javanrouh’s work (example below) but given the response he’s already getting from the community I’m sure there will be more little planets to come.

Blue Bike Tiles

Go to Daily Dose of Imagery to get lost in a sea of stunning work.

– chris

A quick note on feeds.

June 20, 2007

As some of you have noticed, the Tropist Weblog is hosted on a hosting solution. WordPress has recently decided to disable our ability to track how many users are subscribed to the blog using their built-in feed. Eventually we’ll be migrating over to our own hosted solution, at which point this won’t be an issue.

For now we’d appreciate it if you could make sure that your subscription is going through our FeedBurner feed, which is, so that we can have an accurate head count on the number of all you great subscribers out there. If you’re on the blog itself just make sure you click the large RSS button on the left instead of the one in the URL bar and you should be all good.


Chime.TV: Watch Web Video in Style

June 19, 2007


For the last week I’ve been playing around with Chime.TV, a newly launched web video player, and I have to say I’m really impressed with it. Chime.TV pulls videos from all over the web so that you can watch them from the comfort of one site, with a minimal player and on a black backdrop.

Chime.TV has created some neat things that most video providers can’t get away with. For one, Chime.TV will download videos in the background before you start watching them. The result is a faster browsing experience, but more bandwidth is used. This is good for you and me, but not so good for YouTube. The excess bandwidth for potentially unwatched videos is expensive and with minimal branding there will be even less of a need to go back to YouTube’s site. And bada bing, less revenue.

Watching videos on Chime.TV is more like watching a channel on TV. Without touching anything the next video automatically loads, causing vegging out to occur quickly. Chime.TV has created a bookmarklet that will grab all the videos on a particular page and pull them into a Chime.TV playlist. This is especially convenient when watching episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher, or so I’ve heard.

I recommend Chime.TV to any serious video addicts out there, but for those one-at-a-timers it’s probably not worth it.

I’ll be watching.

– chris

What would a city look like with no ads?

June 19, 2007

São Paulo, Brazil is finding out after years of rampant street advertisements.

Marco 1

On April 1st, 2007 a law went into effect that banned any and all advertisements in the city of São Paulo. São Paulo’s mayor, Gilberto Kassab, proposed the law after being “..fed up with the ‘visual pollution’ caused by the city’s 8,000 billboard sites, many of them erected illegally…”

Marco 2

It’s estimated that US$133 million will be lost in advertising revenue. Naturally, the decision has been controversial and advertising agencies are a little peeved.

Marco 3

A Brazilian photographer, Tony de Marco, has been documenting the removal of the city’s ads and the billboard graveyard that’s been left behind. His photos are remarkable. At first glance they look like a ghost town, when in reality São Paulo is the world’s forth most populous city.

I wonder what New York would look like with no ads.

Head to Flickr for Tony de Marco’s full set.

– chris

(via Business Week)

Hmm… Those Book Covers Look Similar

June 18, 2007


New Moons

Novelish, a great new blog about creative writing, has put together an insightful post  about the use of stock photography as book covers. After noticing some striking similarities and doing a little research, it was clear that book cover designers were grabbing their material from the same places.

Thorn, Novelish’s writer, has only found a few examples but I’m sure there are many more. I was shocked that fairly high profile books would use stock photography and run the risk of a double-take, but I guess that goes with the territory. You never know where you’re photos will turn up.

I’d love to see a display of all the different uses of one stock photo.  I’m sure it would be enlightening.

Head to Novelish for more creative writing news.

– chris

Val’s Art Diary: This is How to Promote Yourself Online

June 18, 2007

Vals Art Diary

Are you an artist looking to promote yourself online? Well pay attention to this one. Val’s Art Diary is an excellent example of a web presence built by a talented painter, known only online as Valentina.

Valentina is a painter and a personality who is building an impressive online following by engaging her audience and involving them in her creative process. Val documents her painting on video and edits a punchy artist’s statement that she releases onto the inter-webs. She then sells the featured paintings on ebay. She has built a brilliant viral marketing platform and if the ebay auctions are any indication it looks things are paying off nicely.

Her first painting video was put on YouTube in November and has been seen an amazing 750,000 times. Her most recent video, YouTube on the iPhone(embedded below), has all the makings of a well timed viral hit. She’s going to fool quite a few people into thinking she has an iPhone, which she has tied into her motivations for this week’s painting. I can’t wait to see happens to her views and her auction.

You can bid on Val’s most recent painting, watch her vlog and check out her official site. If the ebay thing turns you off, you can also purchase prints on DeviantArt.

– chris