A channel re-brand is an exciting project that doesn’t come round that often, but when the branding you’re replacing was lorded at launch and still widely admired it’s a little bit intimidating. However there was logic for the re-brand beyond just simply a desire for change.
The original branding of More4 was very bold and uncompromising, with colourways and graphic look gave the channel a unique ‘grown up’ look that worked perfectly with the original content and ambitions. Over the years the content of the channel has shifted and with the plans to launch the upcoming ’scrapbook’ service, it was felt it was time to redress the gap between the channel branding and channel content.
We still wanted to create an identity that had a singular strong design feel, but one that had more flexibility and a lot more warmth and tactility. In addition, in the back of your mind you have to ensure any new look can sit comfortably, and hold its own, alongside the other Channel 4 brands.
The new more4 look is centred round a bold, mutli-coloured logo that reveals itself through a series of flips, folds and spins. The logo is definitely the hero of the re-brand and all the on screen work is born from it.
Right from the start of the project we knew we wanted to create live action idents. Initially all the ideas were too convoluted or grandiose, but as the logo animations developed it inspired discussion of taking elements of the logo and breaking them out in to the real world. After that, creatively, things pretty quickly came to the point at where the idents are now.
However, the realities of designing, manufacturing, installing and transporting 400 flipper units was a challenge, but all those variables, the extra input and expertise we gained along the way, made the project very satisfying. Using ‘practical effects’ on that scale was a bit daunting but a very rewarding experience as it meant the was an element of randomness and uncontrollability throughout the process but I think it makes the end product more interesting and hopefully helps them stand up to repeated viewings.
Acting as a production company with a script from agency Mother we have recently finished work on a couple of spots to promote a new range of frozen fish products developed by Jamie Oliver and Young’s.
The spots place Jamie (and one of his kitchens) in the arctic – where the fish is sourced for the meals. He tries to cook, but obviously struggles considering the harsh surroundings.
One of the greatest challenges – other than wrangling Snow Owls and working out where we were going to get a polar bear from – was how we were going to convincingly place Jamie in the Arctic when really we really only had him for a few hours in a studio in West London.
Working with post house MPC and Art Directors Skyhook we worked out exactly how this was to be achieved. Skyhook built a set sprayed with fake snow (actually paper) within which we placed the kitchen and surrounded this area with blue screen. We then filmed Jamie as we blasted him with 8ft fans and buckets fake snow. Taking this raw material MPC then added and animated hi-res stills of various arctic environments. Further layers of snow were then generated in 3D before being added along with mist and even icebergs. Et Voila: arctic Jamie.
OK, so things got a little messy on Friday. The last thing I remember was being at Karaoke Box singing Born in the USA with Molly. I staggered into the airport at 10am, and literally cried when they told me i had missed my flight. Fortunately the check in girl took pity on me onto another flight leaving at 11.30. I slept the entire way there, and woke up as the plane hit the tarmac. I was still a little hazy, and felt like shit, but staggered through to customs. And this is where my troubles really began.
I tried to explain to the customs lady that i was visiting New York “through” my work, but not “for” work (don’t ever go there with US customs – they just don’t get it). So i changed tack, and said i was just here for pleasure, just to watch the Superbowl. She looked at me suspisiously and called over her supervisor. Admitedly, i was sweating, stank of booze, and generally looked pretty dishevelled, so she had her reasons to be suspiscious of me. But any doubts that she or her supervisor may have had, instantly evaporated when I projectile vomited all over them.
It’s hard to describe the atmosphere. There was a palpable silence, followed by gasps from the waiting crowds. Followed by more silence. It should have felt like an eternity, but it only took them about 5 seconds to handcuff me.
I spent the next 2 days alone in a holding cell at JFK. The closest I got to the Superbowl was hearing the guards watch the game down the corridor. I was charged with “assaulting 2 customs officers” (WTF?) Charges were dropped on the condition I return to the UK, and I am banned from returning to the USA for 10 years. A little harsh. On Monday I was placed on a flight back to the UK, where I was questioned by British police for 4 hours.
I went straight into 4Creative to explain myself. The police had already informed them of what had happened, and I truly expected to get the sack. Instead i got a standing ovation, and some pats on the back. Still shaking, I recounted my run-in with The Americans. Apparently a similar thing happened to Rory a couple of years before. Phil said he was truly proud of me. Tom T promised me a small pay rise. And that’s how messed up this place is.
American football has always been a bit of an enigma to us Europeans. So 4Creative decided to hold a raffle for one lucky fucker to go out to New York and get the lo-down on what its like to experience the Superbowl in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And guess who won? Hell yeah! I’m flying out from Heathrow tomorrow morning at 9am, but right now, I’m heading down to the Green Coat to buy everyone a pint. Thank you 4Creative. Thank you.
Some creatives spend weeks shooting scantily clad Adonises on the sun kissed beaches of the Maldives. Others brace the snowy peaks of the Andes from the comfort of a helicopter. Here at 4Creative, we spend our days in dank North London studios, colouring in large white walls with small pieces of chalk. Some would say this is a relatively stupid endeavor, but that’s just how we roll. I guess.
We shot Jamie’s Dream School today. I was up at 7.30, and headed off to the set of Jamie’s Dream School over at Holbourn Studios. Agnieszka (Production Designer) and her crew were setting up, the photographer Kurt Stallaert arrived from Belgium, and they did the pre-lighting. Around noon, the great Mr Jamie Oliver rocked up, and was super friendly and nice to everyone.
So nice, that he actually let me have a spin on his new Vespa. Unfortunately my driving skills suck ass. Big time. I’m so so so so sorry Jamie.
They have taken me off Jamie’s Dream School. It’s OK. I’m not a great fan of Jamie Oliver anyway. And it’s not like it’s the greatest idea either. Apparently Joseph is going to art direct it instead. I’m not bitter though. Tom Tagholm told me to not take it personally, and that it happens a lot here. Which is fine I guess. I’m cool. It’s not like I’m gonna get upset by something like this. It’s just an advert for fucks sake. Who cares? I’m totally fine with them getting someone else to do it. Really. They still want me to go to the shoot though. Great. Thanks guys. Thanks a lot.
I got a brief for my first Pitch today. I’d tell you all about it, but its top secret, so i can’t say nothing. I’ve got to go back on Monday with the goods. Speaking of the goods, I have just been handed my first assignment – Jamie’s Dream School. Molly came up with this brilliant wack idea, but apparently she is too busy to do it, so they have asked me to art direct it. Sweet! I’m so excited. It’s a great idea, and I love Jamie Oliver. All I can tell you is, it’s gonna be awesome.
I can confirm the rumor that Ed Webster had his chest waxed over the weekend. I think it’s kind of gross, even though it was for charity. All the girls seem to dig it.
The other rumor was that Peter Kosminksy (big TV director – and i don’t mean physically) was coming in today, to see the work on The Promise. This too is true, and although he had less admirers than ed’s new-look chest, he seemed like a very nice bloke.