A Pint With… Barney Richard

June 12, 2017 / Features

By Alex Reeves

Knocking a few jars back with one of the industry’s most affable figures.

There’s a buzz around Riff Raff at the moment. The Creative Circle named them Most Creative Production Company in May, right before they went on to win 13 British Arrows.

I decided to grab a drink with Partner and EP Barney Richard before he and fellow Partner Matthew Fone get swallowed by a summer of well-earned revelry. Barney chose to hit up The Social, renowned Fitzrovia bar and music venue, where we knocked back a steady stream of Camden Pale Ale and delved into his soul.

 

…The Social is steeped in rich musical history. So many great bands and DJs have come through here. It was an important part of the big beat scene in the early 90s; there’s a certain psychedelia about it. I know the guys who run it, they play musical treats they care about - the cheese grills are pretty good too.”

…I used to rave in Nazi bunkers. Hitler built all these monolithic concrete bunkers around the beautiful granite coastline of Jersey where I grew up – we threw up graffiti and played music where once there was darkness. There’s also the German Underground Hospital – this huge network of tunnels underneath the Island. Eastern European slaves built them and when they died of exhaustion they cemented their bodies into the walls. I remember smoking my first joint and freaking out down there. It’s palpable, the energy, you can feel the suffering – I had to walk out…with a snickers and a can of coke in my pocket from the tourist shop of course.”

…As soon as I discovered dance music and the rave scene as a teenager, I was sold. It informed a lot of my personality. I used to listen to all kinds of other music too but the thing I loved about the rave scene was the openness, togetherness and sharing like-minded experiences with others. It changes you – when you’re 15 and finding yourself, it’s powerful.”

...There’s a definite connection between your environment and spirituality. There are Ley Lines that flow through Jersey, in the same way they do Glastonbury. There is an energy about the place, it’s Pagan.  My dad and I used to rock climb and explore all the Neanderthal burial sites on the Island as a kid and subsequently as an adult, I did the same with friends – we used to hunker down with our percussion paraphernalia and play all night…possibly under the influence of mushrooms.”

…Travelling is the elixir of life. I travelled on and off for about six years before I started my career. Everyone has to travel to understand the connection to their inner self and the world around them. The way we consume travel has changed a lot since then. You can stay in a five-star hotel in a lot of places now but you couldn’t do that then. I feel that if you want learn and detach yourself from society and its pressures, you need to find those places and people that are very different from you and your normal environment.”

…Cuzco (Peru) blew my head clean off. There was a waitress in a café who we became friends with, she invited us to this wedding at a temple at the top of the city in the mountains. There were roofs as far you could see, punctuated by mountain peaks. Living above the clouds is otherworldly. As I remember it, the culture there is so undiluted. It’s beautiful.”

…Riff Raff feel like the pirates of the industry. Culture and personality are so important to our business. It’s so important to have that collective understanding. People need to fit in here and have good taste as well as good ideas. We’re all scruffy buggers who’ve ended up doing something that we care about deeply...by the way, where’s your eye patch…?”

…It’s so difficult to grow young talent now, mostly because of the ad industry’s fearful mind-set of accountability. Everyone has a list of people they want to work with but let’s be realistic. Does your brief rely on an understanding of culture or even have a good idea? Do you want a director to dial it in because budgets are smaller and they have a shoot window? You can’t build a young director’s career on branded content because it’s mostly shit. Music videos and self-generated ideas are where it’s at.”

…Music videos are an integral part of our business and we fucking love them. They’re the only way to build young directors’ careers because it’s the most creative environment you’ll ever work in. Music videos are as powerful now as they were ten years ago and they inform and are part of popular culture and sub-culture.”

…We’re living in a time when great filmmaking is helping music. There’s a lot of shit music out there but you can proliferate an average track by virtue of an incredible music video, and that’s really interesting in terms of how people view what turns them on or off…and these days, it’s a very quick decision.”

…Matthew and I have a yin-and-yang partnership. A producer’s job is to look at what’s in front of them and find a solution. A salesperson is miles ahead, lining up the next opportunity. Every good salesperson needs a good producer in this business.
I need a partnership to bounce ideas around in otherwise I’d burst.”

…My life’s all about people. My parents brought me up to be sociable. Maybe being an only child I’ve got this incredible insecurity that I need to be loved or something! People are very precious to me and this need for attention has even ended up informing my career. I feel obligated to find common ground with others as a human being, it’s fascinating.”

…I feel things deeply. It means I get hurt quite deeply if that’s what’s on the table. But when it’s a positive it’s an ecstatic positive, like nothing else. I’d rather have an insane up and down existence rather than flat line all the time. Every single interaction you have is informative and impulsive and of the moment, only you can decide how you wish to take it, it’s ultimately what you make of it.”

Barney Richard is Partner and Executive Producer at Riff Raff.

Signed: Anderson Wright

June 12, 2017 / Signed/Unsigned

By The Beak Street Bugle

A Seattle-based talent with an unrelenting passion for craft.

Anderson Wright is the latest director to join Indy8’s already impressive roster of talent.

His career began with writing, directing, producing, and editing videos for small businesses in New Jersey. Since then he has continued to demonstrate his innate ability to craft compelling stories told with bold visuals and powerful music. Renowned for creating beautifully shot work which really captures the energy and pace of his subjects, Anderson immerses himself in the world of his subjects in order to elicit strong emotional reactions. The passion he has for his craft enables him to draw audiences in to the story, engaging and exciting them in equal measure.

He’s directed for a diverse range of global clients, including Microsoft, Intel, Mazda, and State Farm. Specialising in live action branded content, Anderson has created a number of highly successful online spots, including for the app Duet Display, which has been seen over ten million times internationally.

His reputation for producing such high quality work has seen him work with some truly inspiring people such as US Olympic fencer Nzingha Prescod, NFL All-Pro running back Arian Foster, and world-renowned artist Li Hongbo.

Having working the US so extensively, it’ll be interesting to watch his career now he’s repped in the UK by Indy8.

Watch some of his work here:

High Five: June

June 10, 2017 / High Five

By Alex Reeves

Great advertising that moves the conversation forwards.

When it’s good, advertising is part of culture. And the best advertising this month is exactly that, not only taking influence from society and people in the world but contributing to the conversations people are having, moving discourse forward. There’s a genuine debate to be had around each of these five pieces of film. That’s why we think they’re the best of the month.

Brand: Heinz
Title: Office
Production Company: Outsider
Director: James Rouse
Production Company Producer: Benji Howell
Director of Photography: Alex Melman
Ad Agency: BBH London
Creative Director: Uche Uzugwu
Creatives: Andy Parsons
Agency Producer: Jessica Savoury
Editing Company: Work
Editor: Mark Edinoff
Sound Company: Hogarth
Visual Effects Company: Framestore

Heinz – Office

In 2016 the world reached peak ‘clean eating’ as publishers turned Instagram feeds into recipe books, full of steamed chicken breast and massaged kale, that flew off the shelves. Everyone’s familiar with an amateur nutritionist, min-maxing their protein and vitamin intake, which is of course why this ad and its companion, Home, are so relatable. Baked beans might not be the health nut’s go-to meal component, but it’s easy to get on their side when they’re contrasted with such douchebaggery.

 

 

Brand: Lynx
Title: Is it OK for guys…
Production Company: Caviar
Director: Thomas Ralph
Production Company Producer: Scott O’Donnell
Director of Photography: Joseph Guy
Ad Agency: 72andsunny
Creative Directors: Matt Heck, Laura Visco
Creative: Georgianna Gregori
Agency Producer: Stephanie Oakley
Editing Company: Stitch London
Editor: Paul O’Reilly
Sound Company: Wave
Sound Designers: Ed Downham, Alex Nicholls-Lee
Visual Effects Company: MPC

Lynx - Is it OK for guys...

Lynx / Axe’s crusade to redefine masculinity more loosely continues in this film. It was a smart move for the brand to make themselves the Dove for men, addressing the pressures society seems to heap on people. The point-of-view style paired with a choppy edit helps to make it an uncomfortable watch that captures the anxiety of adolescence and young adulthood perfectly. Hopefully it will help some young men to grow into their true selves. It might even flog some deodorant.

 

Brand: Marks & Spencer
Title: Spend it Well, Food
Production Companies: Town Productions
Directors: Matt Doman, Food Film
Production Company Producer: Fritha Dickie
Ad Agency: Grey London
Creative Director: Matt Doman
Creatives: Matt Doman, Angela Harding
Agency Producer: Fritha Dickie
Editor: Matt Newman
Sound Company: Wave
Sound Designer: Jack Sedgwick
Visual Effects Company: MPC

Marks & Spencer - Food

This ad combines classic M&S food porn visuals with a voiceover that continues Grey’s new message for the brand of ‘spending it well’. It’s sumptuous as ever, combining decades of expertise in food cinematography to make a grilled pepper look the best it possibly can. It’s got some nice shots of the world outside the kitchen edited in very cleverly, too.

 

 

Brand: RNLI
Title: Float to Live
Production Company: Nice Shirt Films
Director: Olly Goodrum
Production Company Producer: Luke Goodrum
Director of Photography:  Patrick Duroux
Ad Agency: Krow
Creative Director: Tim Robertson
Creatives: Matt Allen, Nigel Roberts
Agency Producer: Sushi Tester
Editing Company: Trim
Editor: Ross Hallard
Sound Company: Jungle Studios
Sound Designer: Jim Griffin
Visual Effects Company: Raised by Wolves

RNLI – Float to Live

This film isn’t trying anything to clever or tricky. There’s a very simple message here – that you should try and float calmly if you fall in cold water. The script is to the point and instructive and the visuals illustrate the feeling of falling in cold water clearly yet poetically. It’s an elegant film and hopefully it will save lives.

 

Brand: UEFA
Title: We Play Strong
Production Company: Nexus Studios
Director: Kibwe Tavares
Production Company Producer: Josh Buchanan
Ad Agency: FCB Inferno
Creative Director: Elspeth Lynn
Creative: Sarah Lefkowith
Agency Producer: Kate Grenfell
Editing Company: Stitch
Editor: Tim Hardy
Music Company: Leland Music
Sound Company: Factory
Sound Designer: John Clarke
Visual Effects Companies: Time Based Arts, Unit

UEFA – We Play Strong

This is the start of an aim by UEFA to make football the number-one played sport for women in Europe within five years and it’s a strong opening gambit. While it’s hard to deny that it owes a fair bit to Kim Gehrig’s classic This Girl Can for Sport England, director Kibwe Tavares has certainly made the script come to life in his uniquely vibrant style. It’s energizing and the tone is spot on. Backed up by messaging like this, UEFA could make the change that women’s football deserves.