WEEK IN REVIEW
TUESDAY - Few things showed up in the mail
Undftd Western Conference All Star tee
My boy Lang Whitaker put Kobe on this month's cover.
And then GQ apparently copied him.
WEDNESDAY - Met up with Matty and Ryan in Oceanside for lunch
Matt brought me the giant iMac we bought a couple months ago.
Don't feel bad for Matt - we got him the newer, faster Quad Core version this week. Tough Life.
FRIDAY - Sent in my application to this ABC Directing Program my boy Rick told me about
I guess ABC selects a few people each year and pays them to job shadow professional television directors. Anyway I sent in copies of Eviction Notice and a personal statement which detailed how I've watched every episode of Seinfeld and The Office thanks to the miracle of Tivo. Cross your fingers - maybe I'll be hanging out on the Desperate Housewives set this fall.
VEGAS RECAP PART II
Few more Vegas photos from last week.
Woke up Wednesday and stopped by the Hilton for free breakfast courtesy of CIT (some type of like business funding group or something - I'd never heard of them either) Excellent breakfast nonetheless.
Wall graphics inside the men's restroom in the Hilton. Clever idea and well executed too.
Anyway, then we headed over to Mandalay Bay and walked around Project all day - really great collection of both large and small brands. Way more interesting stuff than what was at the other Convention Center.
These Vintage1 guys had some really good men's jeans. And keep in mind, I looked at a lot of jeans over those two days - but theirs really stood out to me for some reason.
Big Star's booth was wallpapered with dollar bills - donations for Haitian relief efforts. And yes - I threw some of the Craps winnings into the box. I'm trying to keep good Vegas Karma.
At the end of the day I stopped by the Men's Magic room upstairs. I was there about 10 minutes and ran into a bunch of people. Saw Emily from our old office and DJ Neil Armstrong.
Then I ran into Ben Baller over near the LRG booth. For those who don't know, Ben is a celebrity jeweler in LA who runs a very popular blog documenting his life. He writes a lot about partying and jewelry, neither of which I really care about, but there's also this small portion about networking, building a small empire and living 'the life' that makes it really captivating and strangely addicting.
Photo via Ben's blog - Ben on the left, Nick on the right, at the new Diamond store
Then I ran into Nick Diamond, namesake of Diamond Supply Co. Nick was one of the first guys to hit us up for a shirt last Spring when he heard about our Represent Kobe project. In fact, he told me that he still has our poster hanging in his office - which I thought was pretty cool. Anyway, I let him know that we already have some stuff in the works for Rep Kobe Part 2.
Last but not least, I stopped by the Undefeated booth just to check out their Fall collection so I could get a sneak preview of what I'll be wearing 6 months from now.
Went out to LA Friday morning.
Met with Legacy Games about a new web project. The proposal has been in the works for awhile and we're pretty excited about it now that it's official. But there are a few different groups involved, and our contract states that we're not supposed to talk about it until it launches - which won't be until 2011. So, I'll tell you all about it a year from now... when I'll be blogging from my iPad... inside of a flying car... on my way to the moon...
While I was there I picked up some copies of Emergency Room: Real Life Rescues, the Nintendo DS game that we designed packaging for awhile back.
This game came out recently and I think it's going to be pretty big. I mean, I think we can all agree: 0484CREATIVE + Real Life Medical Trauma Simulations should = Smash Hit!
And for all you guys whose parents won't buy you a DS, we're currently working on packaging for a similar PC based game, so stay tuned.
Walked the show with the crew from Iron Horse Jeans.
The objective was just to see what everyone in the industry is up to - basically market research and looking for inspiration for where we want to go with their Spring 2011 collection.
Magic is broken up into a million different sections in separate rooms at separate convention centers - and from what I've heard, it's way smaller and less extravagant now than in years past before everyone in the industry went broke. Anyway, we walked the Sourcing show for awhile and spoke to a bunch of manufacturers.
Saw these awesome knit hats - they had a Cookie Monster one that I wanted to buy Matt but we all know he wouldn't wear it since he hates fun.
Matt couldn't make it so he stayed home and worked and I ended up gambling with this guy instead. He told me his name was "Boogie Down" but everyone at our Craps table just called him "Ice-T".
This is the picture I message I sent to Matt at 3:30AM
Just before dawn I decided to roll the dice one more time and then head upstairs. Over the course of about 20 minutes, I hit a bunch of hard eights and hard sixes in a row and made $1,000. I'm thinking about writing a book about Craps strategy - it'll be titled Dice Control.
Anyway, I've got a ton of work to do and a big meeting tomorrow morning. Part 2 of the Vegas recap coming soon.
This was the best commercial of the Super Bowl.
Trust me, I know because I watch the Super Bowl only for the commercials.
That robot dancing part is so funny. Kia has been doing a decent job recently of using advertising and some strategic marketing to strengthen their brand.
On the other hand, for example, Hyundai ran a spot that touted their Sonata's paint job as being better than a Mercedes. The commercial was actually well made and looked decent - but whoever thought that comparing paint jobs with a Benz was going to be an effective strategy to sell bargain priced off brand sedans should be fired.
This whole Taco Bell campaign with Barkley just irritates me. What is the tie-in? He's promoting a $5 "NBA box". What's inside this box besides random taco junk that makes it NBA related? Why is he speaking like Dr. Seuss? Whose idea was this?
At least in the T-Mobile ads, Charles plays himself and the commercials reference his public persona and charming imaginary friendships with Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard. Here he's just making a fool of himself. I don't fault Barkley - it's Taco Bell's ad agency Draft FCB's fault. This place is actually headquartered in Irvine and they also made that random Dockers' spot where all the guys are roaming around in no pants.
Taco Bell has a giant ad budget - they need to go back to using their old agency TBWA/Chiat Day. I'd take those chihuahua ads over the stuff they're currently running any day. Or, of course,they could hire us - Matt and I can make much better commercials than this and save them about $100 million or so a year.
I know everyone loves these E*TRADE ads. The talking baby gimmick gets a bit repetitive but they're still better than most of what's out there.
This Google commercial was well made. It tells a story but makes the viewer use their imagination to fill in the gaps. Not to mention it seems like it cost about $250 bucks to produce - which is $5 million less than all the other 60-seconds spots.
In other commercial related news, my boy Manny recently starred in the new Mac Snack Wrap commercial for McDonald's. Manny was the lead in a short film my friend Rick made last year that I worked on as Assistant Director. Anyway, I was really surprised to see him on TV so I e-mailed him to congratulate him. He's very talented and he told me that since we worked together last year he's actually been cast on episodes of Raising the Bar, ER, and Cold Case. Anyway, every time I see him on TV standing on the balcony sweet talking that tortilla wrapped hamburger patty, I just feel so proud of him.
And last but not least, the best commercial in recent history: Hanes Sock Paste. (I love this spot - Matt thinks it's sort of mediocre but I think he just doesn't get it. I laugh every time.)
Matt and I met up in Vegas this weekend and were thinking about getting some work done.
But then we brought 14 of our closest friends and decided to take a couple days off instead.
Of course we stayed at the best hotel and casino
I'd love to show you guys a bunch of crazy pictures of all the ridiculous Vegas partying and such, but this is our company blog and we have a professional reputation to maintain. So, if you want to see them, you'll have to check out my or Matt's personal Facebook pages.
Oh that's right, we don't have Facebook pages. So, anyway...
This is a sign with Matt's favorite fighter on it - in front of a store that has something to do with nipples apparently
Deli inside Mandalay Bay. Where else can you get an $18 turkey sandwich?
On Saturday, Matt
The following few photos courtesy of some geeked out UFC fansite
This was one of the better fights (of the 3 that I didn't sleep through). Seemed a bit bloody at first but Matt assured me that it's all special effects and makeup like the movies, which made me feel much better.
And despite what it looks like, this charming young man was actually the winner.
Finally, in the Main Event, the 50-year old gentleman on the left choked out this other 50-year dude in bike shorts and everyone cheered. Hooray for unconsciousness!
Anyway, last but not least, thanks to that kid at the Craps table in the Gumby t-shirt at 4AM Sunday morning who rolled all those Hard Eights and made the whole trip possible. You're my hero.
Matt and I spent Thursday afternoon shooting a few photos.
Our client had some product samples arrive and needed them shot immediately in order to be included in their upcoming catalog.
We didn't have time to set up a normal studio session with proper lighting and equipment.
So we decided to rig something up in Matt's backyard.
One staple gun, 1 queen size bed sheet, 2 bricks, 1 roll of twine, 2 - 500 watt lights, and 1 USB extension cable later, this is what we put together. The photos turned out well - the catalogs will be printed in a of couple weeks.
We set up the sheet first and waited all afternoon until the sun was directly behind it to use as our main source for diffused light - at which point we had about an hour to shoot everything before the sun set completely.
Some will see this as another instance of our relentless resourcefulness. Others, snotty professional photographers for example, may view it as a case of ridiculously substandard working conditions. I like to think that the whole thing was sort of MacGyver-ish but I sort of see the pro photographers' point of view as well.
My boy Ruchir e-mailed me this article yesterday about this kid out at Harvard who is living my dream.
My other dream, that is, besides the one about being a graphic designer and getting to boss Matt around.
Anyway, this kid Jeremy Lin has a cool story and he's been in the press a lot lately - I read about him in TIME a couple weeks ago. Really good all-around Senior guard who may lead Harvard to their first tournament berth in a million years this season.
Watching Lin play is basically the closest NBA scouts can get to visualizing what my game would look like if only I was 5" taller. The ESPN article doesn't state that verbatim, but sometimes you have to read between the lines.
Anyway, all the legit D1 coaches say that he has NBA level talent, but due to stereotypes his chances of being drafted are sort of slim. Meanwhile the Golden State Warriors just picked up Coby Karl out of nowhere last week and of course the Lakers pay this guy $5 mil a year for absolutely nothing - so obviously the system is a bit flawed.