As a part of the development of the RELLA Brand we decided early on that we would need to give the wares a strong visual presence. We needed something to link the strength of our design work to the outside world – something that would get people talking but without giving too much away.
After seeing the strong emphasis on visual creativity in their music video and commercial works we approached startup video company NUT Films – You can watch their latest showreel here: nutfilms.co.uk, and follow the progress of their animated short film as it gets made here facebook.com/smogfilm. Meeting with creative directors Rafael Gibbons and Jack Benson – both fresh out of university and with a hunger for bringing together challenging new projects, NUT Films seemed like the perfect fit for RELLA.
After pitching a set of ten very different ideas to our team of creatives we settled on a concept that would quite literally bring the RELLA tiger to the City of London. In this blog we’ll show how we got from the initial stage with this basic idea all the way through the animation and storyboarding process, and in the end to the finished product and our RELLA video.
Whilst Rafael and RELLA representative Maryam scoured London for the most interesting locations for the teaser – NUT Films commissioned National Film and Television School Animation graduate Jack Tilley, to begin bringing the RELLA tiger to life. Chosen on the strength of his Graduation Short Film – the trailer for which can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/39963108 as well as his blog that can be found here: jacktilleyfilms.co.uk – Jack began work on animating the tiger in January. The tiger was brought to life in three different ways – one sitting, one alerted to danger and one running at full pace.
Though the animation was relatively simple, its always a lengthy process and after a month of preparation we were finally ready to shoot.
As we moved closer to the date of the shoot and the end of march, and with the pressure on to make something that would live up to the quality of the brand, we did further location scouting and produced a storyboard that would translate our written script into the visual medium that we were creating. The basic concept of the piece was our RELLA Tiger stalking the city streets and then suddenly being discovered by three urban hunters. Keeping the visual impact of the work in line with the visual impact of our clothing would prove to be a real challenge.
We went on our final recce and confirmed the different locations around the centre of London that would appear in the teaser. Key places were around central London as well as capturing a particular graffiti tunnel that would give the video the texture it needed to feel both the gritty and the formal aspects of the RELLA brand.
On the first night we were at the heart of the city of London and used the dark alleys around the Financial district to create the atmosphere of a foreboding formality. It had been raining all day and this added a glistening texture to the shots we eventually chose. Lining up the C300 camera with our moving projector was surprisingly complicated but was nothing that the Nut Films team couldn’t handle.
On the second night we went to a renowned graffiti tunnel, famous in London for being host to Banksey’s ‘Cans Festival’ back in 2008. Its a place where graffiti artists have free reign over all the eye can see. The works of art are definitely worth checking out! We also had our three hunters dressed in formal attire: a trench coat from Traid, Camden and a winter coat from the vintage store, Rokit in Camden.
Here we had more space to manoeuvre, and we certainly needed it to be able to properly show the hunter’s running at speed. Using a borrowed Vespa Scooter and a lightweight rig for the camera, we were able to track alongside the runners, showing close ups of feet, hands and faces to emphasis the pace of both Tiger and Hunters. This all took plenty of planning on our feet and a great deal of shouting, but we were quickly able to see how good the results were going to be.
The final shot of the night was by far the most epic. We had all three of our hunters, the moped with engine raring, and finally the moving projector with its powerful RELLA Tiger all going at the same time. I don’t need to tell you how well it went, you can see for yourself by watching the video here: