Hey guys, Chris Colman here, partner and executive producer at Final Frontier, an animation production company with offices in Shanghai (where I am), Singapore, Madrid and Buenos Aires. We make high-end animated work across all techniques, working with the best directors in the world, for all kinds of local and international brands, and have picked up some nice awards for our work. China is frenetic, vibrant and constantly fascinating and I love being here. And amidst the chaos comes brilliant work, so here’s my High Five from the last few months...
OnePlus x Hasselblad - Animated Teasers for Partnership
Agency & Production: Final Frontier
Coming straight out of the gates here with Final Frontier’s recent piece for OnePlus, a series of animated teasers for the brand’s partnership with iconic camera maker, Hasselblad. This is the director’s cut, mashing up all three films, visuals only. We crafted the script and built a bespoke global team and pipeline to support director Ariel Costa to make three minutes of animation inside six weeks. It was quite an endeavour and it came out beautifully - atmospheric, enigmatic and unique. Ariel is a master. Props to him and the whole team.
IKEA - 'Rise of Sustainability'
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai
Awareness in China around sustainability is on the rise. It’s hard to measure true impact, and I can’t vouch for the brands talking about this stuff, but I take heart from the fact that these topics are even on the agenda for discussion. On a grassroots level, I’m loving the events company Kinkraise led by Yanyie Tran, which has been throwing decadent kinky parties in Shanghai, raising cash and awareness for environmental causes (also promoting body positivity in the process). Shanghai Fashion Week also recently made a point of including 'eco-conscious labels' in the program, and brought in an eCommerce KoL as a ‘sustainability ambassador’. IKEA is one example of a brand making some moves in the right direction in its operations, as well as raising awareness in its advertising. Under the slogan 'Even Small Green Actions Matter', the latest spot highlights the little things we can do day-to-day to help the cause.
Haier - 'Lazy Times'
Production: Qianxi Media
From doing more to doing less - in a world where we are supposed to be striving for proactivity - this ad for Haier by Shanghai agency Goodzilla says it’s OK, preferable even, to be lazy...at least if we are surrounded by smart home appliances. The spot tells us how convenient life can be with the brand’s products, while delivering a comforting dose of humour to the droves of knackered hard-working folk out there.
DotWell - 'Only For Those Bold Enough'
Agency & Production: DotWell
Next up is this self-initiated project by Shenzhen agency DotWell, aiming to attract new talent - an 'I want you' to those ‘ready to take unexpected challenges’ as they put it. In this first part of the three-film series, we encounter the problems that can occur on a shoot and a bevy of ridiculous solutions. Fun fact: all the crew and cast are real DotWell team members.
Yu Su - ‘Xiu’ Music Video
Production: Bié Records
It seems like electronic music will be the next subculture to blow up in China, following the hip hop and rock explosions of the last few years. There are scenes breaking out in cities across the country: proper clubs, talented producers and the beginnings of the brand-collab-KoL thing happening with those artists. I discovered Yu Su, a producer and DJ from Kaifeng (Hunan Province) now based in Canada, a couple of years ago via her guest sessions on NTS Radio. She recently released her first full length record, 'Yellow River Blues', and founded a record label to put out underground electronic music from China. Xiu is the headline single and comes complete with a nice little video of two pals frolicking at a funfair. Enjoy!