Category Archives: Favorites

Cinemax – Strike Back: Interactive Video Wall Billboard

Agency: BLT & Associates

Client: Cinemax

Project: “Strike Back” Interactive Video Wall Billboard

It’s been nearly a year to the day since I’ve posted work to my site. It’s been a busy year, having delivered on literally dozens of campaigns while at BLT. This most recent launch, warrants an immediate post. A collaborative effort with multiple departments at BLT and with our production and technology partners, I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all who helped make this a reality. It’s up through the month of August and I encourage anyone who’s in NYC to check it out while they can.

This past Saturday, August 6th Cinemax revealed a massive interactive billboard in New York to promote its first primetime original series STRIKE BACK. Housed at 225 West 34th Street, the scopic wallscape will run 24-hours a day and feature gritty key art and interactive content across eighteen 46” screens. Below are a few more details on the installation:

• The SuperWall gives consumers a massive visual experience by playing large-scale video across all eighteen screens at once.

• Armed with a set of cameras, the SuperWall captures movement and reacts to pedestrians as they walk by.

• Split among four interactive stations, the SuperWall allows users to interact and engage with the wallʼs digital mainframe to learn more about the organization, its major players, its missions, and to even enlist in S20.

Never before have large-scale video playback, reactivity, and interactivity been combined into one experience. A revolutionary piece that evokes pseudo military intelligence, the SuperWall is the perfect entry point into the world of STRIKE BACK.

Credits

Concept, Creative Direction, Design: Erik Reponen
Interactive Art Director: Greg Jardin
Interactive Lead Designer: Alex Ogle
Print Lead Designer: Joyce Lai
Motion Graphics Design and Animation: Tom Kositchotitana
PHP Development and MMS Integration: Lou Rodriguez
Account Management: Jenny Wall
Account Coordinator: Ashleigh Lew
Production Partner: Apologue, Inc.
Software development, System Design, Technology integration: Audio, Video & Controls, Inc.

SXSW ’09 Interactive Way-finding Projection

The following is a pitch that was a true collaboration between myself and Brian Bowman, while both of us were CD’s at Digital Kitchen.  The core part of my contribution was the way-finding concept, design and functionality (The Dynamic Layer) while Brian’s was the Interactive Content.  Together we worked out how the Interactive Content could be interacted with.   It was very close to a reality, but by the time the festival had the right sponsor on board it was too close to launch to pull it off.  For those of you who have been to SXSW, I think you’ll really appreciate this interactive way-finding projection.

Realtime MusicFilmInteractive Hub

Interactive Wayfinding is a live interactive projection screen offering relevant and current SXSW event information as it happens. The screens are located at the heart of the festival, the corner of San Jacinto Blvd. and E 6th St. and potentially a second location at the convention center.

2 Layers: Dynamic Layer + Interactive Content

The projection itself is comprised of two parts. Layer 1 is a dynamic information layer with event listings, venue schedules, map directions and twitter interactivity. Layer 1 is about getting relevant information to the user immediately. Layer 2 is interactive content designed to entertain an audience, engaging the user in an experience.

Dynamic Layer

The dynamic layer will serve as a high profile filter that will illuminate attendees on the vast array of activities and events during the duration of the festival they may otherwise overlook or miss. This way finding application is comprised of three parts: a news, events, and features feed on the left side; a user-query based interactive location tool on the right side; a highlights and instructional overlay in the middle.

The left column feed will consist of the most recent updates posted on Official SXSW feeds, events/activities based on time of day and day of the week including special events and public after parties, and highlights of additional interactive tools and relevant messaging that can help attendees make the most of their stay. Each item, where appropriate will be color coded to reflect which part for the festival it comes from (e.g. orange = interactive.) Any event/activities that have a particular location related to it, will have a simple shortcode that users can submit from a mobile device to find directional information in the way finding area on the right hand column.

The right column will display the results of location/event queries submitted by mobile devices in a first-come-first-serve manner. Each one will be highlighted in the appropriate festival color and display the user’s ID/’handle to call out the personal request to a users attention. Contained in each result is a snapshot map of where an event is taking place in relation to the installation and the travel distance to that event. Additional information, like shuttle details, can also be added.

The highlights and instructional section in the center would transition after set period of time on top of the interactive video layer to highlight a variety of events and messages. In addition to offering simple instructional information, the center layer would call out events and locations with specific context helping to filter through the countless festival offerings. Featuring specific events, types of events, mapping respective locations of film/music/interactive venues, event schedules for specific locations, and events based on interest level will help visitors to not only get to where they are going but to discover new activities and events. During transitions between the informational layer and the interactive content layer – a branded sponsor animation will trigger, bringing to attention the brand that brought art and technology together to both entertain and inform.

Interactive Content

We have two approaches for the interactive content. The first concept, TweetTitle uses a decidedly live action twitter-centric strategy while the second idea, PunkAnalogue is based on a punk inspired interactive experience. Both of these ideas work seamlessly with the Dynamic Layer.

TweetTitle

Drawing upon a Christopher Guest style of shooting (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind) combined with old-school photo studio backdrops, two actors will re-present broad genres of film. Each segment uses close-ups, simulated wide shots, freeze frames (actors simply staying as still as possible), and numerous wardrobe changes. Action shots will be things like running in place while in front of a forest backdrop.    Integration with Twitter (or SMS) becomes imperative as phrases like, “All your base (username) now belong to us.” speak directly to members in the audience. Through-out the day, randomized story paths will enable the characters to re-contextualize each set-up rather than repeating the same linear story on a loop.

Proximity sensors could trigger a jump cut of the actors looking out into the audience (breaking the 4th wall), but this is optional.

PunkAnalogue

In an alternate universe, punk rock’s outlet was computer programming motivated by music. This synergistic conflation creates odd offspring. PunkAnalogue marries Sid Vicious with clean generative programming to make this feel like a bastard lovechild of film + interactive + rock-n-roll.  Central to the PunkAnalogue concept is the exposition of process. How do you ready-make something while ignoring the rules? Starting with scripted and computer generated geometries we will print out a series of animated segments, rebuild them and then photograph the sequence. The process itself will generate it’s own set of unexpected anomalies. Inserting other unexpected techniques, such as representing the 3D generative using folded paper or chipboard (like an architecture model) will add an additional layer of surprising depth and richness.

Using proximity sensors and possibly motion detection, the analogue animations react as festival attendees approach. A library of behaviors respond to audience movement and closeness to the projection wall.

Recent Design Gallery

While most of my work the past several years has been more creative direction, I’ve still managed to keep my hands dirty.  I only wish I had the opportunity to do more design – sometimes it seems my happiness is directly related to how much time I spend in Photoshop.  Here’s a selection of mostly recent work, with a few favorites thrown in for good measure.  Enjoy.

Leanforwards – A&E Trade Campaign

Client: A&E / A&E Networks

Project: Trade Campaign

Visit: The Museum of Leanforwards

What the hell’s a Leanforward? that’s the question we asked A&E when they asked us to help them unveil their nueroscientific discovery of the “Leanforward” viewer to the marketing world. They told us that Leanforwards were highly evolved viewers who preferred the kind of deeply engaging programming found on A&E. Recent studies had revealed that these “Leanforwards” actually leaned forward and immersed themselves in both the programs and the ads. This made them “humans of interest” to the media buying and planning hominids housed in North America’s innumerable marketing and media buying firms. It also made the “Museum of Leanforwards” the perfect pilgrimage for aficionados of high engagement marketing.

Video

Wake The Planner from DIGITALKITCHEN on Vimeo.

Gallery

Credits

Executive Creative Director: Jeff Long
Executive Producer: Todd Brandes
Creative Director: Anthony Vitagliano
President: Don McNeill
Interactive Creative Director: Erik Reponen
Creative Director: Camm Rowland
Creative Lead / 3d: Chad Ashley
Interactive Developer: Lance Hornback
Interactive Creative Lead: Peter Reid
Senior Producer: Andrea Biderman
Interactive Producer: Jason McClaren, Jessica Baker, Dina Morales
Copywriter: Kevin Walsh
Designer: Jason Esser
Producer: Chris Hill
3d Artists: Todd Kumpf, Wes Burke, Chris Green
Flash Designer: Matt Pennetti
Production Artist: Eric Powell
Flash Designer: Luis Hurtado
Flash Developer: Shant Parseghian
Editor: Dave Tousignant

Unlock Your Sherlock – Interactive Film for Warner Bros.

Client: Warner Brothers and MSN B.E.E.T.

Project: Interactive Film

The goal was deceivingly simple: to create on-line buzz for Warner Brother’s big screen adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. plays the updated Holmes, in part by playing himself. Jude Law is the oddly decisive and suspiciously attractive Watson. Clearly not your grandfather’s book-bound sleuths. There were early talks about complicated Victorian on-line games, ideas tossed around banking on several Phantom cameras shooting 1000 frames per second. It felt too technical. Not sexy enough. But more importantly, not strategically relevant or native to the film it was designed to promote.

Instead we picked up on one unique aspect of the new Holmes — his uncanny, frantic ability to observe. Like a bird on cocaine. We wanted to give the viewer the ability to experience what Sherlock sees. Make the interactive element and our experience directly related to a promise for the feature film. But never try to recreate the film. Or a foggy London anno 1890. This project begged to be a timeless cinematic era mash-up, a world that would have David Lynch feel at home. And because distribution of the on-line film is world wide, we put ourselves to the test and asked: how do we create a visual mystery — without any dialogue — that still delivers a rich mystery narrative.

With a crew and cast of 100 on set every day, 3 brilliant directors of photography working side by side, 7 cameras, 3 capture formats and a costume lead from “Mad Men” set and lots of coffee, we set the stage. One large, timeless, labyrinth of a location. A private club filled with characters from around the world. A formal event: cigar smoke wafts, elevator doors reveal, mirrors disguise, glances distract and seduce. Everyone’s a suspect. We enter, as first person view camera. We are Holmes. Then — a crime takes place right before our eyes. What really happened? Who did it? Why?

Just like the new Holmes, the interactivity lets viewers dive in to the crime-scene to see what others can’t — to suspend time and space. Pick up the smallest of details. The slightest movement. A glance. A sound. These are “Holmes Moments” — each one offering clues that together unveil a bigger and more sinister narrative. We used plenty from our DK arsenal: multiple camera formats, visceral editing, burst-mode, macro-photography, sound design, slow-motion, compositing and some techniques we will never reveal — the individual Holmes Moments catering to what is revealed in each of the 20 clues.

Warner Brother’s partnership with Microsoft’s branded entertainment division and MSN spread the interactive film to millions of viewers over 4 continents. But there’s nothing really mysterious about what happens then.

Gallery

Warner Brothers: Sherlock Teaser from DIGITALKITCHEN on Vimeo.

Warner Brothers: Sherlock Final Reveal from DIGITALKITCHEN on Vimeo.

Warner Bros. “Sherlock Interactive Film Demo” from DIGITALKITCHEN on Vimeo.

Credits

Creative Director/Writer: Johan Liedgren
Interactive Creative Director: Erik Reponen
Senior Creative: Ryan Gagnier
Creative: Morgan Henry
Producers: Morgan Henry, Chezik Walker
Designers: Chris Abbas, John Foreman, Jeremy Stuart, Cody Cobb, Eric Bauer, Russell Hirtzel.
Editors: Brian Cole, Shawn Fedorchuk, Slavka Kolbel
Director of Photography: Martin Ahlgren
Line Producer/Assistant Director: Eugene Mazzola
Camera Operators: Rodney Taylor, Morgan Henry
Steadicam Operator: Kenneth Faro
Exec. Producer/Head of Creative: Mark Bashore
Sound Design/Composition: LUCIT
Color: Lightpress

WRX Nation – Branded Entertainment and Social Network

Client: Carmichael Lynch for Subaru

Project: Strategy, Art Direction and Design – Octane TV Integrated Campaign for Subaru’s WRX brand.  Features include: Original Content; Aggregated Video Collection; Customized Enthusiast Social Network built on Kick Apps

This project all started when I was contacted by our sales department to develop an interactive component for a brand integration content campaign on our Octane TV network to engage to Subaru’s enthusiast market.  Collaborating with our internal sales and programming teams, Subaru of America’s (SOA) marketing team, and Carmichael Lynch’s account and creative teams I developed a two-pronged approach.

The first component was a channel of original and aggregated content that would reside on the main Octane website.  For the channel itself, we created a unique logo and related imagery that would stand on it’s own as a sub-brand of the Octane network incorporating the WRX brand – Subaru’s enthusiast focused brand.  From this creative direction we also developed a 3D based, motion graphics opener for the original content that highlighted the core selling points for the newly updated vehicle.

The second component is a user generated content focused website, utilizing the KickApps platform, that would serve as central platform for our enthusiast audience to engage with each other around the WRX brand.  To promote the property, we created platform based widgets that would be placed on the main Octane website and on other enthusiast sites.

Recently established, this platform will be the primary location for a wide range of contests and sweepstakes ideas we have developed to be launched in subsequent quarters.  These contests will serve as the main traffic driver to help Subaru build a long-term enthusiast marketing presence online.

SOA is so pleased with the product they are possibly looking ahead to expand the property to include the full range of vehicles and their audience.

Video

Gallery

Credits

Logo and Opening Animation: Ricardo Castro

Social Network Development: KickApps

Ripe Digital Entertainment – Corporate Brand Identity Overhaul

New Homepage

Since I started working at RDE, I had been dying to re-do the corporate I.D. (click to visit website)

Client: Ripe Digital Entertainment

Project: Creative Direction and Design for Ripe Digital Entertainment Brand ID, Website and Print Collateral

Upon my arrival at Ripe Digital Entertainment (RDE), I had made it a personal goal to redo the brand identity and collateral.  The poorly executed logotype, production value of the collateral, and the website’s usability and clutter had become a source of embarrassment.  Considering the original “paisley” logo was based on a brand naming/identity I had done for a holdings company (same owners) I was personally vested in this identity, and was not happy with where it had been taken since.

Working the former VP of Marketing, I developed a creative brief that outlined the primary challenges, requirements, audience, and messaging for the new identity.  Once we had the foundation for the thinking behind this effort, I called on long-time collaborator Dan Benderly to help make it a reality.  Starting with a broad range of comps, we worked with the CEO to focus in on a logo direction that ultimately would work.  From there we executed on the creative for the print advertising, website, business cards, buck slips, folders, etc.

I could not have been more pleased with the final result.  The “Before” and “After” examples speak for themselves.

Gallery

Credits

Designer: Special thanks to designer extraordinaire Dan Benderly, without whom this could not have turned out so well

Development: Pinacol and their Blazonco platform

Flow TV ’08 – Website Redesign

Home

Hip-Hop Lifestyle On Demand

Client: Ripe Digital
Project: Art Direction and Design for Flow.tv – Hip-hop Lifestyle Video Website

Six month’s after my arrival at Ripe Digital Entertainment (RDE) the company was ready to launch a new hip-hop lifestyle network, internally referred to at the time as Hustle TV.  Prior to the launch of the network, I brought to the attention of executive management the need for authenticity if the network was to succeed with the intended audience.

Working with a select few from the graffiti hip-hop community I knew from freelancing for the underground brand “7th letter,” I was able to build a compelling short list of names for the new network that better resonated with the audience.  Ultimately it was the network spokesperson, Ghostface Killah, who sold it through for me by pointing out that those without talent have to hustle, and at the end of the day, “It’s all about your flow!”

Following the finalization of the name I collaborated with graffiti artist Eklips-One, founder of 7th Letter to develop a logo that would work for all uses and maintained the authenticity we had to have.

From this brand naming and identity, a multitude of projects were developed. Web applications, Print Advertsing, a t-shirt design that was featured in the Print Magazine Regional Design Annual, and ultimately the last version of the website. The lates version was a an excellent blend of bandwidth friendly graphics that could be customized on a per show basis and design elements, such as the billboard frame, that addressed the subject matter in a subtle way.

The network went on to be the most successful VOD property for RDE and was the primary vehicle for it’s lucrative annual ”Hip-Hop Live” tour with advertisers Dodge and Sony.

Gallery