Category Archives: IN CONTEXT

Mercedes with Nick Meek

Bold primary colours meet strong abstract shapes in this campaign for Mercedes from Antoni. We travelled with photographer Nick Meek to Calvert Studios, an extraordinary and unique open air car studio in Spain.

The crew arrives:

The cars wait for the light under a pitch black sky in the open air studio:

Nick discusses options in the early morning light

Dawn at the studio

First rays of light

Scouting for angles

Christoph on set:

Nick shooting backplates:

The crew in the shade:

White light white heat:

Success! Celebrating a great shoot.

The dream team – Jorge, Nick, Christoph and Paul.

The final images are used in the deluxe print campaign.

And billboards in place in Germany

See all the finished images on Behance here and try to work out which ones are CGI…

Client: Mercedes-Benz Deutschland
Photographer: Nick Meek
Assistants: Jorge Dieguez, Paul Blundell

Executive Production: Siobhan Squire
Location: Calvert Studios

Agency: Antoni
Executive Creative Director: Veit Moeller
Creative Director: Christian Kies, Christopher Hoene
Art Director: Mathias Wilke, Tim Grötzinger
Copywriter: Matti Lietsch, Luca Haeussler
Head of Product Communication Cars Germany: Christine Wolburg
Product Communication Cars Germany: Nancy Weitling
Art Buyer: Valerie Opitz

CGI Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artists: Pepe Alram, Kate Brown, Maria Luisa Calosso, Nuria Segura, Aljaz Bezjak / Recom Farmhouse

Mercedes billboard

Grow Up Campaign for Mercedes Benz with Alice Moitié – In Context

Grow Up” is the most extensive content creation in Mercedes-Benz’s history.  Produced by Antoni, it’s a groundbreaking campaign centred around five short films. With young stars like rapper A$AP Rocky, the films tell a story that completely revolutionises the image of Mercedes-Benz, with the car becoming a natural ally for millennials in their journey to adulthood.

“Our competition isn’t ads, they’re real films, real TV shows. Stealing four minutes from the time people would be watching their favourite show on Netflix is a tall order, so we tried to be honest with ourselves with what people might actually be interested in.”  – Veit Moller, Creative Director (LBB editorial interview) 

For the accompanying stills, we worked closely with CD Veit Moeller and young photographer Alice Moitié  – printing and re-scanning, adding grain to create a strongly analogue film look, with CGI elements helping with the practical aspects of a worldwide campaign.

Flipping through the print catalogue:
 


 

The campaign’s media locations are as bold and eyecatching as the rest of the execution, with colossal end-of-wall murals featuring single shots montages from the campaign, and big bold statement cubes in high traffic areas.

 

 

The shots were also a big success across digital media, showcased on the innovative website and shared widely on social networks.

Ipad Mercedes

The campaign has drawn wide praise for its radical approach

“Mercedes-Benz’s Most Ambitious Marketing Project Yet Is All About What It Means to Grow Up Tackling the evolution of luxury … and, well, life” – Adweek (Ad of the Day) 

“Mercedes-Benz’s Biggest Content Campaign to Date May Make You Think Really Deeply About Your Life”- Ad Age (Editor’s Pick – Creativity) 

“It’s hard to make a good car ad these days. Audiences are bored of the slick fare they are usually offered, and yet most clients still really, really want that shot of the beautiful new vehicle driving around the cliff edge. In this new set of films, those scenic shots are there …nestled in among a set of stories that are intriguing, and at times a little darn bleak….These new films make a welcome addition to the car-ad-as-short-film genre and sure beat the average shiny car spot.” – Creative Review

Also featured by Hypebeast, Campaign and High Snobiety.

Client: Mercedes Benz
Agency: Antoni
Creative Director: Veit Moeller
Photographer: Alice Moitié
Post Artists: Jonas Braukmann, Thomas Saalfrank, Julia Ackermann, Daniel Mattes, June Lee, Stephanie O’Connor / Recom Farmhouse
Art Buyers: Emanuel Mugrauer, Valerie Opitz, Marjorie Jorrot
Production: Iconoclast Germany

See our selection of the campaign images on recomfarmhouse.com

Mercedes - Grow Up wit hAlice Moitié

J Konrad Schmidt: AV-Defekt

In this compelling and haunting self-portrait, J. Konrad Schmidt strips away all concealment of a medical condition he has had from childhood, and uses it to make a powerfuly revealing piece of art, inviting the viewer quite literally into his head.

Go behind the scenes with us for the background, technical details, process, creative stages, close-up crops, installation and artist statement of this extraordinary project.

Project background

J. Konrad Schmidt is widely acclaimed for his sensuous female portraits, and especially for his work with unusual analogue formats and materials, such as ambrotypes.

He approached us about a collaboration for an upcoming exhibition for the BFF – a well known network of high class photographers, based mainly in Germany. The exhibition’s theme was ‘Reduction’.

Using his concepts of beauty and analogue processes, he wanted to interpret this theme of ‘Reduction’ in a wholly unexpected and very personal direction, questioning these ideas of elegance and perfection by the use of his own facial structure in the work.

“The picture reduces me to my illness… created from parts of my x-rays, which were made in the deep sleep of anaesthesia.”

Since he was born, he has had a medical condition that haunted him, a vascular disease that affects his left ear and cheek, in which the blood vessels grow uncontrollably.

It has an effect on his public persona – in most portraits for interviews, or videos, you’ll notice he sits with his right ear to the camera.

This full face portrait was made specifically for this project.

J Konrad Schmidt portrait

Because of his disease, he has to go to the hospital at regular intervals. Since there’s only one hospital in Germany that performs these treatments, the place and the doctors have become a part of his life. He is always under full anaesthetic for the procedure, and the entire process is recorded with X-rays.

Using these X-rays, he wanted to rebuild his face for this project.

“I am contradictory to my disability. Now I am the error in the system. The devil’s civilian. Resilient, eloquent and radical with itself.

Before the fall of the Berlin wall, my worried mother took me from doctor to doctor in Eastern Germany. After the Unification, across the united republic. At the age of 10, I began an endless tour through cold operating rooms at the Klinikum Benjamin Franklin in Berlin-Steglitz.
This is why I am showing this work under this title now in this city.
Together with Recom Berlin, I used digital image manipulation for a truer purpose – to create a striking image, not to strike an image by manipulating it.”


The process

• Mood Boards

We collaborated together on moodboards to begin work on the overall feel of the piece.

Moodboards

•Technical details

Getting hold of the images was a tricky process. The X-rays were in a medical format, JiveX, embedded into a .exe file, burned on a CD.

It’s intended only for the use of doctors, so the controls are designed for their needs. Dragging the mouse up and down and right to left gives you basic contrast and brightness functions. Despite (or perhaps because of) this unadorned functionality, the output and interface has its own aesthetic interest.

Output 3c

The only exportable file format is a PDF. So that’s what we did. Each of those thirty-three PDFs had between four and forty-four pages.

So often, there’s something new to discover in every project : – )

“You can’t open more than 400 documents in Photoshop. I didn’t know that, and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen this message.” Jonas Braukmann, Recom Berlin

400 documents warning

This video shows all pages from all pdfs exported into PSDs via a script, giving us four hundred and four images to work with.

Cycling through all the exported files, this video shows clearly the progress of the injected X-ray viewing agent is injected, as it spreads into all the vessels that have grown out of control.


• Stages in creation of the image

We talked a lot on the phone, about the moodboards and what we had in mind, and this was the first draft, to see if the idea could work.
Version 1:

AV-Defekt version 1

We were both immediately very happy with the first draft, but wanted to try further explorations of the idea. We decided to enhance his characteristics…the hairline, strong eyebrows and his ear and cheek.

Version 2:

AV-Defekt version 2
We also tried a more dimensional version, incorporating more of the portrait.
Version 3:

AV-Defekt version 3
Konrad liked the initial draft best, and was thinking about what what should come next, showing it to friends and family. Meanwhile, we made  made a rawer version, by stripping away all the hair details.

Version 4:

AV-Defekt version 4

We ended up using the very first version – sometimes things just fall into place straight way.

The first version already told the story, and showed what we wanted to show.
Everything in this version is made from the X-rays, stratified and superimposed to create Konrad’s face, emerging from these medical records.  Only the light in his pupils is from a photograph.


Final image

AV-Defekt version 5 - final


Close-up crops.

We included some lines and technical artefacts from the original X-ray files, to preserve a reference to their origin – a contrast to the soft and convoluted organic forms with their precision and linearity.

AV-Defekt crop 1

The probing intrusion of the injection shows clearly, too – this is what enables the doctors to see inside Konrad’s head.

AV-Defekt crop 2

Detail of the pupil highlight, the only part which isn’t shaped from the X-rays

AV-Defekt crop 3

The video shows how the layers build up


Installation:

We scoured Ebay for a lightbox of the right size and appearance, to keep the reference to X-ray transparency display – a feeling of faintly institutional immediacy, as if you yourself were looking at them held up in a doctor’s surgery. The doctors who provided the material for the project found it fascinating to see.
The final presentation was at the Reduction exhibition in Berlin, part of European Month of Photography.

J Konrad Schmidt, Reduction Exhibition

J Konrad Schmidt, Reduction Exhibition

AV - Defekt Exhibition


Artist Statement

These, like all the quotes here, are extracts from a translation of the text which is  printed and displayed beside the transparency. The full text in German is available on J Konrad Schmidt’s site here.

“Reducing people to their disease – no matter what kind – is discrimination. …With me, people dare to say:

“I have to ask you something?”
“No, you do not! Because I know the question already! ”
– And then: Totally surprised faces …
If total strangers would simply say nothing, it would help a lot. Then I would not have to speak out here. So you beloved anonymous Philanthropists out there – this is for you”

Credits: Retouching: Jonas Braukmann, Recom Berlin
Photography and Art Direction: J Konrad Schmidt
Exhibition photographs: Matthias Krüger

Volume of Light - Undecided

Volume of Light by Thomas Brown

Volume of Light is an innovative and interactive project, created in the studio by our friend and regular collaborator Thomas Brown. Beginning as a small series, it extended in scope to become a four year mission.

In an intriguing new approach to the way art is marketed, an online campaign encouraged people to adopt one of 469 images. We adopted image № G_150204_0097 – Just been thinking.

Recom's image

As an adopter, you receive the book which is a directory of all the images. The book comes with a print of your adopted image, which is a limited edition of one, just for you. Each image is also shared on Instagram and Twitter with its newly bestowed name.

The project culminated with exhibitions in London and New York, and the recently published book.

It’s a beautiful object, with iridescent cover and rainbow foiled type – the video shows the lovely textures and colours.

Thomas explains:

“The assigned titles will forever be linked to the image.  Volume of Light wants to know what you see, how you see it and begin to understand why certain choices are made. It is an exploration and investigation of semiotics, the phenomenon of Pareidolia and authorship….Each image represents the record of an action, a passage of time and a movement of light…In their abstraction they represent no thing but leave space to become everything.”

 

“I can’t say VoL offers a new way of experiencing art…people are visually assessing the world every second of the day, but maybe for some people it causes them to think a little bit more about what they were looking at, or to reflect on their experience of looking. It certainly offered an interesting way to interact at the exhibitions.”

Volume of Light Exhibition

With all the images on display as small postcards the viewers were encouraged to take them from the wall to get a closer look and move through the space, breaking the conventional gallery environment.

You can adopt an image of your own at https://volumeoflight.com and see more of Thomas’ work at http://thomasbrown.info

Audi A5 and S5 Coupé

New work for Audi, a dark and dramatic concept with a technical look in a virtual world, to emphasise the high level of intelligence in the cars’ systems.

Working with photographer Markus Wendler, we built a futuristic architectural vision to set the cars in, underscored by abstract, rhythmic patterns of pixels, dissolving and coalescing.

Enjoy a trip behind the scenes in our video, from initial research, via glimpses into the technical elements to fly-throughs of the individual images. Or delve into further details below….

Once the concepts were decided, Markus Wendler travelled to China for the photography, centred around Zaha Hadid’s spectacular Opera House in Guangzhou…very poignant to be working so closely with her complex and beautiful shapes at the time of her death. Because of the organic forms of the building – inspired by the pebbles of its riverside location – it would have been very hard to figure out distances and shapes afterwards. So while Markus began shooting the backplates, his assistant Kolja Schoepe  was making invaluable PhotoScan captures, so our CGI artists could recreate the location digitally. He used the latest Canon EOS 5DS R for this and the results were very impressive – the best we have seen yet with PhotoScan.

Photoscan - Zaha Hadid

Meanwhile, as well as shooting the settings, Markus was working on the composition. This was quite a challenge as the angles for the cars had already been determined. With experience and care, he was able to successfully combine the wider angle backgrounds with the long lenses used for the cars.

Richard Jenkinson, CGI Artist at Recom Berlin, explains how we handled the creation of the geometry and distribution of the pixels in 3D:

cgi_tunnel

“After the point clouds were created using Photoscan, we imported them into Maya to make the initial models. Then we worked on grid patterns – enjoyable but surprisingly challenging to keep convincing.”

Proximity
“When we’d made the grid patterns to represent pixels, we made a build up for each area. This allows the retoucher to add or remove density where required. Then…rinse and repeat, eleven times.”

1. Initial pixel distribution for the ‘Tunnel’ image:
scene5_pixelonly_-12

2: Another pixel distribution, for the ‘Circle’ image:scene2_pixelonly_-127

Markus joined us again in the studio in Berlin, to fine tune the cars and perfect their lighting and placement within the sets.

Jonas Braukmann, CGI Director at Recom Berlin, filled in further detail on moving from the three-dimensional model to the two-dimensional finished product. As a big project with eleven images, this demanded maximised flexibility so we could work closely with the creatives at Kolle Rebbe on individual areas within each one.

“We needed control over pixel density in certain areas, to keep the illusion of natural flowing pixels, whilst keeping realistic vanishing points. The ‘rule of proximity’ was a big challenge – we needed different density levels and subdivided pixel layers in different levels of order and randomness.”

The catalogue, the first for the new Audi A5 coupé and S5 coupé design, is now in use throughout Germany.

Audi Catalogue

Final Images.
The elegant shape of the catalogue demanded super-wide panoramic versions to form extra long images for the double page spreads inside.

recom_wendler_kollerebbe_audi_4

Client: AUDI AG Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Marcus Kubicke Photographer: Markus Wendler CGI Director: Jonas Braukmann CGI Artist: Eugen Albrandt, Richard Jenkinson Post Artist: Jonas Braukmann, Jonathan Clarke, June Lee Art Buyer: Kathrin Grün

recom_wendler_kollerebbe_audi_2

recom_wendler_kollerebbe_audi_5

recom_wendler_kollerebbe_audi_3

Credits:

Agency: Kolle Rebbe
Creative Director: Jörge Dittmann
Art Director: Markus Kubicke
Photographer:  Markus Wendler
Producer: Tim Michel
CGI Director: Jonas Braukmann / Recom Berlin
CGI artists: Eugen Albrant, Richard Jenkinson / Recom Stuttgart & Recom Berlin
Post Artists: Jonas Braukmann, Jonathan Clarke, June Lee / Recom Berlin
Art Buyer: Katrin Grün

Work In Context

Some snapshots of our work in context :

MARC TRAUTMANN – VW GOLF ALLTRACK

1443GV_AL_V01_W1.indd 1443GV_AL_V01_W1.indd 1443GV_AL_V01_W1.indd 1443GV_AL_V01_W1.indd 1443GV_AL_V01_W1.indd 1443GV_AL_V01_W1.inddFew pages taken from the VW Golf Alltrack brochure, Germany, November 2014
Post-production and CGI Recom Farmhouse. See the making-of here.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

RALPH MECKE

John_Kerry-1 John_Kerry-4Ralph Mecke, Vogue USA, November 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MARK WAGNER FOR AT&T

14-256_BBDO_ATT_Main_COMP10_AT_final_art_Layout NewarkAirportNewark Airport, New Jersey, US, November 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MERCEDES AMG mbH, Affalterbach

Our FULL-CGI visual from the “AMG Calendar 2014” is being used for the official ANIMAGO print campaign…

recomCGI_AMG14_00_titlerecomCGI_AMG14_01_intro

10369140_789999181046203_3227752442120950414_n12505509814_85fba90aa3_b copy 12505656473_f7fe96cc9b_b copy 12506037404_3c9200fd30_b

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

RALPH MECKE

Client: Bloomberg Photographer: Ralph Mecke Post Artist: Thomas SaalfrankRalph Mecke, Bloomberg Magazine, Germany, 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

NISSAN PULSAR

10371239_710531219031139_2967400776157887968_oNissan Pulsar, Lion, France, 2014

NissanPulsar_RecomFarmhouseNissan Pulsar, Photography: Rick Guest, CGI and Post Production: Recom Farmhouse

See our making-of here.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

ABSOLUTE VODKA

absoluteVodkaAbsolute Vodka, London, 2014.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

LINCOLN

Lincoln3

Lincoln, Beijing, 2014.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MERCEDES BENZ

10631151_772734856105969_1310404393724185826_oMercedes Benz, Spiegel Magazine, Germany, 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

HYUNDAI SONATA

IMG_0715Hyundai, New York, 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

FORD KA

Ford Ka Billboard retouching Recom FarmhouseFord Ka, London, 2014.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MERCEDES BENZ – NEW SPRINTER

sprinter_uphillWe’ve been to the Mediterranean Sea over the 1st of May and visited the wonderful town of Rovinj. On our way back to the hotel, in the middle of nowhere, i saw that ad. I had to pull over and take some snapshots.

sprinter_uphill2Mercedes Benz, New Sprinter, Croatia, 2014.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

NISSAN QASHQAI

Nissan

Nissan Glass City out in Hamburg, see the series here http://bit.ly/1gwenHW

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Jürgen Klopp

10373851_705411039505018_902800835830403541_n

Jürgen Klopp Artwork by Recom (Agency: Heimat Berlin

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MERCEDES BENZ – F1

1654789_672250192821103_1610097680_oMercedes Benz, Stuttgart, Germany, 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

NISSAN QASHQAI

2014-01-11 13.45.38Nissan Qashqai, London 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

TOYOTA …is everywhere!

photo 2Time Out, London, May 2014

EA-0004 EA-0005 EA-0019Toyota, Brussels, Belgium, 2014

85 meters wide image on Toyota’s head office building in Brussels!

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

FORD

Wall Wall2Ford, Team Detroit Advertising Agency, USA

Hundreds of insertions and over 90 different headlines for the Ford advertising campaign shot by Nick Meek. Here on dispay on the wall of Team Detroit head ofiice.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

THOMAS BROWN for THE TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE, LUXURY SUPPLEMENT

Recom_Brown3

14-061_TOBO_Luxury_S1_lamp_COMP03_RE_FinalArt 14-061_TOBO_Luxury_S2_rug_COMP06_RE_FinalArt

The Telegraph Magazine, LUXURY SUPPLEMENT, Spring 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

ELIZAVETA PORODINA for QVEST MAGAZINE

3ca774a3ee5297f7baa1bb72c2ed69c2

14-052_PORO_BWGirl_ NET1_SHOT04_COMP03_FINAL_ARTQVEST Magazine, Germany, April 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MERCEDES – BENZ

FotoMercedez Benz, Germany, April 2014

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

VW BEETLE
beetleGermany, January 2013

In the grey beginning of 2013 these sunny positive VW Beetle Campaign images were all over Germany.
I liked the contrast.

12-163_Beetle_Campaign_70s_34rear_DP_rgb_layoutValkswagen Beetle Advertising Campaign

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

NISSAN

nissan2Rochester, Kent, UK, October 2013

photoStoke Newington, London, UK, October 2013

nissanNissan Advertising Campaign, October 2013

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SMIRNOFF

seven sisterSmirnoff, Seven Sister Underground Station, London, UK

IMG_5472Smirnoff, Dalston, London, UK

13-162_SIOB_NickMeek_Smirnoff_REDSmirnoff Advertising Campaign, September 2013

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

TOYOTA AURIS CAMPAIGN

Auris_billboard1Toyota Auris,  Shoredicth round-about, London, UK

Toyota_Auris-1Toyota Auris Advertising Campaign, 2013