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Everything Else

They say you shouldn't put everything you've ever done in your portfolio. And I used to agree. Nowadays though, I think there's much more to that decision than a simple debate between quality or quantity. Now, I realise it's much more about journey.

I'm not only reminded, here, looking back, that I know my way around Adobe Creative Suite, a film set, and a thesaurus in equal measure. But also, that I'm a chameleon: I have a long history of undertaking whole new creative pursuits and roles, and growing rapidly from them. Which I intend to continue.

This isn't literally every poster design, every app design, or every brand identity. It's not every short film, music video, script, headline or long copy manifesto. But it's a lot of them in one place. If not to benefit someone else's understanding of how I've honed my multiple skills over the years, then simply to reinforce my own.

They say you shouldn't put everything you've ever done in your portfolio. And I used to agree. Nowadays though, I think there's much more to that decision than a simple debate between quality or quantity. Now, I realise (or realize) it's much more about journey.

I'm not only reminded, here, looking back, that I know my way around Adobe Creative Suite, a film set and a thesaurus in equal measure. But also, that I'm a chameleon: I have a long history of undertaking whole new creative pursuits and roles, and growing rapidly from them. Which I intend to continue.

This isn't literally every poster design, every app design or every brand identity. It's not every short film, music video, script, headline, tone of voice guide, microcopy or long copy manifesto. But it's a lot of them in one place. If not to benefit someone else's understanding of how I've honed my multiple skills over the years, then simply to reinforce my own.

 

2016 was a challenging year for everyone. But it was also a year of landmark scientific discoveries, historic peace accords and extraordinary acts of kindness. I conceived, wrote the copy for, and co-creative directed this web and mobile experience while I was Senior Creative (ACD) at creative technology agency B-Reel. It housed 366 positive, yet overlooked, news headlines. That's one headline for each day of the leap year, in a beautiful and interactive space. It allowed users to easily navigate back-and-forth between each uplifting article, and to look ahead to 2017 with a little more optimism than perhaps first thought.

A brand manifesto for Apple. Written by me when I was ACD/CW at Media Arts Lab.

 
Spoiler alert: To announce the Season 5 return of Orange is the New Black we concentrated our thoughts exclusively on where Season 4 had ended: that is, with the unjust death of a beloved character, Poussey Washington, at the hands of a Litchfield Penitentiary guard. Poussey’s death in the show was a direct reference to the real-life unjust deaths of many African Americans at the hands of authorities, and to the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite OITNB being more often promoted as a comedy, we knew it was essential that we respect the solemn headspace that the show’s audience had last been left in, and the seriousness of the real-life issue it had evoked. With all that in our minds, it didn't take us long to land on the most unvarnished, and above all, right thing to do: memorialize the image of Poussey as a powerful symbol of protest and change. Not simply to promote the return of a television show, but rather, more importantly, to respect the real-life cause Poussey's character had come to represent. My role was Senior Creative (ACD).

Spoiler alert: To announce the Season 5 return of Orange is the New Black we concentrated our thoughts exclusively on where Season 4 had ended: that is, with the unjust death of a beloved character, Poussey Washington, at the hands of a Litchfield Penitentiary guard. Poussey’s death in the show was a direct reference to the real-life unjust deaths of many African Americans at the hands of authorities, and to the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite OITNB being more often promoted as a comedy, we knew it was essential that we respect the solemn headspace that the show’s audience had last been left in, and the seriousness of the real-life issue it had evoked. With all that in our minds, it didn't take us long to land on the most unvarnished, and above all, right thing to do: memorialize the image of Poussey as a powerful symbol of protest and change. Not simply to promote the return of a television show, but rather, more importantly, to respect the real-life cause Poussey's character had come to represent. My role was Senior Creative (ACD).

As a Creative Director at Tinder, I proposed and wrote this update to the app’s user agreement - to help address any negative behavior on the platform. While it sadly didn’t make it through all the hurdles and out into the real world, it remains an example of how I always look to put something true and tangible - ideally, the product itself - at the centre of any marketing concept. Not empty words.

As a Creative Director at Tinder, I proposed and wrote this update to the app’s user agreement - to help address any negative behavior on the platform. While it sadly didn’t make it through all the hurdles and out into the real world, it remains an example of how I always look to put something true and tangible - ideally, the product itself - at the centre of any marketing concept. Not empty words.

I briefly oversaw the Tinder brand’s Instagram account alongside my CD partner. Together, we infused the channel with a tone of voice (and look and feel) that was more compelling and consistent than ever before. Or since.

I briefly oversaw the Tinder brand’s Instagram account alongside my CD partner. Together, we infused the channel with a tone of voice (and look and feel) that was more compelling and consistent than ever before. Or since.

The Giving Tuesday campaign I developed and wrote for Tinder - ultimately raising $200,000 in donations.

The Giving Tuesday campaign I developed and wrote for Tinder - ultimately raising $200,000 in donations.

 
 

One of the proudest things I created at MAL wasn’t a film or a manifesto or a tagline. It was an entirely new pod within the creative department, called ‘Special Ops.’ Along with Dimitri Kalagas, Pierre Parisot (Group Account Director) and Michael Hines (Group Strategy Director), I founded and lead a team that was dedicated to blue sky thinking about the Apple brand, uninhibited by the endless conveyor belt of product launches. This was a huge departure from the product-based pod structure that MAL had always built itself around. And it produced unprecedented and brave ideas from the outset. The above is the manifesto I wrote to help induct each team into Special Ops - which gives you a little insight into not only the atmosphere of the pod, but also the unique mechanics we created.

 

‘The World is Empty’ is a music video I co-directed with Dimitri Kalagas for the Melbourne-based artist, Elliot Spencer. Inspired by the sense of longing infused throughout Elliot’s track, we wanted to tell a story of love and longing on the grandest (and strangest) of scales: A man who falls in love with the sun. The production had us chasing sunsets for more than five weeks to bring this one to life - no mean feat in notoriously overcast Melbourne.

 

The brand identity and poster series I designed for the Bitcoin event, ‘Peer To Peer’

 

The music video for 'Speaking Zaans' by Melbourne indie band TST (now Mildlife) tells the story of a band rehearsal interrupted by a spiritual possession, and the resulting massacre at the hands of TST's lead singer. Directed by myself and Dimitri Kalagas, it was filmed in just one (very cold) winter’s night in country Victoria.

I wrote, directed, edited and even narrated this film, ‘Sticks and Stones’, which was shot by a skeleton crew over the course of just two sweltering summer days in Melbourne. It is, in technical respects, a deliberately rough-and-ready execution. (I followed the Danish ‘Dogme’ approach to filmmaking here, as much as possible, which favours story, acting and theme. And eschews the use of elaborate effects, artificial lighting or camera moves.) In all other aspects, it’s told straight from the heart.

 
 

The music video for ‘Like Magic’ by Operator Please was directed by myself and Dimitri Kalagas. Using the track's title as our inspiration, we set about telling the story of a Magic Johnson fan who gets to live out his ultimate fantasy - albeit in his dreams.

When Adidas and Goodyear collaborated to produce a range of sneakers, I co-created this campaign with my creative partner, Dimitri. My role at the time was Copywriter. And the main reason I look back on this one with fondness is because - in order to create a realistic representation of burnout smoke - we went all out, and brought in a stuntman and his motorbike to smoke it up on an inner city rooftop.

 
 

An excerpt from the script for ‘Watch and Win’ episode, ‘The Conscience.’ Written by me.

I designed this poster for a screening of the political documentary, ‘Hypernormalisation’ by Adam Curtis. Assembled by hand, entirely from newspaper clippings.

 

I remember the brief for this poster was ‘write something that will get us in trouble.’ And that’s what happened. The campaign got pulled down after two weeks and the client was happy. They got the media attention they were hoping for. I wouldn’t agree to a brief like that anymore. But when I was a very young freelance Copywriter, I did. Nevertheless, I can still recognise it was a pretty good headline.