Safety Dance

When was the last time you actually paid attention to the safety videos the airlines show at the beginning of the flight? For me that was recently. (Now I might be late to the party, not having flown with Virgin Atlantic before, but I was pleasantly surprised.)

According to an article in Digital Synopsis, Virgin Atlantic hired director Jon M.Chu and a team of acclaimed choreographers, producers and dance stars to produce a safety video that people actually wanted to watch. 36 dancers spent 26 hours on set, using 14 different dance styles including broadway, contemporary, jazz, tango, b-boy and break dancing.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look. Over 12 million people did, without being on a plane…

2017-09-05T14:18:23+00:00 July 5th, 2017|Design, Videos|Comments Off on Safety Dance

Samurai Jack is Back

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Samurai Jack, the critical acclaimed animated show about a samurai, up-rooted from his own time, on a quest to travel back and defeat Aku, the shape-shifting Master of Darkness, ended suddenly in 2004 without resolution.

Twelve years later, Jack is back and the final chapter of his journey is darker than ever. Jack, who up to this point has been battling Aku and his robotic minions, is now faced with the Daughters of Aku, seven young women who’s sole purpose it is to destroy Samurai Jack.

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The shows creator Genndy Tartakovsky said in an interview with Polygon that he always planned for this season of Samurai Jack to be the darkest yet, as this marks the end of Jack’s journey, and Tartakovsky wanted to explore themes and acts that he couldn’t before.

“In my perception of the show the darkness was surface,” Tartakovsky said. “It was dark because the show was sad, but it didn’t go down into the soul. Here, we get to go all the way to the bottom. The haunting of the past and the self, is a pressure that you either need to forget or grieve. He’s traumatized and he cannot let go.”

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Just like the original 52 episodes, the new season maintains the iconic series’ beautiful, artistic style with intense action sequences filling the screen only to zero in on certain aspects of the scene.

Samurai Jack’s fifth and final season started airing March 11 on Adult Swim.

Images via YouTube

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|Design, Videos|Comments Off on Samurai Jack is Back

Sweet Holiday Greetings

A choir of 16 praliné-chocolate boxes by Chocolat Frey surprised visitors at a Swiss shopping center with some holiday cheer, serenading shoppers of all ages with festive acapella songs.

The encounters were filmed on hidden cameras and turned into a video for the shops’ website. For a second look, check out the outtakes and “auditions” of the boxes.

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Humor, Videos|Comments Off on Sweet Holiday Greetings

Dia De Los Muertos

The Day of the Dead is celebrated every year from November 1-2 by people of Mexican ancestry to honor their loved ones who have passed on. Offerings of flowers, candles, favorite foods and drinks on colorful altars are intended to help support their spiritual journey.

This beautifully animated short film about a girl who visits the land of the dead (where she learns the true meaning of the holiday) was produced by Ashley Graham, Kate Reynolds, and Lindsey St. Pierre at Ringling College of Art and Design as their senior thesis, and won the 2013 Student Academy Award Gold Medal.

2017-05-22T13:16:57+00:00 November 2nd, 2016|Videos|Comments Off on Dia De Los Muertos

The Future is Here

When Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) went on their second adventure, traveling 30 years back in time to October 21, 2015, they most likely didn’t anticipate the excitement that would accompany the movie more than a quarter of a century later.

While everybody is talking about “Back to the Future II” and which predictions came true (video conferencing, big screen tv’s, virtual-reality goggles, the cubs (having a chance at) winning the world series) and which didn’t (flying cars, hover boards, “Jaws 19”) – two brands are emerging as true winners of product placement years after the fact.

Pepsi Perfect - Back to The Future II

Image via Click 2 Houston

PepsiCo released a limited edition Pepsi bottle today to pay tribute to Marty McFly’s arrival in the future and to celebrate one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.

“Pepsi fans asked and we heard them loud and clear,” said Lou Arbetter, PepsiCo’s senior director of marketing, in a statement. “The ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy was as big a moment in pop culture history then as it is now, 30 years later. We are excited to be part of this moment and to bring fans something only Pepsi could deliver – and there’s no need to wait – the future is now!”

PepsiCo even released a commercial for the product launch. Not that it was necessary to sell the product. Retailing at $20.15 – to commemorate the year – the bottle had a limited run of 6,500 and appeared to have sold out immediately.

Nike, whose shoes had also been featured in the 1989 film, released 1500 replica pairs in 2011, and although they were not of the self-lacing type as in the movie, the company raised $4.7 million dollars for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Having filed a patent back in 2009, Nike did confirm that an actual self-lacing shoe was in development, teasing fans yesterday with a tweet to Michael J. Fox stating “see you tomorrow.”

Maybe today is the future?

Update: Self-lacing are indeed here. Nike send a pair to Michael J. Fox along with a hand written letter from Tinker Hatfield, the shoe’s inventor. The self-lacing shoes will be produced in 2016 and once again auctioned off to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The actor showed them off, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 October 21st, 2015|Big Thinking, Humor, In The News, Videos|Comments Off on The Future is Here

Unexpected Art Encounters

There is no shortage for outdoor art experiences this year. Earlier this year we mentioned how “The Outings Project” was putting paintings on the street, this summer Longwood Gardens brought us “Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience” and the Philadelphia Museum of Art is sharing some of it’s masterpieces in a series called “Inside Out” in the borough of West Chester (among other places).

Inside Out - Art in West Chester

“Manne-Porte, Étretat” – Claude Monet  |  “Pichincha” – Frederic Edwin Church  |  Sketch for “A Boat Passing a Lock” – John Constable  |  “Two Dragons

[in Clouds]” – Kano Hōgai  |  “Groundhog Day” – Andrew Newell Wyeth  |  “Little Painting with Yellow (Improvisation)” – Vasily Kandinsky

The open air exhibit is part of a series throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, which lets you encounter art in unexpected places and includes works by Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Thomas Eakins.

Video via Philadelphia Museum of Art

In addition to providing free art in the borough, the Museum is offering West Chester residents free general admission to the Museum from Friday, October 16, through Sunday, October 18, 2015.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 September 28th, 2015|Design, Inspiration, Local, Videos|Comments Off on Unexpected Art Encounters

The IKEA Catalog Got a Formal Review

IKEA has been known to come up with creative ways to promote it’s catalogs and store openings. And this year was no different. IKEAS Switzerland (Agency: Wirz Werbung Zürich) got Germany’s famous literary critic Hellmuth Karasek to review the catalog like any other piece of literature, since it is the most widely distributed “book” in the world.

“It is a furnished novel,” he says tongue-in-cheek. “The characters are forced to crowd themselves between the furniture, they seldom get their say, they barely speak coherently — and yet this work has become such a success.”

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 September 8th, 2015|Big Thinking, Design, Humor, In The News, Videos|Comments Off on The IKEA Catalog Got a Formal Review

Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

Longwood Gardens is giving visitors a chance to explore its grounds after dark and experience a stunning installation by Philadelphia based Klip Collective, that combines moving images and lights choreographed to music in several areas of the garden.

Ricardo Rivera talks about the conception of Nightscape on Longwood Gardens’ blog, when the Klip Collective years ago created a one-hundred-foot wide veil of smoke in a meadow, to project franticly dancing fireflies, that where to be viewed from a distance.

“To our surprise, people walked right into it. The audience wanted to be surrounded and lost in the chaos of the moment. Seeing how people were drawn to the lights and how they reacted to the experience inspired me to explore the idea of experience as art … and that began the process for Nightscape.”

While the video Longwood Gradens produced is truly amazing, it only gives a glimpse of the beauty. It is only in person that you can truly experience this awe-inspiring presentation. The drumming topiaries were fascinating, but the best part for me personally, was the change of the seasons above the lake.

The installation is on view Wednesdays through Saturdays, until October 31st.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 August 24th, 2015|Design, Local, Shows, Videos|Comments Off on Nightscape: A Light and Sound Experience.

Fuzzy News – Brought to You by The Letter M

Jim Henson’s Muppet puppets have been in the limelight lately. First the Muppets announced their comeback with a new show on ABC, then the Sesame Workshop struck a deal with HBO.

The new comedy series ‘The Muppets’ starring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear et al, will see our fuzzy friends staring in a contemporary, documentary-style show that explores the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships.

However, ABC was not so easy to convince that the new show would be a hit without seeing the new format first, so the producers were given a month to put together a pilot presentation. The pilot received standing ovations at Comic-Con and after weeks of fans’ demands, ABC released the video online. Take a look for yourself.

In other puppet related news, The New York Times reported on a deal between HBO and Sesame Street last week, that for the next five seasons grants HBO the rights to air shows first, with episodes being released on PBS nine month later. Sesame Workshop had been struggling financially and through the new deal more episodes will be able to produced (35 a year instead of just 18).

Of course the move from public television to the subscription-only channel does not come without backlash, but the production company had to find a new way to gather financial support for their program, in order to continue educating children. And as Forbes Magazine put it, “… little ones without the distinct privilege of parents with HBO won’t be entirely bereft of felt-puppet fun, just a little behind the times. After all, it’s not as if three-year-olds gather around the apple juice on Monday morning to talk spoilers for that week’s Sesame Street.”

2017-05-22T13:16:59+00:00 August 19th, 2015|In The News, Videos|Comments Off on Fuzzy News – Brought to You by The Letter M