Jesper Hiro Shows His Softer Side in New Spot

In a new spot for Dignity Health Birth Centers, B-Reel director Jesper Hiro uses an old tune to welcome new life, and the result is a 60-second tearjerker of a spot. Made for Dignity Health with agency Eleven, Inc San Francisco, it was quickly named as Editor's Pick for Creativity online. Hiro combines scenes of a family preparing to meet a newborn while mouthing the lyrics of the Lionel Richie classic, 'Hello.' Says Creativity, "Against these scenes, the song loses all its kitschiness and becomes a powerful emotional vehicle, helping to highlight the anticipation, angst and joy that go along with the family's experience of welcoming a new baby. And, as many ads about babies center on the mom, it's good to see it from a new perspective."

We couldn't agree more. Hello, box of tissues. 

Jesper Hiro Joins B-Reel Roster

Jesper Hiro is an award-winning director who has shot over 100 commercials, promos, and music videos to date. A truly global citizen, Hiro grew up in Sweden and studied in Denmark. He launched his film career during his year abroad in San Francisco, working on several indies, commercials and documentaries. After returning to Sweden, Hiro worked as assistant director to Johan Renck with the production company Pettersson Åkerlund.

Hiro comes to B-Reel via ACNE Production, where his dry observational humor made its way into a multitude of projects including Optimum’s “No” with Mother NYC and Tesco’s “Mum of the Year” with Wieden and Kennedy London. Hiro is also known for Calpol spots “Tent” and “Shark” with JWT London.

He has received honors and awards at international and national award shows including Cannes Lions, Swedish Advertising Awards, Finnish Voitto Awards, Clio, British Television Advertising Awards, and Eurobest. He was nominated for Swedish Roy Awards ‘Director of the Year’, and has earned a Norwegian Grammy for Best Music Video.

The father of two is conversational in Japanese, German, French and Danish, and fluent in English and Swedish. 

See more of Jesper's work here.

SXSW Recap by Theun de Bruijn

It's a wrap. We're done. let's put it in the books. At least the part of the annual cross culture media event known as SXSW that falls under the interactive umbrella.
Year after year the worlds of tech, science, film, music, style and yes, sports, are converging into some kind of primordial creative soup. With the city of Austin, Texas serving once again as its buzzing host, the eclectic set of attendees stir the pot into one of the tastiest creative meals you can imagine. Or, at least that's what the card labeled as SXSW promises. Putting aside the joys in catching up with old friends and meeting new people, there sure was a lot on offer this time around. Here's a couple highlights that struck me as significant.

Kicking things off the nerdy way I'd say it's time we dust off those biology textbooks. And yes, that includes those of us working in advertising.
With the advancements being made in the field of Biotech, a future where we spend our evenings manipulating DNA strands in front of the telly isn't that far off. Garage Biology will absolutely be a thing.

Starter kits developed by entrepreneurs such as Orkan Telhan are bringing industry tools to the masses in a way that may change the way we interact with nature forever. At least in the USA. Strict governmental regulations are looking to make this a little less of a run-of-the-mill affair in the EU.

Another aspect of the sciences addressed by multiple speakers is the rise of a movement that's advocating for a remodeling of the STEM system. With all kinds of disciplines converging in the industrial markets, it might be time that the traditional educational pillars start including some of the softer aspects of human learning. By introducing art and design into the mix we recognize the importance of human interaction and esthetic value in whatever field we decide to devote our time to.

Some prominent voices in the area of robotics put forward the notion of introducing the letter R into the mix as well. Which, although charming, seems a bit of a stretch.

Striking was the amount of panels dedicated to the advancements being made in the world of fabrics and fashion. We've been buying, touching and wearing fabrics for thousands of years. It's clearly time to bring computing into the mix. Big time.

While still in early days, all aspects of the ways we make, buy, use and dispose of our clothing are being looked at. Innovations such as haptic feedback allow for technology to be completely integrated into the fabric, providing signals to your body while keeping your hands and eyes free to handle other tasks. Taking the idea of integration a step further, computational power has gotten possible at such small scales we're able to embed them directly into the fibers of the fabrics you wear. And with energy being obtained from your bodily movements, bulky accessories will no longer be required.

There's an analogy we can make to Apple's new MacBook that was announced last week. Its core premise is the idea of prioritizing portability over computational power, singleminded in its focus and made available at a premium price. All concepts the upcoming wave of fashion tech will share.

A session that stood out in particular was one by UK's own T H E U N S E E N. An up and coming fashion house that takes scientific advancements and combines them with world class esthetic sensibilities. The recent exposure they've received, including being featured at London's V&A, is completely deserved.

Rounding out the show were sessions by US staples NASA, Pixar, and Hollywood. While the content presented was somewhat predictable it's still a joy to see people that excel at their craft talk you through their personal and professional journeys. Oh, and yes. We're going to see humans set foot on Mars. Soon!

Besides taking the audience through the hardships and highlights of producing Toy Story 20 years ago, Pixar decided to bring in actual props used during the film's production. Including a pre-Woody doll used to do positioning, lighting, and motion tests. The wool and fabric easily outperforming the computer hardware available at the time. Fascinating stuff.

Interested in a lite taste of what the Films part of South By would have on offer, I popped in on the post-production panel for last year's critical darling Boyhood. Wow! The room was packed! With all the interactive gadgetry going around you'd almost forget classic storytelling is a true cornerstone of our culture.

If I had to guess I'd say one of the questions that'll be answered next year is if the up and coming Virtual Reality revolution will make good on its promises, and deliver storytelling in ways never experienced before.

Wrapping up you could feel a sense of relief coming from the panels. Glad to be done, yet with a tinge of sadness about the experience coming to an end. 
Not a bad way to end a festival I'd say. 
Till next time Austin.
Hook 'em Horns!

- Theun de Bruijn. Technical Director at B-Reel's London office.
Follow him on Twitter @theundebruijn

B-Reel LA Has a New Home

B-Reel LA has moved! While we loved our home on Abbot Kinney, we outgrew it! We didn’t go far, our new space sits comfortably at 2221 Lincoln Boulevard, still in Venice, 90291. First Fridays will resume again soon, too. In the meantime, have a look around:

New Faces at B-Reel

B-Reel is excited to announce several new hires in the Europe and the US. These folks bring a metric ton of experience to the table and we are glad to have them.

Clockwise from the left we have:

Melina Polly - Managing Director, Los Angeles

Melina brings a great deal of knowledge to her new position in LA. She started small at a boutique design firm and grew to a position managing over 100 people at Media Arts Lab. Having grown up in East Berlin, Melina’s German ties might also come in handy in growing our Berlin office.

Johann Laeschke - Managing Director, Berlin

Johann comes to us from AKQA and brings with him more than 15 years of digital under his belt. Having launched his own startup in 2008, he maintains a deep understanding of what it takes to grow a company. Johann speaks four languages, which is majorly helpful when working with offices in five different countries.

Teddy Phuong - Strategist, New York City

Teddy comes to us from Droga5 after doing a stint with our friends at Facebook and MAL (where he of course ran into Melina Polly). As the New York office is expanding not only its talent base but its spectrum of projects Teddy could not have come at a more perfect time. His documented skills in creating a delicious grilled cheese might also help the NYC grow.

Keith White - Global Talent Director, Los Angeles 

Keith comes to us after a stretch as the talent director at Media Arts Lab. Prior to harvesting the very best talent for MAL, Keith worked as a recruiter for Wieden & Kennedy in Amsterdam. Previous colleagues call Keith, "a laughing, smiling, bouncing, energy giver." We are very excited to have that energy here at B-Reel.

Welcome, welcome!

Steven Tsuchida Garners Ad of the Day via AdWeek

In his new spots for Virgin Mobile with 180LA, Steven Tsuchida teamed up with Rick Astley to produce spots that definitely don't let us down. We aren't the only ones impressed, as the broadcast spot earned a nod from AdWeek for Ad of the Day. Click the link to see the video, as well as a few others for the campaign. And good luck getting that song out of your head. 

Facebook "Friends" Campaign Goes Live

Two weeks ago we launched a digital platform for the Facebook’s ‘Friends’ campaign. We worked with Facebook's in-house creative team who wanted to create a campaign exploring friendship. Our site houses a mixture of video and images portraying a multitude of different types of connections.

The main grid navigation allows users to explore forty-eight unique films and stills which can each be shared at any point of the experience. The secondary navigation allows quick access to a piece of content through a list view. The site is responsive across mobile, tablet and desktop.

Media is being pushed in the UK and Canada (the main territories).

The director was Melodie McDaniel.

B-Reel Welcomes Eivind Holmboe

We are excited to welcome Eivind Holmboe to B-Reel!

Eivind comes to us from @Radical.Media with Cannes Lions and other awards under his belt. Holmboe, educated at the SF Art Institute and former Deutsch/LA copywriter, looks forward to working with us, too, "I can’t think of a better match for me in the marketplace than B-Reel. . .They are definitely 'my kinda people' and I’m positive we will move mountains together, or at least a few really big stones." 

We couldn't agree more. His penchant for observational storytelling resonates with us and we are happy to put his talents to use at B-Reel. 

Fun facts: Eivind was a World Cup Freestyle skier, and is currently working on a self-written feature film. 

Anna Zackrisson joins the B-Reel Director’s roster for Sweden

Anna is not only this year's director of one of the most talked about and highly prestigious TV-series in Sweden, Julkalendern, she is now also signed to B-Reel!

We are thrilled to have her, especially after having closely followed her career from the time she was a director’s assistant to our very own Mikael Marcimain and globally renowned Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor, Soldier Spy). Zackrisson went on to dazzle us with her oddball novella film Headphone Silence back in 2009 and has continued to do so ever since.

For Anna it’s all about capturing that single moment that changes everything; that sudden shift from the mundane to the dramatic. Whether you label it drama or comedy, she says, is secondary.

Welcome, Anna.