Last year I was very lucky to get a really awesome and unusual job - working on the set of Man of Tai Chi directed and starred in by Keanu Reeves! It started when my friend asked me if I'd like to come along to assist with the aerial shooting for the film, which resulted in me joining the reconnaissance flights with the assistant director and acting as ground crew for the helicopter. Then after chatting with the Locations Manager for a while I found out that they were still missing a key location for the final shooting days - an underground car park. I decided to offer my services! A few days later and after a lot of phone calls to old friends, I had their property booked - the basement car park of Exchange Tower, a landmark building from Sino Land in Kowloon Bay. Shortly after that I got invited to be on set again, this time for the green screen shooting at the legendary Shaw Studios in Tseung Kwan O. It was an incredibly exciting night! Apart from getting to watch them building machines that would spin and implode cars and erect three storeys of green screen, it was also the same night that Typhoon Vicente hit, the first typhoon to reach T10 (the highest signal) since 1999! We worked right through the typhoon and when we left at 5am in the morning trees were blown all over the roads and destruction and debris was everywhere. Despite that, it was a fantastic night. Just incredible to watch some of the most dramatic scenes of the film come together whilst the typhoon raged around us. At the end we took the crew photos and you can just about spot me hiding on the left hand side: After we wrapped the shooting though the fun wasn't entirely over, as I got asked to help out on one final duty: organising the wrap party! Can't have a film shoot without a wrap party and with aviation still in mind, we decided to have ours at The Aviation Club located at the old airport in Kai Tak. It was a great fun night with a live Blues & Funk band, lots of delicious food and most importantly plenty of alcohol. We even had a photo booth with all kinds of bizarre props like knight's helmets and swords to take photos of ourselves with. Everyone had a great time and Keanu and his team were able to relax and let off some steam.
Here we are at the after party (no idea why I look so miserable about what was actually a great night):
I love art (at least most art) and I am a huge fan of Jonathan Jay Lee's work, so when he contacted me to ask if I could help arrange a cooperation with him and Harvey Nichols for Chinese New Year I was overjoyed. This is exactly the kind of work I love to do - helping truly creative and highly skilled people (artists, musicians, directors etc.) to link up with forward thinking and creative brands to help them get their work out into the public eye!
So who is this Jonathan Jay Lee that I'm talking about? Well he is an extremely talented comic artist, illustrator, digital artist and painter who also happens to be the only Hong Kong born and raised comic artist I know of to be published by Marvel Comics! He was invited to draw his own version of The Punisher for the anthology comic book titled "Strange Tales" that Marvel releases every year. For this awesome project JJL basically did a Chinese Triad version of The Punisher set in HK! Now tell me that's not awesome?
You can check out a selection of Jonathan's fantastic artwork here:
Agent 88 Artwork for Heavy Metal Magazine Cityscapes of Canton Road and West KowloonOriginal Artwork - Last KissLive Painting for Hong Kong Jockey Club & Illustration for Kronenbourg 1664Jonathan Jay Lee's Version of The Punisher & his original creation Wolf & CubOriginal Commissioned Artwork - The DrummerSo for this crossover job with Harvey Nichols, they were looking for JJL to specifically design a co-branded Jonathan Jay Lee X Harvey Nichols loyalty card for their most important VIP customers to celebrate Chinese New Year. The cards would be individually mailed to each VIP with a value of HK$888 pre-installed on the card for them to use at any Harvey Nichols store. For the card itself they wanted it to be an original artistic creation in Jonathan's typical style, but also to reflect traditional Chinese New Year values and artwork. This eventually led to a JJL's re-interpretation of a popular motif from ancient China the Boy and Ox in the field.
Have a look below to see what the final card looked like:
Can't wait to do our next collaboration project together! In the meantime you can check out the rest of Jonathan Jay Lee's work here: jonathanjaylee.com
Alatas crane services worldwide is a large multi-national company that supplies crane parts and crane services from 8 different offices across the globe. This includes repairs of crane motors, pumps, winches and gearboxes at their hydraulic workshops. I was introduced to Alatas by my good friend Chris Wright who has a strong background in corporate video though he works primarily in recruitment now. At that moment the Alatas Hong Kong team were looking to put together a video that would give a good showcasing of their hydraulic workshop and it's services, especially focussing on their crane motor repairs.One of the challenges of this project was that engineering in general and the servicing of cranes in specific, is not generally considered a very exciting topic, but it was very important to Alatas that we did not produce the sort of documentary style voice-over led video that is common among across the entire engineering industry. Rather they wanted something short, attractive and fast moving that would at the same time give a very clear understanding of all their services and key points of quality to even a person unfamiliar with their industry casually watching the video. Obviously hitting both of these aims simultaneously meant we had our work cut out for us. Luckily we were helped by the fact that they have a beautiful workshop which is kept in immaculate condition, as you can see from the photos below:
In any case we decided to go for it full throttle and set about shooting a relatively fast-paced video of the journey of a crane motor through the Alatas Hydraulic Workshop. The main reference videos we had to work with (representing some of the best existing videos of a similar nature) were over 20 minutes long, shot in a dull 70's Open University documentary style and accompanied by lengthy and incredibly boring explanatory voiceovers. We decided to scrap this format entirely and go for a 5 minute long, high energy, music driven video with just a few titles integrated into the scenes to act as extra guidance for what's going on. In general though, I think you can follow the linear voyage of the motor through the workshop from arrival to dismantling, cleaning, repairing, re-assambly and testing without needing to pay attention to the titles.
Well we think we did a pretty good job of taking what is quite far from being the most riveting and exciting subject matter and transforming it into a fairly fast-moving and engaging video, in the process altering the ages old documentary format of engineering videos. Apparently we're not alone in our general regard of ourselves, as over 30,000 engineers from all over the world have watched the video making it one of the most popular videos on the net from the crane repair / hydraulic workshop / hydraulic motor category. Have a look and see what you think:
|English Name||Spencer Douglass|
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