Putting myself in harm’s way, for safety’s sake

Here’s a set of videos I shot recently at Irish International for the Road Safety Authority (RSA), to help raise awareness of cyclist’s safety on the road. They were published through the RSA’s social channels during National Bike Week (11th-19th June 2016).

The scenes look dangerous, from the cyclist’s perspective, intentionally. These videos were shot in 360 to give people a first-hand view of what it’s like, when motorists aren’t aware of cyclists or don’t consider their safety. Although there’s plenty of opportunity to observe this kind of behaviour during the course of an average cycle on Irish roads, I did bring along a driver to play the part of the inconsiderate motorist.

I don’t get a chance to cycle often, so it was an eye-opening experience for me. Some of the hazards weren’t actually that apparent while on the bike. When you’re cycling, you tend to focus on the road and the repetitive effort. Quite often you may be listening to music and you may place your trust in other road users to avoid you. Cycling along the country road, I was less aware of the traffic coming from behind, so the potential threat is more obvious in the video. But of course, it was there, even if it wasn’t on my mind at the time. What was also very interesting about this project, was to place the camera on the car, and see what it looked like from the driver’s perspective. The camera was mounted on the driver’s door (in the ‘door-opening’ video) and on the front wing of the car in the overtake video, giving a clearer view than you’d normally get from the driver’s seat.

I’m looking forward to making more of these kinds of videos in the future. 360 VR is a fantastic medium for providing not just an informational piece of film, but also an experience that is a lot closer to actually being involved in the action.

At this time, 360 video is not natively supported on Twitter or Instagram, so I also made non-360 versions for use on those platforms. Working with 360 footage gives you a range of views to select your shots from. From a single sequence, I was able to edit shots looking forwards and also looking backwards from the camera position. 360 video is supported on Facebook and YouTube, as well as many other networks. Some browsers or operating systems, such as Safari, may not allow you to view these videos.

These were shot with a Ricoh Theta S – a deservedly popular entry level 360 camera. It’s a small, light, pocketable camera that is extremely easy to use. It can take decent quality still images. The video output isn’t as good as you’d like it. It shoots HD, and the raw footage looks clean enough, if shot in decent lighting conditions. The 360 player engines in YouTube or Facebook produce a noticeable degradation in quality. This is a rapidly developing area, with many 360 cameras already on the market and some that capture video in 4k. Over the coming months, many more are due to be released and I’m looking forward to getting one of those as soon as possible. However, with the majority of social content being viewed on smartphones, the quality of the Theta video is good enough for now. I would expect support for 360 (with VR options) to be widely, or even universally supported over the next year or so and also for the quality of the picture to improve substantially through the main platforms.

Here are the non-360 edits of the videos.

 

 

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360Mb in 360 degrees

360Mb_badgeFor Virgin Media Ireland’s second campaign, their new 360Mb Broadband service was the big news. Sky-ripping, Eir-shredding speed, available in almost three quarters of a million homes across Ireland. Taking off where we left it with the launch campaign, we created a squadron of superfast jets, zipping through a glorious sunset for the TV ad. Just a few weeks before the campaign aired, Facebook had rolled out it’s support for interactive 360 video and it seemed rude not to avail of that to create the world’s first 360 ad as the cornerstone of the digital campaign. The ad aired globally on the LittlStar platform, making it the world’s first bespoke 360 ad and we popped the 360 (baby) into Google Cardboard VR headsets for in-store entertainment.

 

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To extend the campaign, we enlisted the help of Team CUBE Action rider, Greg Callaghan and his buddies, Killian Callaghan and Ian Coates, to film an action packed MTB descent in 360, creating the highest engagement ever enjoyed by Virgin Media Ireland for a piece of social content.

Here’s the campaign TV ad.

Origin Green – Cardboard : Bord Bia

At this year’s Expo world fair in Milan the theme was “feeding the planet, energy for life”. Ireland’s Pavilion celebrated Origin Green, Ireland’s world-leading sustainable food movement. We helped create all kinds of interesting material, including this simple, cost-effective and unputdownable Google Cardboard piece, which transported thousands of users from the parched earth of Milan to the lush idyll of the Irish countryside. The Irish Pavilion was a huge success with visitors and critics alike, and won bronze for Ireland out of 145 countries.

 

Here’s the flat image that I shot.

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And here are a few more shots I took on the day.

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Dot dot dot dot doctor Beat

September’s Electric Picnic symbolises the crescendo of another epic Summer of Irish festivals and the event that many Irish music and comedy fans are looking forward to for months.

Vodafone’s unique sponsorship platform Centre Stage also reaches a culmination around this time of the year, and having facilitated festival fun all Summer, we were tasked with bringing people closer to the festival through great content, ticket giveaways and of course event activations.

This year, we created a nutty professor/music doctor and cast the very funny and talented Bryan Quinn as ‘Dr. Beat’ – a wacky character who recommended ‘patients’ with different acts to go see at EP, was involved in the social competitions, retail activation and had his own surgery section in the recharge tent.

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Farewell to the king

To celebrate a momentous weekend in Irish rugby – the last test game Brian O’Driscoll will play on home soil – we decided to use our unique position near the Aviva to give the great man the sendoff he deserves!

Our building wrap was unveiled early on the morning of Wednesday 5th March, and had commuters stopping, staring and ‘Instagramming’!

The wrap also created a bit of a storm on social channels, with the man himself tweeting his thanks to the official Target McConnells account.

Irish media brands like TheJournal.ie, Joe.ie, Sunday World, Daily Mail, BreakingNews.ie and Balls.ie all covered the activation.

On the day of the game, we offered fans the chance to share their message to the great man, and shared all the images via our Instagram account.

We wanted to show Mr #13 just how much he has meant to the Irish public, and hopefully we succeeded.

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Budweiser Ice Cold – Keep a Cool Head

Keep a Cool Head
Sampling staff with the game and some tent cards
Lucky winner gets a voucher for a free pint
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HARP Ice Cold – Freeze the moment

Freeze the moment campaign for HARP Ice Cold NI, done while I was in Irish International. This is a campaign that we developed for HARP as part of their sponsorship of the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. It consisted of outdoor posters, extensive branding and signage in and around the arena, social media and experiential promotions. The campaign got as far to have all the photography done and most of it fully graded and retouched before the project was put on hold. I was the art director and Di Tansey was my creative partner.

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Our original Creative Concept presentation video is below.

 

Bud Light Beer Meister

On-trade promo activity for Bud Light.

 

Budweiser Ice Cold

Budweiser Ice Cold – Pour Your Own

Budweiser Ice Cold – Pour Your Own Pint promotion, Summer 2010

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Budweiser Ice Cold - Pour Your Own Pint

The 'Pour Your Own Pint' unit
'Ice man'
Even Ice men get thirsty