THROWBACK THURSDAY: Accidental Creative

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2011 was the year The King’s Speech cleaned up at the Oscars, the year Game of Thrones premiered on HBO and… the year Jumbla was founded. Read on, as we throwback to that glorious year and revisit one of our earliest videos!

This is a video our founding creative director Cal worked on to promote the book The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. It was delivered in collaboration with the US video production company Epipheo.

The quirky “explainer” video gives the viewer a taste of the book’s premise: that being creative is something you can do throughout your day, every day, by incorporating certain practices and methods of thinking.

Cal wanted a video that captured the smart, edgy essence of the author. In the end, he was able to produce something that we believe carried the spirit of a lesson or lecture, but without any of the boring bits, thanks to the vibrant cutouts, engaging narration and upbeat sound design.

Cal says, “It’s quite nostalgic watching this piece again. While it’s fair to say we’ve improved some of our techniques now, I can still look back at this and be proud of what we achieved. It’s kind of funny, it has a good story and its execution required a fair share of creative strategy.”

Perhaps that’s fitting, given the topic of the book!

“It was a lot of fun working on Accidental Creative because it meant we were able to be extra creative and push boundaries. The client was very responsive to all our ideas and really liked what we presented,” says Cal.

“It was particularly enjoyable because I was able to feature my brother in it. He’s the protagonist of the video – the star, if you like.”

Check out Cal’s work (and his brother’s facial expressiveness) below:

The video combines motion graphics with photo montage and live-action footage. It was composited and animated in After Effects, with all the cutouts done on Photoshop.

Cal says it was the first time he had tested certain techniques, due to the dynamic collaboration of different media: “One example is the part where the hand “scoops” from the brains. It involved us having to film hands interacting with things I’d yet to animate. It was a challenge, but it taught me a lot that would come in handy for future jobs.”

Cal’s brother wasn’t the only star of this video. The hand you see throughout the piece belongs to Cal himself. It’s the sort of hand modelling that puts Zoolander’s David Duchovny to shame.

Meantime, it wasn’t just creative ideas, creative techniques and creative casting that were used. Making this video also required some creative construction – literally.

“This was made before we had our own Jumbla studio to do a lot of this stuff, so most of that filming was done in my lounge room. For some of the shots, I’d set up my ladder over a table, then gaffer tape the camera to the ladder in order to keep it still while shooting downwards.”

For a fun fact, the lion you see is a toy that Cal had lying around at home (as one does), which he photographed and animated. Other “real” items include the cup of coffee and the match (lighting the candles), which were both filmed in live-action.

The video is a great example of how bright ideas and creative execution can add even greater flair to an already well-written script. It’s a testament to Cal’s ability to solve problems and venture into new territory – even before we had the capabilities of the fancy studio we have today!

We hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. You can see more of our past work here! 

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