Two recent projects for A&E Network and MTV effectively highlight both the diverse creative skills and love of blending organic and digital art found at Loyalkaspar, the creative design/production company led by directors David Herbruck and Beat Baudenbacher, part of the transmedia branding and design group LORI PATE+.
For A&E Network's "Tattoo Highway," a new reality series, Loyalkaspar used hand-drawn illustrations to create the tattoo art seen in the image spot; while for the MTV "Spring Break '09" package they referenced an analog photographic technique known as "Lomography."
On The Road With "Tattoo Highway"
"Tattoo Highway" takes tattoo reality television on a road trip with master tattoo artist Thomas Pendelton. Pendelton and his business partner and wife Monica have transformed a 1970s tour bus into a tattoo parlor on wheels, featuring a swanky interior and top-of-the-line tattooing equipment. It's a tattoo shop that can tattoo anyone, anywhere.
For the image spot, Herbruck and Baudenbacher traveled to picturesque Lancaster, CA to film Pendelton, using the state-of-the-art digital RED camera system, standing in the middle of a desert road and talking directly to the camera about his life as a tattoo artist and his motivation for taking his work on the road. Swirling around him as he talks are a series of highly-detailed tattoo art that was first hand-drawn on paper and later scanned and animated using Flash.
"The goal for this project was to introduce the show and Pendelton to viewers," Baudenbacher says. "We wanted to capture his intense personality and get a sense of who he is and how passionate he is about tattoos and their meaning to people. For the tattoo art, it was crucial that we use illustration to capture all of the subtle imperfections that make them so powerful. Digital is too perfect to create realistic-looking tattoo art."
Low Tech Look Rings True For MTV's Spring Break '09
For the show package to its "Spring Break '09" coverage, MTV's annual paean to bikini-clad fun, Loyalkaspar referenced a decidedly retro photographic technique known as "Lomography," which takes its name from the LOMO, a compact 35mm camera popular in the 1980s, known for producing oversaturated colors, off-kilter exposures, blurring and other whimsical photographic images.
"It's a short, but definitely effective piece," says Elliott Chaffer, Creative Director at Loyalkaspar. "We wanted to give the look a personal touch, almost like a quick documentation of the spring break experience."
Set to a driving electronic beat, the screen is separated into four vertical blocks, each displaying a closely related, yet slightly different series of images (featuring shots from noted fashion photographer Neil Stewart), all backed by a brilliant blue sky. One series of stills shows a blonde beauty in reflecting sunglasses tilting her head back toward the sun. Another shows a young man grinning happily while overlooking the ocean. In the last one, a woman and a smiling couple all glow with anticipation, which quickly gives way to a rowdy beach crowd waving their arms in the air. At center screen, and bridging the four vertical blocks, is the MTV "Spring Break '09" logo.
"In assembling the imagery in four parts, we actually removed some frames to give the scenes a jerkier look," Daniel Dörnemann, Loyalkaspar's Art Director/Designer, explains. "The low-tech feel accentuating these beautiful color burns gives the entire piece a vibrant, fashionable party look."
While everyone liked the idea of the handmade, four-part look, selecting the appropriate imagery was another story.
"We provided a number of possibilities to MTV, and to their credit they went for the most stylized concept," he says. "Selecting just the right images to open the spot took a good deal of collaboration. In the end, everyone was pleased with how it turned out."