Saatchi & Saatchi opened its 18th annual New Directors Showcase today with tribute and tribulation. Worldwide CCO Bob Isherwood dedicated the event to the late Paul Arden, the longtime Saatchi creative leader who founded the show in 1991 and passed away in April. Isherwood called Arden the epitome of "fearless," this year's theme. Argentine performance artists Fuerza Bruta then took the stage with an acrobatic, sensory-stimulating illustration of the "fearless director," with a man breaking through "walls," braving "storms" and overcoming various other obstacles.
The brute force continued to the opening film, Romain Gavras' provocative Justice video featuring young thugs wreaking havoc on the streets of Paris. That was just one of the show's inventive clips, which made up nearly half of this year's showcase. The audience donned 3D glasses to get the full effect of Encylcopedia Pictura's fanciful video for Bjork's Wanderlust, a combination of puppetry, stop motion and CG. Caviar L.A.'s Keith Schofield's fun flesh romp for Fat Boy Slim's new Brighton Port Authority track "Toe Jam," featuring David Byrne also made the cut, as did Partizan's Nima Mourizadeh's video for Santogold's L.E.S. Artistes. Remarkable one-take clips were aplenty, including Roel Wouters' ZZZ: is playing clip, featuring trampoline artists simulating live action video effects. Joey Garfield's RJD2 Work it Out promo captured performance artist Bill Shannon in a spectacular street dance on crutches, which he's been using since he was a child. The lineup also included two of Parisian director Vincent Moon's "Take Away Shows," featuring Arcade Fire and R.E.M, in which the filmmaker captured various bands performing live in ad hoc spaces.
On the spots side, Fallon creative Juan Cabral added his name to another notable list with Cadbury's Gorilla as one of the show's featured ads. Creative-turned director Harold Einstein garnered plenty of laughs thanks to deadpan humor for Crest and Fedex, and Scott Lyon celebrated everyday rhythms for Volkswagen. The show's featured viral entries included Ray Ban's Sunglass Catch directed by Benzo Theodore and Joe Bartenhagen and Ryan Brown's Cart Whisperer for Verisign. Biscuit Filmworks' Clay Weiner also joined the ranks for his direction on Budweiser's Dude and Brazilian director Luiz Adriano used stop motion cigarettes to illustrate the perils of smoking in a PSA for Unimed.
Argentina yielded a handful of this year's animation talents: street artist Blu's graffiti took on new life against a live action urban palette; Juan Pablo Zaramella made the most of black and white with the classically animated Lapsus, and Pablo Polledri humorously illustrated the seven deadly sins in Los Pecadores. Other animated shorts included Nexus director Johnny Kelly's multimedia take on Procrastination. Jonathan Hopkins' Goodbye Mr. Snuggles was the show's only non-ad related live action short.
Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase 2008
Luiz Adriano, Tribbo Post
Joe Bartenhagen and Ryan Brown, fiftyfilms
Juan Cabral, Blink
Harold Einstein, Station Film
Encyclopedia Pictura, Ghost Robot
Joey Garfield, Ghost Robot
Romain Gavras, Soixan7e Quin5e
Jonathan Hopkins, Between the Eyes
Johnny Kelly, Nexus Productions
Scott Lyon, Outsider
Vincent Moon, Temporary Areas
Nima Nourizadeh, Partizan
Pablo Polledri, Gorriti 4417 3degrees "A"
Keith Schofield, Caviar L.A.
Benzo Theodore, Park Pictures
Clay Weiner, Biscuit Filmworks
Roel Wouters, Nexus Productions
Juan Pablo Zaramella, Zaramella Animation/JPZtudio