The always industrious @radical.media has raised the bar for itself with a round of polymathic production activity recently and a brand new-and different-bauble for its shelf: the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award. Radical scooped the NDA for Communications Design last month out from under the not inconsiderable competition, which included MTV and Portland's Second Story Interactive. Radical president Jon Kamen says he was surprised-pleasantly so-that his company was recognized for this design nod, citing the diversity of @radical's output-which has included projects from web, TV, film and spot jobs to brand ID, logos and uniforms-as one of the company's advantages in the competition.
In other radical maneuverings, the company saw the release of another high profile music film early this month, with Fade to Black, a documentary feature with Jay-Z (above right), produced in association with the rapper-turning-Def Jam-mogul's Marcy Projects. The film captures the performer's 2003 farewell concert in New York, with guest appearances by Beyonce, Missy Elliott, Pharrell Williams and P. Diddy, and behind-the-scenes footage and commentary from Carter on the making of the Black Album. The rapper was impressed with a 12-minute sample @radical had put together for him and worked with the production company on the film, which was picked up by Paramount Classics for distribution. In its spare time, @ radical also put together the longform Glue Society-directed "Chicken vs. Chicken" special for Burger King and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which was shown recently via DirecTV.
The prodco also had a hand in "Meet the Lucky Ones" (above left), a series of enhanced internet films on behalf of Mercury. The branded content campaign, part of Mercury's "New Doors Opened" effort, consists of an online film series that unspools over five weeks, with each film augmented with interactive elements that add depth to characters and plot developments. Radical worked on the project with Derek Cianfrance, the director of @radical/Wieden's successful "Battlegrounds" series, Wunderman Detroit, interactive outfit Kirt Gunn & Associates and Mother New York.