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(version_industries)

not fade away (part 1)_101012


we’re stoked to announce that we recently started working with paramount pictures.?the first fruit to bear is a website for the debut feature film from?david chase, creator of the sopranos. pictured is the teaser trailer site we were asked to create whilst we work on a larger website for the film. details are of course secret for now, but we’re excited about how its looking + where things are going. stay tuned for further updates in december, around the time the film is released!

you can view the teaser site here.

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the carbon war room_041612


in july of 2011 i was staying in los angeles with some friends, needing some time out from everything. the one thing i had on my plate during my stay out there in the breezy dry heat, was a pitch document for a job we’d been put forward for by some collaborators of ours.

the job was to revamp the carbon war room?website. the carbon war room is a non-profit organization set up by richard branson?for the facilitation and realization of investment in sustainable low-emissions industries and technologies. in other words, an enterprise setup to help investors and entrepreneurs realize the financial benefits of ?going green? on a vast scale in today?s market.

version industries’ MO from the outset has been to fight to work for clients that we believe have something worthwhile to say or offer the world. this job was consequently very attractive to us as we knew we’d be able to put a good deal of work into helping, even in some immeasurably?small capacity, to change the state of the world today.

the trick of course was that we were pitching against 6 other companies for the job, a good deal of whom already worked in the environmental sector or?were already working for the carbon war room in some capacity. furthermore we’d never done a website of this kind before. this is something that always lets us down initially with new clients, as if we actually have never done any website before. by which we mean that we try with every job to do something entirely different every time. so the odds were against us, plus i was sort of on holiday and back in the new york studio everyone had 100 other pressing issues to attend to.

i talked it through with giles over the phone and we came up with a plan. he produced the words to describe our approach to this, and i sat down and started drawing some pictures, so to speak. the understanding we had of how best to handle this project (and as it turned out, this would be our advantage over everyone else competing) was that we needed to make this site engaging (they were getting horrid bounce-rates), less business-like (the current site felt like it was for some london law-firm, with ‘small print’ everywhere) and more enjoyable on the various new computing platforms out there (i.e. let’s make it big, fun, easy to scroll and hit buttons with your fingers on an ipad). for a company trying to offer a fresh approach to tackling the world’s major environmental concerns, their problems seemed clear to us in terms of design.

the key element we were shooting for in our pitch was something that later became known as the engagement component. this was very simple a colorful, quick, javascript driven tool that determined what type of person you the user were. it would then direct you to the part of the site that was relevant to you, explaining what the site had to offer to you, in your own terms.

the other elements we were suggesting in our pitch were conveyed by a series of quick mock-ups of our vision for the site using large format photography, a very spacious design and bold use of typography.

we packaged the whole thing up and sent it off. i went back into the sun with a sense that overall we possibly could have done better, but not sure how. it was just that feeling you have when you’re in someone else’s house in another part of the world, and you don’t quite have the same focus as you do when you’re in your own studio.

a week or so later were informed we were in the next round and that we’d caught their attention. a few weeks later, after some further interviews we were told we’d been selected to do the job. it was the first of a few radical changes for our company around this time, and was deeply affecting our general outlook. after almost 10 years of being around we were now getting the work we felt we were always made for. this meant of course that in return we had to thank them for doing so. we had to thank them in the only way we knew how – by doing the best job we could.

it was a vast task, encompassing initially a large main website completely integrated with their already blooming business forums on linkedin, and a smaller subsidiary site for one of the their latest active operations,?renewable jet fuels. there were many meetings with a great deal of back and forth over the various approaches we should take. a lot of new ideas were developed in this time that went beyond our initial pitch. the filter we provided, as they were so fond of saying in meetings, was to give their content a rock ‘n’ roll feel. not to be taken literally of course, but it simply meant we needed to make this attractive to people like us as well as people like them. this included providing infographics throughout the site with a certain wide-eyed, humorous and na?ve aesthetic –

and making the home page of renewablejetfuels.org look a little like the interior of an airplane –

one of the final elements to fall into place was their ubiquitous sonar.?they wanted us to translate their company logo and how it represented a map of the carbon war room’s various facilities into an interactive site navigation tool. this is the kind of thing we rarely get to do, and is always a pleasure. it involved sitting around, arguing the difference between ‘what would be cool’ and ‘what would annoy the hell out of people’ and finding some middle ground therein. you can see the results of this if you click on the company logo when you first hit the site.

it’s not often you get paid to make a difference. often you just have to do that kind of thing for free. embrace it when you get the chance. we’d like to extend a huge amount of thanks to mark grundy, david schwartz, peter boyd and the rest of the carbon war room team who made this project such a great pleasure to work on. there is of course more work yet to do, but right now seemed like an appropriate time to raise a glass to the experience.

cheers,

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pavilion_101711


the website for the feature film PAVILION went live today, and along with it my second blog article for the IFP in which i discuss the process that went into making the site. we were also fortunate enough to be asked to handle the film’s posters and the credit sequences. the article discusses this and explains why our treatment on all fronts aimed to reflect the very minimal, atmospheric nature of the film.

here’s an excerpt –

my co-worker zach referred me once to a film (portrait of jason, 1967) where a man is sitting there smoking a cigarette for pretty much the entire film. that?s it. talking about this on the way to get lunch one day we agreed that in a film like that, where that?s all that happens, the small things turn into huge events. zach then stopped, scratched his head and thought for a moment, whispering to the air in front of him, ?what was it that happened in that one??. i stopped too, waited, and then finally he said ?ah yes, he ran out of gas on his lighter. huge deal!? we both laughed and then stepped inside?jimmy?s, our regular lunch joint.

so to reiterate,?pavilion?really is one of those exact films. it?s almost fair to say that if you blink or cough, you could miss the entire ?reveal? at the end of it. there are tiny fragmented shards of dialogue that tell you what?s happening whilst all the while you?re watching the most detached, beautiful and mesmerizing footage of kids feeling out the moments in those long, long, useless days of our youth. in fact what i said when i came back from the bathroom after tim had screened his movie for us was ?congratulations?. congratulations for capturing that feeling of the abstract, aimless ennui of what it was to be young, with almost no sense of responsibility at all.

you can read the rest of the article here.

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the gregory brothers_061311

once again we could not be more grateful to topspin. they have put us in touch with an eclectic range of radical artists with whom we’ve had the most exciting and rewarding relationships. the gregory brothers, better known as the auto-tune the news guys, are no exception. a month or so ago they walked into our studio and told us they needed a new website. they then hit the road and we sent them our ideas as they criss-crossed the country on the youtube tour. the trick was to combine their already burgeoning aesthetic with a number of new levels of functionality. their old site had been pretty much built entirely by them using dreamweaver and they were understandably into something that would be a little easier to update. needless to say, but the process was a breeze and often funny too.

as the project went on we of course became more and more familiar with their work. aside from the classic auto-tune videos that we’ve all seen, it was very apparent that they were a talented 4 piece band in their own right. not only are they capable of making a hilarious youtube videos but they’ve got an album’s worth of solid, self-proclaimed?folk ‘n’ roll jams. hit up the music store on the new site to check some of them out. they just got back from playing bonnaroo festival and i’m sure will be announcing more tour dates soon. seriously, go. they’re fantastic people and their show is seriously unique.


gregorybrothers.com

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love & glamour_090910


it seems like forever ago that we were first asked to work on this. watching the campaign go live now, it’s fair to say we still can’t believe we’re responsible for it. it’s easily the most elegant, refined, high-end and sophisticated website we’ve ever put together. a long time ago we did an interview where the journalist theorized that we just needed that one project to prove what we were really capable of. never in a million years did we think jennifer lopez of all people would be giving us that chance.

in short, the concept speaks for itself and since the campaign is still running, we won’t ruin its carefully crafted mystique by going into too much detail here. however to really get a feel for it we suggest you read the campaign blog post here and play around with the small, interactive scenes we built. completing each one brings you ?a step closer to the prize whilst simultaneously giving you a flavour for the overarching old hollywood, classic film noir aesthetic of love & glamour.

above all we’d like to thank all those at selectNY for being so fantastic at what they do. it’s not often you can get great ideas made. all those times you see something original, excellent and thought provoking in the mainstream media, someone will have fought very hard to make it happen. much harder than you think. selectNY believed in us and worked hard to make this happen, providing us with idealogical support and some truly excellent photography along the way.

loveandglamour.com

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apex exposure_061010


the new apex exposure website went live yesterday. it was a great pleasure working with josh scheiner and his team on this, fellow DUMBO residents as they are. as you’ll see from the site, they’re a digital marketing company with a wide range of great clients. drop them a line if you’re in the mood to market your wares, you’d be hard pressed to find a more personable bunch.

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thomasnewbolt.com upgrade_052310


recently we decided to revisit one of our first websites and revamp it a bit. it’s a site that continues to attract people’s attention and represented, back then, our first truly experimental work. we were given carte blanche to make the site any way we wanted, and in our miserable, dank, little east-london bedrooms, it meant a great deal to us to finally be able to prove our worth.

that said, we believe hugely in the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ dogma and so have made the following respectful list of subtle changes to the site that we feel were only necessary to keep it breathing and satisfying its users.

  1. actionscript 3 codebase
  2. xml driven content
  3. h264 video
  4. additional ‘water colour’ interactive ‘sketch book’
  5. full screen functionality
  6. UI speed increase
  7. new backdrop ‘studio photos’
  8. higher quality exports of ‘day’ and ‘night’ short films

we hope, if you were a fan before, that you enjoy the upgrade. for those of you who’ve never seen the site before, we hope it finds a new and satisfied audience, and of course does a handsome job of introducing you to the artist’s work.

thomasnewbolt.com

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HERE website praise_121009

the_film

ioncinema.com, a webzine / blog website dedicated to american independent film, world cinema, documentary film and the world film festival scene, has just posted this article in praise of the HERE website. this is the site we built in collaboration with filmmaker braden king, to promote and provide information on his forthcoming feature film of the same name.

it’s also worth mentioning that the site was built using the ever more relevant ‘website-in-a-can’ setup offered for FREE over at wordpress.org. more than just a powerful piece of blogging software, it’s an extremely affordable, plug-in based solution for almost all your basic website needs these days. provided you’re happy to undertake the task of a little coding and skinning, you can build a very easy to update and maintain online platform to serve a variety of immediate needs.

worth a look.

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