Fresh off the release of his feature film directorial debut Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 (now on Hulu), and a dynamic history of disruptive ad campaigns, Dexton Deboree is unveiling Falkon, a new creative boutique born at the intersection of Advertising and Entertainment.
As Carmelo Anthony puts it: “What makes Dex unique is the fact that he really treats you like a partner. He doesn’t just say it, he backs it up with action. It is refreshing to have people like him in the marketplace who really treat content with the respect the subject matter deserves. Looking forward to what Falkon will create next.”
Falkon takes flight in an era when movies may be a brand marketing play, a TV ad might feel like a movie, and a marketing campaign can roll out like an episodic series. This contemporary branded content era emerged when BMW Films debuted in 2002 and has evolved in recent efforts such as Old Spice’s Cold as Balls starring Kevin Hart and Pepsi’s Uncle Drew feature film.
Desmond Marzette, Global Director of Advertising at Nike and Jordan Brand, adds: “Dex is a creative visionary in the brand content and entertainment space. I consider him a pioneer in blending strategy with creative to develop content. It’s an unusual and much-appreciated skill set as brands continue to evolve their content game.”
Falkon – the name conveys the soaring possibilities of the new world of filmmaking for brands and entertainment, with a nod to its deep connection with Jordan and Nike (Falcon was Phil Knight’s original name for Nike) – will continue Deboree’s long-standing partnerships with Nike and Jordan, while further expanding with a slate of TV, feature film, and new media properties in partnership with athletes, sports leagues, film studios and media partners and other select brands. Deboree will focus equally on new entertainment properties and advertising while honing much further in on projects and partners that align with Falkon’s core ethos anchored in Sports, Culture, and Social Impact and stay tightly focused on shoring the gap between the audience and the content Falkon creates and delivers for them.
Asani Swann, VP of Business Strategy and Producing Partner at Creative 7, Carmelo Anthony’s entertainment company, adds: “Dex is a rare spirit in this ever-evolving world of sports and entertainment. His ability to uniquely connect with a project, talent, or story to transform it into a compelling and captivating piece of art is what we all strive to do. Working with Dex is truly a pleasure.”
With Falkon, Deboree is rewriting the rules for how films are developed, financed, produced, distributed and marketed; for the wide TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) release of Unbanned, Deboree upset the traditional mechanics of film distribution by marketing the film through a sneaker raffle called Unbanned Unboxed that offered fans a chance to win one of 23 prizes, including one of the most valuable sneakers of all time, a 1985 Air Jordan 1 (incidentally the “star” of the film).
This rings uniquely authentic with the film’s audience of sneaker fans, basketball fans, and hip hop fans by taking a familiar behavior of this audience and marrying it to both the nature of the content itself and to the actual marketing and distribution method for the film. To top it off, a portion of every ticket is going to local charities focused on empowering youth through education and mentorship in partnership with Wings, Jordan Brand’s Community Impact arm, bringing full circle both Deboree’s relationship to Jordan and giving back to the very community the film was made for.
Deboree explains: “Falkon’s DNA is anchored in radically creative individuals that tell stories regardless of genre, medium, format and distribution platform, and understand the entire food-chain of a creative idea. We’ve established a unique process from insight to audience that is having a profound impact on the type of stories we tell and how we tell them in both advertising and entertainment. Unbanned, and the ways we’ve worked to deliver it to the audience, is a prime example but it’s just the beginning. We had many opportunities and temptations to go the traditional route, but that never never felt right for the audience and I’m wholly committed to finding ever more authentic and powerful ways to create, bring to life and share visual stories. To me, there is a whole universe of opportunities to create, market and distribute content – whether it’s advertising, entertainment or non-traditional storytelling – in a way that is fresh, inventive and truly built for the audience it is made for in the first place. That is one of Falkon’s primary missions.”
Upcoming creative efforts for Falkon include a narrative TV series with NHL star PK Subban, set in the world of high school hockey with special collaborations built around it, and a docu-series he’s developing with Anthony and Swann set in the world of sports and social impact. Deboree is also working on a docu-series created with NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and Constance Schwart Morini via their SMAC Entertainment label in partnership with Oscar-winning Believe Entertainment.
Dex spoke this year at SXSW on Storytelling in Sports: How to Make Good Sh*t , is presenting at Leader’s Sports Summit in NYC on May 21st, and he will present at Cannes 2019 alongside Emmy-winning Writer/Producer Kenya Barris of Black-ish and Grown-ish, in a discussion about the blurred lines between advertising and entertainment that Falkon was born to solve.
Prior to forming Falkon, Deboree co-founded Los York, which coined the term “content agency,” and has creatively commandeered a robust body of work for Jordan Brand, Nike Basketball, Nike Running, Wilson and Major League Soccer.
Dex concludes: “When you create a story worth telling, you have to create it with your audience in mind – so why wouldn’t you apply that same thinking to distribution and marketing? Why would this process be entirely handed off or siloed from the creation process? I think as content creators in this new landscape you’ve got to ask – not only who is my audience, but how do they want to hear about the story, where do they want to watch it, what kind of experiences would they want to have with the story before, during and after the core telling – in a way that is completely real and emotionally gratifying to them? It won’t always be a sneaker raffle, but there will always be true, authentic ways to connect content to consumers that goes way beyond the typical watered down and homogenized strategies that reach the widest audience, that used to work in both advertising and entertainment, but simply don’t or soon won’t anymore.”
One of our biggest issues ever, STASH 135 packs two and half hours of new motion brilliance (including behind the scenes features and exclusive interviews) into The Stash Permanent Collection – the planet’s premier online video archive of design, animation, and VFX.
NYC art director/animator/illustrator Damien Bastelica channels his first-hand experience of bullying in the workplace (during his first job as an intern in France) into a comedic story of revenge gone wild in “Hell Of A Week.”
Damien Bastelica: “This film has been a personal project of mine for the past two years. I wanted to create a relatable scenario someone may have experienced one time or another and use animation to exaggerate the story.
“I also knew I wanted to create more of a violent kind of animation so I decided to go with a cute/humorous visual style to balance out the overall film.
“I come from a CG/design background but I’ve always loved and admired 2D animation. I picked it up a few years ago and just absolutely fell in love with it.
“Working on a short film by yourself after hours definitely has its challenges, and story development was probably where I struggled the most but fortunately, feedback from my close ones brought ‘Hell Of A Week’ to where it is today.”
Artist and technologist Amir B Jahanbin powers up his signature low-fi 3D charm for producer/musician and fellow Brooklynite brz on the track “Daylight” which Jahanbin says is all about “The meeting of the sun and the moon.”
In a move that reflects a significant expansion of its capabilities and talent, multi-award-winning creative company The-Artery has opened the doors to a vast, vibrant new space in Manhattan’s thriving Chelsea neighborhood.
Founded and led by Chief Creative Officer Vico Sharabani, The-Artery now has a spacious new environment in which to apply its expertise in providing collaborative solutions to creative production and post-production challenges. This includes leveraging their expertise in visual effects, post supervision, offline editorial, live action, and experience design and development across multiple platforms.
According to Sharabani, the new space is not only a response to the studio’s growth but allows The-Artery to foster better collaboration and reinforce its relationships with clients and creative partners. “As a creative studio, we recognize how important it is for our artists, producers, and clients to be working in a space that is comfortable and supportive of our creative process,” he says. “The extraordinary layout of this new space, the size, the lighting, and even our location, allows us to provide our clients with key capabilities and plays an important part in promoting our mission moving forward.”
Creative to the core, The-Artery has showcased its singular approach and ingenuity on a variety of high-profile efforts in recent years. These include 2018’s groundbreaking VR-enabled production for Mercedez-Benz, their work on Under Armour’s “Rush” campaign and Beyonce’s game-changing Coachella documentary, Homecoming. They have also brought their talents to feature films like Netflix’s acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, Wes Anderson’s Oscar-winning Grand Budapest Hotel and box-office hit Ocean’s 8.
Backed by a seasoned and talented team of artists and creative collaborators, including recent addition, editor and former Mad River Post owner Michael Elliot, The-Artery’s new space demonstrates their commitment to providing a wholly different level of service. “Whether they are agencies, commercial and film directors, or studios, our clients always work directly with our creative directors and artists, collaborating closely throughout a project,” says Sharabani “That’s why they come back to The-Artery, because they want this high level of communication, intention and enthusiasm. And now, with our new office, we have the perfect symbol of what makes this studio such a unique and exceptional creative partner.”
Spanish motion man Albert Oriol animates the work of 36 designers and illustrators (each rendering a letter or number) to create this joyful and vibrant contribution to the sixth edition of the 36 Days of Type project.
Albert Oriol: “The goal was simple: carry out a worldwide collaboration with 36 artists. Everyone who responded was really welcoming and open to the idea of seeing their work animated.
“I also wanted to challenge myself to try out different animation styles that I don’t usually get a chance to work on. Furthermore, I wanted the alphabet to be packed with as many animation techniques as possible: traditional, 3D, character, 2D, etc.
“Finally, I would like to give a huge thanks to all of the artists that let me animate their work. Thank you for making this project possible!”
Director/animator: Albert Oriol
A — Bilos Mantho
B — Eric Cyz
C — Pol Solà
D — Alan Cheetham
E — Artur Tenczyński
F — Almir Nago
G — Valeriya Tsimbalenko
H — Malou De Jonghe
I — Adam Lewis
J — Dawid Nerwus
K — Narayudha A. Nahari
L — Ryan Robinson
M — Gabrielle Hola
N — Pablo Navas
O — Steven Schweickert
P — Magda Brankiewicz
Q — Stephanie Haslberger
R — Justyna Stasik
S — Francisco Frutuoso
T — Marine de la Roche Saint André
U — Mikhail Polivanov
V — Juliana Arboleda
W — Meeta Panesar
X — Erick Ortega
Y — Jason Naylor
Z — Rachel Topf
0 — Martin Naumann
1 — Kristiina Almy
2 — David D. Navarro
3 — Xero Fernández
4 — Mel Tan
5 — Ali Saai
6 — Alessandro Strickner
7 — Thomas Armagni
8 — Miguel Avilés
9 — César Doreste
Detroit motion studio First Fight keep the energy high and visuals fun to nail this walk thru of the finer points of buying and selling sneakers via online resale site StockX.
Director: First Fight
Creative Director: Andre Foster and Guy Allen
Character Design: Arnold Hong, Guy Allen
Illustration/Design: Andre Foster, Guy Allen, Alex Delker, Arnold Hong
2D Animation: First Fight
Cel Animation: Jessica Rowden, Ryan Boyes, Omar Romolino, Mel McCann, Martina Sic
3D Animation: Alex Delker, Rick Lundskow
Los Angeles, CA – (May 14, 2019) – Director and visual artist Andrew Thomas Huang has joined production company Serial Pictures for North American representation of commercials, branded entertainment, and music videos. Through his trademark combination of visual storytelling and animation, Huang transports viewers on metaphorical, immersive journeys.
He has worked extensively with Icelandic artist Bjork, among others including Thom Yorke, Perfume Genius, and British director Joe Wright, and has helmed commercials for global brands such as Lexus and Samsung. His most recent project, the emotionally evocative music video for “Cellophane” by FKA twigs, taps into his overarching theme of body-identity and its transient nature. It immerses the viewer in the duality of reality versus perception through a unique visual narrative.
“Andrew’s approach to filmmaking is daring and innovative. It challenges your imagination with underlying messages such as sexual identity and body image. Andrew has the rare talent to create work that hits you like a dream, yet it lets you feel connected to a visceral reality,” says Founding Partner Violaine Etienne. “We’re excited to support his unique vision and approach to visual storytelling.”
“I’m thrilled to join Serial Pictures. Their commitment to high-caliber, artist-driven work is inspiring, and I’m honored to join their roster of amazing talent,” says Huang. “I look forward to growing together and making daring work that blows people’s minds.”
Huang has consistently made a name for himself through his experimental mix of live-action and animation techniques. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, Huang kickstarted his career with a series of short films including Solipsist, which was selected for the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase and was awarded a Special Jury Prize for Experimental Short at Slamdance 2012. His newest short, Kiss of the Rabbit God, recently made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
His film and video work have been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; MoMA PS1; The Barbican Centre, London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Huang carries on his visual aesthetic as he continues his foray into narrative feature films. He is a Cinereach Fellow, a recent fellow in Film Independent’s Directors Lab, and a recipient of the K Period Media Fellowship grant.
Dress Code: “Geoff Mcfetridge was awarded the 2019 AIGA Medal for deftly relating design to time-based considerations — film titles, music videos, envisioning of AI — and vibrant sculptural forms, and for welcoming graphically-charged outsider/street subculture into the mainstream conversation.
Production Company: Dress Code
Director: Dan Covert
Executive Producer: Brad Edelstein
Head of Post Production and Operations: Tara Rose Stromberg
Head of Production: Amy Dempsey
Producer: Amy Dempsey, Dan Covert
Cinematography: Claudio Rietti
Edit: Dan Covert, Nick Stromberg
Design: Elena Chudoba
Color: Daniel Orentlicher
Production Coordinator: Jonathan Dontchev