Blog : Film

Something entirely new

Something entirely new

Extreme time exposures of movies, capturing their essence in a still.
New ideas should be celebrated, don’t you think?
Alice in Wonderland
Deep Throat
Dr Stangelove
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

See? It can be done!

After the fiasco that was the Pepsi/Jenner attempt at a message of social inclusion and tolerance, it’s too easy to assume that big marketers shouldn’t even attempt to play in that space.
How timely that Heineken should come along and show us that it can be done, and done really well.
Suck on that, as it were!
Very special special effects.

Very special special effects.

Stalingrad (2013) is a Russian film about the battle for what is now Volgograd in 1942/43.
The special effects are stunning, and in this video we’re shown how they were put together.
If you’ve ever wondered how all of this is done, how much of it is real and how much is created, it’s all here.
(Bear with it – the really interesting stuff starts a minute or two in.)



For editing, audio design…. and for just making the hair stand up on the back of your neck, this is really something.

It reminds us of why rock music has been such a phenomenon.
(To be played loud and full screen!)
Amazing credits

Amazing credits

Westworld is the new HBO series based on the 70s movie of the same name.
Boy oh boy, do they do good opening credits – you could watch this again and again.
Which, of course, is exactly the idea.

Maurie Dowd and Tom Wills

Maurie Dowd and Tom Wills



It’s all too rare when working relationships become genuine, close friendships, but Maurie Dowd’s warmth and natural rapport with people made the crossover hard to avoid.


When Maurie was at Clemenger BBDO, he enjoyed regular Friday lunches with HBT’s directors and co-founders, Michael Berry and David Hayes.


By the time he left Clemenger and started directing TVCs, the trio were collaborating regularly.


Shooting a campaign for Herron, Maurie organised a crew in Queensland to film at the company’s factory, from sunrise to sunset.
His kind, genuine nature gave him an innate ability to extract performances from ordinary people with ease.


Maurie discovered the story of Tom Wills, the founding father of AFL, and couldn’t believe that it had gone untold for so long.
Making a documentary about Tom Wills became a labour of love for Maurie, which he pursued until passing away in 2009.


The unfinished project was salvaged by a close group of friends and colleagues, who ensured its completion, and saw it screened on TV last weekend.


You can read an excellent article about the making of Maurie’s Tom Wills documentary here.

Story of Australia’s most unsung legend to be aired on Network Ten

Story of Australia’s most unsung legend to be aired on Network Ten

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 4.44.28 pm


This Sunday, the story of AFL’s founding father, Tom wills, arguably Australia’s most unsung legend, will air on Network Ten.


Tom Wills’ story is both remarkable and tragic. Wills grew up in what is current day Western Sydney playing with indigenous children and speaking many indigenous languages before he was sent to boarding school in England, where he became a much celebrated cricket player.


Upon returning to Australia, Wills proposed a game for cricketers to play in winter to keep fit, going on to create what is now known as AFL. Tom was a highly talented football and cricket player who played both sports for the newly formed state of Victoria, making him a state hero and celebrity.


Wills’ life took a tragic turn though when his whole family was murdered in a massacre. Despite remaining a successful and celebrated sportsman, Wills’ life never recovered.


Incredibly, this weekend’s screening will mark the first time in history that Tom Wills’ story will be shared with such a wide audience –hard to believe in a country that loves its sport and sporting stars so dearly.


Tune in on Network 10 at 1pm on Sunday 7 August to discover this pivotal chapter in Australia’s history book, or watch the trailer here.

New Dulux Accredited Painters!

New Dulux Accredited Painters!


A great project from Dulux! Logo design, collateral, uniforms, web design, EDM
…and this charming 15” TVC (which, you’ll note, features the new logo throughout!)

The complete package.

Read More

Selling a life and death message

Selling a life and death message

Our latest campaign for Alzheimer’s Australia (Vic.) is really getting noticed. Here’s a story in Marketing Magazine about the thinking behind it.


David Hayes, lead creative on Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s latest TVCs, shares his insights into the creative process behind creating more urgency around an important social issue.

Dementia is Australia’s second biggest killer after heart disease and has a devastating effect on everyone who’s touched by it; those who have it, their families and their friends. And yet, most people underestimate the disease and its impact. As a result, Australians’ response to Alzheimer’s disease (and dementia more broadly) is not commensurate with the seriousness of the disease, and this has huge implications for our society. How best to tackle this – particularly given the sensitivities surrounding this subject?

Did you know dementia is Australia’s second leading cause of death after heart disease? If the answer is no, you’re not alone – more than 70% of Australians admit to knowing very little about dementia. This is just one of the startling statistics that began HBT’s journey with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic three months ago.

The fact that Australians lack awareness about the reality of dementia is not surprising, given the majority of Australians in a recent survey admitted that dementia is something they would “rather not think about”.

Unfortunately, awareness of some diseases – in this case one with very far reaching effects – has less to do with the seriousness and prevalence of the condition, and more to do with preconceived and widely shared attitudes towards the illness.

A marketer’s response to an urgent issue

Knowing how to confront important issues creatively is the reason not-for-profit organisations collaborate with marketers in the first place. And understanding of how to deftly communicate sometimes upsetting facts with respect requires an experienced touch, free from cliché and sensationalism.

In our work with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, we discovered awareness – and public interest – in the disease was significantly lower than many other common life threatening conditions.
• In a recent Ipsos survey, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic found that:
• Almost a quarter of the population saw people with dementia as ‘frightening’,
• more than half of respondents professed dementia as something they ‘would rather not think about’, and

more than a quarter of the population believe this fatal disease can be cured.

As one of Australia’s biggest killers, the urgent facts of dementia initially had us scratching our heads as to how to address such a serious condition with sensitivity. The challenge we faced was: how to emotionally engage a largely passive and disengaged public. The objective of any social or behavioural change campaign begins with devising creative ways to engage as many people as possible, without compromising the values of the client it represents.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic briefed us to help reset people’s understanding of dementia as a degenerative condition of the brain that kills, whilst also highlighting that people touched by the disease are not alone and there are support services available.

In discussions with our colleagues and family, it emerged many of them had been significantly touched by the disease, in emotionally challenging and taxing ways. Therefore it was apparent that it would be important to convey the wide reaching effect this life threatening disease has on the wider community, as a vehicle to attract some urgency in engaging the attention of Australians.

The conversation soon steered to the hard facts:
• More than 342,800 Australians are currently living with dementia – roughly double the population of Geelong, and
• without a medical breakthrough, the number of people diagnosed with dementia is set to soar, with almost 900,000 people expected to be affected by 2050 – that’s around 1 in 50 Australians.

Some lessons well learned

Many years ago, I worked on the messaging for Victoria’s TAC. I was lucky to have spent some time working with Greg Harper, who devised the campaign. I learned a lot from him, and there were some interesting parallels with our brief from Alzheimer’s Australia.

The situation Greg and the TAC faced was dire. Victoria’s road toll, one of the worst per capita in the western world, was growing exponentially. Peoples’ lives were at stake. One key ingredient was identified as being necessary to persuade road users to change their behaviour. In that case, the ingredient was reality – people had to be able to imagine themselves in the traumatic situations that were depicted in order to re-evaluate their own behaviour.

In Alzheimer’s Australia’s case, we also identified a ‘key ingredient’ that helped people to see the disease differently. All of the research was telling us – sometimes directly, sometimes not – that people do not think of Alzheimer’s as a disease with physical, degenerative effects. Rather, very broadly, people see it as a condition initially characterized by an almost benign forgetfulness.

Our job, it transpired, was to show the disease for what it really is, to pull back the curtain.

The creative breakthrough in our campaign, the element around which the other elements of the campaign were ‘constructed’, was a visual analogy for the degenerative, physical nature of Alzheimer’s Disease (because it really does eat away at the brain). We came up with a rotting apple as a way to represent that degeneration.

From that point, scripting the spots with an eye to remaining sensitive to people currently living with the condition was also very important.

Another parallel with Greg Harper’s situation with the TAC was that we also had a client who was committed to doing things very differently if that’s what was necessary to affect change. Our client, Fiona Mason, knew we needed to be strong in our messaging – to confront the facts of the situation.

It was important to not shy away from illustrating the harsh realities faced by those who live with dementia – but rather, to focus on them.

The campaign has just launched and early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: people are talking about the disease, and seeing it for what it is.

Click here to view the article at