Revealed! The Secret Weapon to Any Film

April 14, 2014 by  
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Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest hotel is a wonderful film. It seems that he has finally made the movie and story that perfectly encapsulates his signature style of filmmaking. All the quirk, style and detail in Grand Budapest Hotel is completely necessary to the characters and plot as compared to previous efforts (“Life Aquatic” comes to mind) where you’re left wondering if some of the quirk is just overkill.

One of our absolute favorite part of the film is the attention to detail. Anderson’s puts prop design front and center with GBH, and it really made the film that much more lovable. The letterhead on written notes, the packaging for a pastry, the mailing label on a parcel:

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And so it seems that sometimes, it is in fact all in the details.

Images taken from Annie Atkins’ full interview in Creative Review
Additional commentary in this months issue of Fast Company

5 Effortlessly Catchy Ads from 2014 Viral Video Awards

April 7, 2014 by  
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Practically every client wants their brand video to go viral. Well, here’s how you do it. Apparently. The winners from AdAge’s annual Viral Video Awards lend insight in to what the modern consumer is amused, intrigued and inspired by– from style to delivery. We’ve picked our five favorites of the fourteen in total. You’ll see why these are a fun representation of the power of video storytelling, something we love to do here at DL!:

Our very favorite, a fantastic story, and a deed worth noting that surely improved WestJet’s reputation in an industry that often isn’t so pretty with customer service.

Humor done well is just as effective as a tearjerker. Poo Pourri did just exactly that. Hearty laughs combined with explicit product information equals a job well done. Would you ever buy this stuff?

Disruptive advertising can also create some waves. Beer brand Newcastle did this by making fun of itself. And it was a smash hit (and cost much less than the Super Bowl ad buy):

Samsung, the world’s most viewed brand in video campaigns, tapped Jay Z and his new album release to expose a story of process that was just as much fun to discover as it was to experience:

Finally, our second-favorite, if only because it accentuates the real value of short and sweet, comes by way of Stuey from Family Guy and Google Chrome. It’s shocking to see what 16 seconds can do:

5 Effortlessly Catchy Ads from 2014 Viral Video Awards

April 7, 2014 by  
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Practically every client wants their brand video to go viral. Well, here’s how you do it. Apparently. The winners from AdAge’s annual Viral Video Awards lend insight in to what the modern consumer is amused, intrigued and inspired by– from style to delivery. We’ve picked our five favorites of the fourteen in total. You’ll see why these are a fun representation of the power of video storytelling, something we love to do here at DL!:

Our very favorite, a fantastic story, and a deed worth noting that surely improved WestJet’s reputation in an industry that often isn’t so pretty with customer service.

Humor done well is just as effective as a tearjerker. Poo Pourri did just exactly that. Hearty laughs combined with explicit product information equals a job well done. Would you ever buy this stuff?

Disruptive advertising can also create some waves. Beer brand Newcastle did this by making fun of itself. And it was a smash hit (and cost much less than the Super Bowl ad buy):

Samsung, the world’s most viewed brand in video campaigns, tapped Jay Z and his new album release to expose a story of process that was just as much fun to discover as it was to experience:

Finally, our second-favorite, if only because it accentuates the real value of short and sweet, comes by way of Stuey from Family Guy and Google Chrome. It’s shocking to see what 16 seconds can do:

Note to Self: Don’t make a video like this.. or maybe we should?

March 27, 2014 by  
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The company Dissolve released a (pretty great) ad building awareness for their service: inexpensive, visually appealing stock footage from $5 to $500 per clip. The ad is a home run as far as we’re concerned.

Two things to note:

1) It’s pretty effective in showcasing a tired style and visual that SO MANY companies are employing in their video advertisements. So it’s kind of a great one stop shop for what we should steer clear of for the next client. But we never did that awful of a job to begin with ;)

2) They seemingly have a pretty nice service, with all clips in HD and priced for purpose (client), not resolution (like the rest).

Puppies, Kids, Jennifer Lawrence Tripping… And Other Things That Get your Attention.

March 7, 2014 by  
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One of the subjects in the title of this article is the centerpiece for a new video we did for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. You should probably check it out here, and be a mitzvah hero in the process:

If We Were to Make a Super Bowl Ad…

February 5, 2014 by  
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We haven’t had the grand opportunity of even coming close to creating a Super Bowl ad or contributing to one. Nope. But one day– surely!– we will. And when that day comes, we would want the ad to be like these, our four favorites from the Super Bowl 2014:

And while the idea here was awesome, and expectations were high, we were just a tad shy of excited about the “Up for Whatever” Bud Light commercials:

DL! Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business

January 23, 2014 by  
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A special thanks to writer Amy Haimerl of Crain’s Detroit for a nice writeup on DL!, the work we are doing and our brand new office inside the David Stott Building in downtown Detroit. In the article, she discusses the humble beginnings that got the ball rolling for us– the shirts, the street art, the films– all the way through to us growing in to being a full service creative studio focusing on film production.

Click this link or the image below to read the article in full.

Upworthy showing love for DL! and UIX

January 23, 2014 by  
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Lately, Upworthy has been writing about our work for the Urban Innovation Exchange, which is kind of fun considering the video series focuses on social innovation and re-thinking the way we traditionally “develop” cities in this country. Not a bad message to be sending far and wide. Indication is that Upworthy will be posting a lot more of the videos from the Urban Innovation Exchange, so stay tuned.

For now, see the article they posted about Andy Didorosi from Detroit Bus Company and the second most recent one they wrote on Amy Kaherl with Detroit SOUP.

The videos included in the articles are below:

“After the Factory” Now Playing on Amazon Instant Stream

December 3, 2013 by  
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After the Factory Film Trailer from DETROIT LIVES! on Vimeo.

After the Factory,” the documentary we worked on in 2012 looking at solutions for post-industrial cities told through Lodz and Detroit, has officially hit the “shelves” this afternoon on Amazon Instant Stream. The film is viewable there in all its infinite glory, along with the trailer and other relevant content.

Having worked on the film for a long time with a relatively meager budget, we are so proud of the trajectory it has all taken. Perhaps the best part, however, is that the project continues on. We were in Lodz last month continuing to chronicle and capture things as they continue unfold across the pond. We will do the same here. So, suffice to say, I think this is only the beginning of a fun ride with the film and the process of looking at what comes after the industrial era.

The film’s officiate site can be found here
Watch the film via Amazon Instant Stream here

“Story of Business” Three Part Series Totaling Over 300K Views

November 15, 2013 by  
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The three-part series we wrote, directed, shot and edited for DC-based non-profit Public Notice has amassed well over 300K views in total on YouTube. The series, which looks at the effect of Detroit’s bankruptcy on small business, takes a careful look at the past, present and future. Restauranteur Hector Sossi and his daughter Janet discuss their famous Roma Cafe and the history the place has as a staple in Detroit’s legacy. Percell Jordan, a barber on the East Side of Detroit, looks at the current state of affairs in the city discussing his 10-year old business. Austin Black, real estate broker and adviser looks at the future of the city through the lens of developments he is helping to enable on the ground. What they uncover in total may surprise you. See the three part series below:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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