Randoms

NOT YOUR TYPICAL CITY ESCAPE

NOT YOUR TYPICAL CITY ESCAPE

‘Escape from City 17 – Part One’ is the first in a series of Half-Life-inspired shorts from Torontonian film directing-producing duo David and Ian Purchase, a.k.a. The Purchase Brothers. The YouTube short, initially intended as a spec piece for the bros’ portfolio, got 1.5 million hits in three days and two million in the first week, earning it the title of #1 top-rated YouTube video of all time in one day. Not bad for a DIY project completed on a miniscule budget of $500, and on which the bros performed all filming and post-production duties.

They’ve also created their answer to ‘Happiness Factory,’ dubbed ‘Coke Babies,’ in which giant floating Coke cans descend on North American cities. The SF sensibility and mass-media voiceovers walk the line between utopian wonder and dystopian panic – which is quickly becoming the bros.’ signature style. At press time, part two was due out any second.

www.purchasebrothers.com

ADLAND STRIPPING

Call it obsession or call it therapy: Jamie Lirette and Graham Mutch, a creative team at a large, unnamed Toronto advertising agency, spend their spare time creating an online comic strip about, yes, a creative team at a large, unnamed Toronto advertising agency. Words & Pictures has been up every Monday since August 2005, taking aim at clients from Ashley Madison to UNICEF. Industry personalities are fair game too – everybody from Neil French to Ogilvy’s Tim Piper gets a loving smack – but not all of Lirette and Graham’s 200,000 readers in 53 countries are in the biz. (Thankfully. That would be like an ad-zombie global takeover.) The backlash? Nah, says Lirette, who with Mutch was a Cannes finalist in 2006 and 2007. ‘Considering our inability to self-censor, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.’

www.wordsandpicturesonline.com

THIS MEETING SUCCS

We’ve all been there – sitting in a constant stream of meetings called by overzealous managers, with no time to actually work till after six. Louis-Thomas Pelletier, co-CD at Montreal-based agency collective Sid Lee, and designer Gabrielle St-Pierre have created a solution for meeting-itis with the Slightly Uncomfortable Chair Collection.

All six – descriptively named Gottago, Rockoco, Space Invader, Sugar Fix, Wallet Factor and Talking Head – were exhibited at the gallery at SL’s new Amsterdam office in January. They’re currently in talks with various furniture makers to produce the series for niche markets by the end of this year. And when we say niche…

www.sidleecollective.ca

MY FACE, YOUR SHIRT

Toronto-based Joy Apparel is the brainchild of artist Jeff Woodrow, who combines social activism with hipster fashion. Here’s the deal: you buy a t-shirt featuring the hand-drawn portrait of a random stranger, which earns you the chance to upload your own headshot, which Woodrow converts into a sketch for some other random stranger to wear over his or her heart. Except you’re not strangers anymore: each one-of-a-kind, customizable shirt comes with a card that tells you the person’s name, where they’re from and their passion in life. All shirts are sweatshop-free and 5% of profits go to charity. And word spreads fast: after Joy was featured on stimulant, Woodrow was contacted by Dentsu Canada, who were so inspired by the idea they offered to help out with some pro bono branding and web design. Now Woodrow is taking his show on the road to music festivals across Canada in the hopes of putting some faces to the faces on his shirts.

www.joytshirt.com

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