You might recognise the name James Eadie and Trade Mark "X" if you're a whisky history buff (or time traveller). Eadie began producing this expression all the way back in 1854. Trade Mark "X" was produced until the late 1940s, then disappeared.
I was approached by Eadie's great-great-grandson, Rupert Patrick.
The man had tracked down his ancestor’s ledgers, sampled one of the last surviving bottles from the 1940s with a panel of experts and invited Norman Mathison, one of Scotland’s finest Master Blenders, to bring James Eadie’s whisky back to life. (if you want to know more)
I was tasked with coming up with an image that would symbolise his relaunch. My proposition was to create an abstract image that would be reminiscent of outer space more than whisky. I wanted to create a picture that would convey the fiery sensation of the spirit whilst playing on the notion of an ancient past. I wanted to create something that would look like an image of solar explosions captured by a NASA satellite, and I knew the answer was going to be in the world of macro and motion.
I brought onboard the super photographer Ryan Hopkinson and food stylist extraordinaire Iain Graham and we all spent a hot summer day in studio at The Forge in Stoke Newington where a number of experiments took place for hours, until the magic happened, and this image was produced, quite beautifully, with no CG, no special effects, all in camera. You are actually looking at real James Eadie whisky, even though you might doubt it’s the feed from the Parker Solar Probe.
Aeroboat S6 – Powered by Rolls Royce
I was invited by British Design Studio Claydon Reeves to concept and direct this Teaser and a full video (coming soon) for the latest in luxury yachts: the 19.8 meters Aeroboat S6, powered by Rolls Royce. I am creatively directing the entire project crafted by the expert hands of DW Studio with audio by Zelig Sound.
Intentionally inspected at tactile and macro level through a photorealistic CGI that is never fully revealing, I am presenting the boat design as it self-sculpts its seductive features. Aluminium and carbon complemented by a variety of luxurious woods are the materials that we see come to life to create the ultimate in opulent leisure travel.
The teaser video was used at the official launch of the Aeroboat during the SuperYacht Gallery Exposition at London's Saatchi Gallery. Production is underway for the full-length video to complement the teaser.
Concept and Creative Direction: Marco Ammannati Art Direction: Marco Ammannati Superyacht Design: Claydon Reeves CGI: DW Studio Audio: Zelig Sound Naval architecture: BMT Nigel Gee.
Aeroboat S6 – Teaser –
In 2014 I helped Max Burgess transform his road cycling passion into an everyday occupation, by designing an identity for his cycling brand Podia, as he relocated from London to Kraków, Poland.
Podia is a cycle club organising excursions around the Tatra Mountains in the South of Poland and beyond.
In Max's own words: "As more people came to join the Podia rides, each bringing their ideas for where they could take the ‘Englishman’, the notion developed to create a cycling kit that would feature on the blog and be something the Podia riders would feel proud to wear."
In 2016 and with the club expanding and gaining traction, Max commissioned the design of a clothing line with two Jerseys and a Cap for the Podia Club. These images show both the brand identity, starting from the logo and its style guide through to the garments prints designs and a photoshoot with models featuring the Jerseys and the Caps.
You can find Podia here: http://podia.cc/
Follow Podia on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/podia_cc/
Working directly for the Board of Directors of Alaraby Tv Network in London, I was commissioned by Yusuf Elsaadi to devise an identity package for Alaraby Alriyadi, the network's own sports show, encompassing a range of deliverables between on air and off air. The project presented several technical challenges and the result is a fully animated sequence crafted by the experts hands of Believe, an animation studio from Santiago, Chile. I worked closely with technical director Flavio González and Executive Producer Marcelo Stephani to guide the wider team through production. The intro sequence presents the viewer with an abstract journey whereby a series of bigger than life sports character leap into motion and transform into one another. Their skin is built of a tiled design that is inspired by traditional arabic patterns, morphing and disintegrating through the movement of each character within a dark void. I brought Matthew Wilcock of Zelig Audio onboard to craft the beautiful sound design.
Castorini LTD, London UK – Production Marco Ammannati • Creative and Art Director
Believe SA, Santiago, Chile – Production Marcelo Stephani • Executive Producer Cristobal Perez-Gazitua • Executive Producer Flavio Gonzalez · Animation Director Carlos Peña · Render Specialist Cristian Urzua · Simulation Specialist Andres Monaco · Animation Director Jose Quintela · Storyboard Artist Nadim El Alam · Editor Martin Basilio · Colorist
Zelig Audio, London UK – Music and Sound Design Matthew Wilcock • Composer / Sound Designer Aleah Morrison • Executive Producer
As part of Meridian Audio Automotive latest campaign I was commissioned to write and direct a commercial that would be used both online as well as an "in car" Demo for the whole Jaguar and Land Rover vehicle ranges.
For approximately 3 months, late into the night, I spent a great deal of time devising the idea, creating hand drawn storyboards and adding a truck load of references. These were followed by another 2 months of production.
From a creative standpoint the trickiest thing was to elaborate on something hugely technical (and invisible), interpreting the brand positioning to be leaders in "redefining the possible".
The journey of a matter so intangible such as Sound, tries to convey an emotion through an abstract voyage by giving shape, colour and texture to music.
The intention from a client's perspective was to be able to break down the Meridian Technologies one at a time, even though this is happening within the split of a second digitally. We needed to be illustrating how the sound is emitted and how it mutates its presence within the cabin by creating the ultimate personalised experience with Trifield 3d.
We created the journey of a music piece originally enclosed in a meteor nugget somewhere in a spacey void.
At the struck of the first notes the meteor releases its core in the form of tiny particles: small parts from a range of musical instruments. These particles morph their state during their journey, they merge, intertwine, clash, break and pulverise to go and envelope the space before arranging themselves into comforting semi spherical cocoons for each of the passengers.
All very challenging from a technical point of view, I worked with the experienced team at Analog Studio to bring this vision to life.
Arvid Niklasson and Mike Merron explain: "We used a range of techniques, software and rendering processes within the Meridian project. Custom ICE trees were custom scripted to be sound reactive. In conjunction with XSIsICE, C4D helped to set the look and feel of the spot from a 3d perspective.
For the fluid like motion of the flaked gold we went through a process of simulating FumeFX into which we piped particles that would move based on the velocity vectors of the smoke simulation. In some cases these particles were rendered with 3DS Max using VRay.
When we need to create a dense nebulae the same simulation would have millions of particles cached and then it would be rendered using Thinkbox krakatoa.
Compositing was mainly finished in Nuke however After Effects played a huge part in the early stages defining the look and setting the initial tone of the spot. Lastly we finalised the grade in our Davinci Resolve suite."
2D Animation of the typography was designed and animated by myself directly using background plates provided by Analog.
Greg Barbone composed a lovely piece of classical music turning more digital with its crescendo and Analog Studio built visuals that were sound reactive to that track. The acoustic piano and live strings are symbolic of Meridian's commitment to the accurate reproduction of live performances while the synthesized digital elements are representative of Meridian's tradition of developing the world's most advanced digital audio technology.
When used as 'in-car' Demo, played on the screens of all Land Rovers and Jaguar models, it benefits from state of the art Trifield 3D technology, so the final mix was assembled in a Dolby 5.1 suite, though this online version is just a Stereo Mix.
The video launched Tuesday the 10th December 2013 on the Meridian website https://www.meridian-audio.com/en/campaigns/jlr/
Client Meridian Audio - Automotive
Creative Direction and Concept Marco Ammannati
Director Marco Ammannati
Producer @ Analog Studio Mike Turoff
3D/FX @ Analog Studio Arvid Niklasson Mike Merron Matt Chandler Simon Reeves, Tim Woods Nathan Bayliss
Compositing @ Analog Studio Fabio Zaveti Nathan Bayliss
Dolby 5.1 mixing and mastering at: Metropolis London
Meridian Audio Systems - (Jaguar and Land Rover)- Commercial
As Creative Director of Viacom Advertising Sales and Brand Solutions I contributed to the establishing this new client relationship with Samsung and worked closely with their Seoul based agency to write the latest campaign for Samsung's Mobile Team in order to promote the TabS 10.5 and 8.4.
I steered the creative towards the use of mixed media in order to really celebrate technology as a whole, to transform the "normal" into exciting and poetic images.
By exploring the boundary between reality and fantasy, the tv and online spot plays on the concept of a fully immersive experience.
The abstract animation taking place in the TabS is inspiring the real physical environment to behave the same way, thus transforming everyday life into magical scenarios.
The Before and Behind the Scenes videos provide a good account of what took to create these images and the immense work leading to their creation by a team of many talented people.
Written & Directed by Marco Ammannati Produced by Helen Power STK Films Animation Director: Simon Russell Animator: Kooch Chung Animator: Kieran Gee-Finch Production Manager: Anya Defries Runner: Charlie Gibson Runner: Kharn Roberts Sales Director: Aelina Courtney Sales Director: Hanna Gordon Senior Producer: Anna Snowman Sales Director: Kimberly Davidson Production Manager: Rhiannon Nash Production Coordinator: Hannah Ford Princliple: Troy Copeland (AMCK Managment)
Production Designer: Petra Storrs (Petra Storrs Studio) Art Dept: Claudia Forsbrey Art Dept: Esther Longley Art Dept: Alice Rigby Set Build Assist: Adam Pang
Projections: Chris Philpott (Projection Artworks) Projections: Tim Willrich Projections: Louis Connelly
DOP: Ben Todd Focus Puller: Andy Banwell Grip: Mark Morley 2nd AC: Sophie Monneret Lighting Equiptment: John (Panalux) 1st AD: Hamish Storey Runner: Marianna Grinev-Branch Gaffer: Christian Hayes Spark: Dave Nye Spark: Dan McCormack Rigger: Pat Daly Rigging equipment: Pat Daly (Blitz Rigging) Scissor Lift: Charles Wilson
Editor: Barnaby Bretton/Mesh Colour Grade: Vic Parker (Raised by Wolves) Music and Sound Design: Matthew Wilcock (Zelig Sound)
DIT: Romek Sudek Hair & Make-Up: Maggie Forrest Location: Stage 5, 3Mills Studios Tom o'Donoghue Behind The Scenes: Santiago Pasada
Insurance: Simon Lee (Allan Chapman & James) Catering: Nichola (Healthy Yummies) Comms hire: Wavevend
Viacom International Media Solutions/Advertising and Brand Solutions
Samsung TabS - Immerse Yourself
Before The Scenes - Samsung TabS
Behind The Scenes - Samsung TabS
As Creative Director for Viacom Advertising Sales and Brand Solutions I worked closely with Paco Rabanne in Paris to devise their 2014 International Campaign.
The prelude to the campaign was Paco Rabanne setting up #BLACKXSRECORDS® and partnering up with MTV to search new musical talent.
Kickstarted by a Competition spot, 5 bands amongst hundreds across the globe were voted by web users and a jury.
Winning prize for the five shortlisted was to record an album in Belgium, available here.
London born Guy Ivory was awarded the first prize: to get a music video made and broadcast on MTV.
Guy performs a soulful interpretation of the 60's hit "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals.
The Entire Campaign is documented on this micro Site.
Paco Rabanne Competition Spot
As part of this international campaign Paco Rabanne set up #BLACKXSRECORDS® and partnered up with MTV to search new musical talent. Kickstarted by this Competition spot, 5 bands amongst hundreds across the globe were voted by web users and a jury. Winning prize to record an album in Belgium featuring all five shortlisted. The Final winner was awarded by getting a music video of their track made and broasdcast on MTV.
Guy Ivory "House of the Rising Sun" - Director's Cut
Winner of the 1st edition of #BLACKXSRECORDS® Paco Rabanne Competiton for the latest cover band, London born Guy Ivory performs a soulful interpretation of the 60's hit "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals. This is the music video we shot as a prize for Guy.
I was commissioned by Channel4's Box Tv to Rebrand Smashhits by co-writing and directing the project with in house creative Nicholas Bentley.
We brought onboard CGI extraordinaires Analog Studios who beautifully crafted the Idents under our direction. Zelig Audio added their magic through really imaginative Sound Design work.
The project also comprises the entire On Screen Presentation as well as a new Logo and identity which I designed and animated.
The Idents feature a fast paced, volatile world revealing the brand new logo by using it as an invisible container in which the impact of a first matter triggers a chain reaction and metamorphosis into a second matter. While the first material is recognisably large in scale and representative of a physical natural realm (fireball, ocean wave, iceberg), the material that it mutates into hints more at a playful smaller man made texture, closer to home (nail varnish, foil balloon, jelly) which despite being mundane is presented in a beautiful and attractive macro world. A fireball flies through before smacking down into the invisible boundary of a logo letter and in turn morphing its state to a gloopy and glossy nail varnish; A foamy bubbling and pounding set of waves swell and gush and swirl off and from within the water some foil baloons inflate and expand to fill the logo letters; Icy Slabs burst up, juddering, shaking and crumbling they collide like an iceberg calving, and as they crush up against the boundaries of the logo letters they burst to reveal a red jelly mass that is compacting and wobbling to define the logo.
Smashhits - Rebrand 2013 - Ident 1: Fireball to Nail Varnish
Smashhits - Rebrand 2013 - Ident 2: Water to Foil Baloon
Smashhits - Rebrand 2013 - Ident 3: Iceberg to Jelly
For a period of 5 months I have been working under the title of Lead Animator at Crystal CG London for the Paralympics Opening Ceremony, designing and animating visuals used for the ‘Audience Pixels’ (the giant screen formed by thousands of electronic paddles placed in front of each spectator’s seat and enveloping the entire Olympic Stadium in Stratford London for the 2012 Games). Very interesting and technically challenging project, it has provided me with an insight in the world of Live Shows, and the limitations and advantages of working with such a humongous format versus a relatively low resolution (due to the space between seats, the gaps between ‘pixels’ is vast and the area that the human eye needs to ‘fill’ with imagination and optical compensations is what has represented the power as well as the hurdle in delivering the Pixels for the 2012 Games). A rewarding part of working on this project was the knowledge to be working at history’s biggest disabled arts showcase. Stephen Hawking and Ian McKellen narrating and borrowing from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
In order to deliver the sheer size of the files (10240 pixel wide After Effects comps is quite a bit of a headache) mastering Deadline Render Management Systems 5.0 has been a MUST. We worked with the power of 80 blades.
Here is an edit of all Ceremonies by Crystal CG. Please Note this Edit of Broadcast material from both BBC and Channel4 transmissions does include not just the Paralympics Opening Ceremony I have worked on but also the 3 other Ceremonies of the 2012 Games. Once I get a little time I will create an Edit of the Paralympics Opening Solely.
Artistic Co-Directors: Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey Set Designer: Jon Bausor Creative Producer LOCOG: Justine Catterall Supplier for 2012 Games: Crystal CG International Crystal CG Executive CD: Will Case Lead Art Dir. Paralympics: Daniel Capstick Lead Animator Para.Opening: Marco Ammannati Animator C4D / AE: Richard Thompson Maya / Processing / C4D / AE: Chris Ratcliffe Animator AE.1: Gideon Prins Animator AE.2: Jessica Morgan Animator AE.3: Chris Pearson Technical Director 3DMax / AE: Jamie Shiels Animator AE.4: Cath Elliott Animator Maya: Nick Bateman Animator AE.5: Ben Aldermann Head of IT: Paul Lawrence @ englandgreen IT Support / Render Farm: Doug, Agnes Orvos Nagy IT Support: Buster Crystal Cg Executive Producer: Ed Cookson Para.Opening Head Producer: Nina Ludgate Producer: Giles Maunsell Resource Manager: Louise Leaver Runner: Ed Fyfe Production Manager: Zsuzsanna Voros
Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies - London 2012
Ceremonies - London 2012
Entrepreneur Michele Pianezza launched Home Accessories product range MIHO in 2009. I was commissioned to design and direct this commercial for them which features the real products (deer heads, bird houses and stools) filmed using Stop Frame Animation and then composited with 2d Elements in After Effects. I worked with super talented Stop Motion guru Tobias Fouracre and dop Matthew Day to deliver this funky little piece.
Product Range Name:Miho Commissioner:Michele Pianezza Client:Pianezza Srl Director:Marco Ammannati Stop Motion Animator:Tobias Fouracre D.o.P and Rigging:Matthew Day Studios:Clapham Road Studios AE Anim. & Compositing:Marco Ammannati Sound Design:Fabio Ammannati
Making of: Miho
I was invited to Los Angeles to join Logan to work on the Art Direction of this Commercial for Kohler, skilfully crafted by Benoit Vincent, Vincent Wauters and Julien Brami. Logan was commissioned by Meta Design San Francisco, appointed by Kohler. My responsibilities included client facing and presentation as well as Art Directing a very talented team of CGI artists.
Client: Kohler Commissioner: Tristan Butterfield Agency: Meta Design, San Francisco Agency Creative Director: Brett Wickens Production Company: Logan, Los Angeles Creative Director: Alexei Tylevich Executive Producer: Kevin Shapiro Art Director: Marco Ammannati Vfx Supervisor: Vincent Wauters Associate Producer: Tina Chiang Lead Dynamics Simulation: Julien Brami Lead Compositing: Vincent Wauters Lighting and Rendering: Benoit Vincent Dynamic Simulation: Mathew Rotman 3d Modeling: Joshua Cortopassi Editor: Volkert Besseling Flame Artist: Brandon Sanders Music: Michael Kadelbach
Latching onto 90's style fashion trend revival and its use of animal patterns I created a graphic interpretation of these patterns and designed it so that each fragment of the pattern would be one of a multitude of animating little elements forming the basis for the onscreen presentation of Kiss Tv.
Client: BoxTV / Channel4 Commissioners: Dave Young, Thomas Bryant Executive Producer: Matthew Wolfe Art Direction and Design: Marco Ammannati Animation and Compositing: Marco Ammannati, Teak Shui Tse
Kiss On Screen Elements - Rebrand 2009
Catering primarily for the young Males into indie rock and alternative, "Q the music", replaced by Heat Tv in 2012, was rebranded in 2010 with a very playful on screen design which I devised by strongly referencing 80's style video games.
The straps, pop up messages and infos as well as the logo bug and the rest of the OSP are all very simple designs but with a really constantly shifting animation to them, built with geometric shapes that become almost personified, behaving like little characters, filling, opening and collapsing, drawing up and destroying bold black red and white graphics onscreen.
Client: Box Tv / Channel4 Commissioners : Dave Young and Melissa Pine Executive Producer: Matthew Wolfe Art Direction and Animation: Marco Ammannati
Q Rebrand - On Screen
Research & Development of this project was huge, so here is a collection of some of the best moments of art direction, design and animation development as well as the finished product.
Font Designers Luke Prowse and Marian Misiak were brought on the project to create a bespoke 4music Channel Family of Typefaces: Interlude Black and Condensed.
Client: Channel4 Commissioner: Box TV Creative Directors: Nicholas Bentley, Phil Lind Executive Producer: Matthew Wolfe Art Director: Marco Ammannati Design and Animation: Marco Ammannati VIZ artist: Jamie Gold Promo Producer: Chad Armstrong
4music Rebrand 2012
Castorini was approached by Discovery with the task of refreshing the HD channel idents. I presented an idea which is based on a very simple and honest approach by filming the mundane and boring and making it appear beautiful and interesting, to signify the channel's attribute of presenting the best of Discovery both from a content and an aesthetic standpoint. We found 7 scenarios that would be representative of the various genres of programming. Each of these is slowly unveiled starting from very abstract and not immediately recognisable details, largely macro, to help enhance the beauty in the trivial and in the ordinary. Some original and imaginative sound design helped make the leap.
Agency: Castorini Director: Marco Ammannati Producer: Paul Darter Production: Anglofilming D.o.P: Oliver Schofield Offline Editor: Russ Clapham - hardten.co.uk Sound Designer: Justin Bryant - timesquaredaudio.com Focus Puller: Nele Hecht Loader: Paul Newton Lighting: Tim O’connell Gaffer: Steve O’connell Art Director: Alistair Saunders Art Dept Asst: Anna Graziano Runner: Casey Levie Lamian Maker: Mr Fung Po He Diver: Fred Woodcock Paramedic: Geoff Smith Hedgehog Handler: Animal World Post Production: Concrete Post Online Artist: Nicki Lang Format: 35mm Kodak 5212 Camera: Arri 435 Es Camera Lights&Stock: Aimimage Neg Dev: Soho Images Telecine: St Anne’s Post Location 1: Action Underwater Studios Location 2: Praxis Studios
Discovery HD - Making Of
Nat Geo HD
Pirate Studios, Photron APX, 2000fps: the recipe for a lot of fun we had by filming a series of substances at super high speed to then watch them elegantly twist and bounce and turn and crack and get tinted with the brand yellow hues.
Client: National Geographic Channel HD Commissioner: Guy Slattery, Justin O'Sullivan Director: Marco Ammannati Agency: Devilfish Producer: Charlotte Dale D.o.P: Paul Handley 2nd cam: Mark Blackman Technical Director: Martin Godward @ Pirate Studio Gaffer: James Knight Runner: Seb Cardinal Post Production: Golden Square Post Online/Audio: Pepper Post Sound: Adelphoi
National Geographic Idents
NatGeo Making Of Part 1
NatGeo Making Of Part 2
Animal Planet commissioned a short film aimed at bridging the gap between the younger audience and the channel content. I wrote a story featuring a young boy who is home alone dreaming of large wild animals as live miniatures entertaining him during his daily activities. The film is obtained by shooting the child on location and composting rotoscoped stock footage from the Discovery Archives.
Client: Discovery / Animal Planet Commissioner: Federico Gaggio Written and Directed: Marco Ammannati and Guilherme Marcondes Production in Brazil: Piloto Cinema e Televisão Production Coordinator: Marina Couto D.o.P: Daniel Soro Actor: Mateus Pompermayer Rotoscoping: Piloto Cinema e Televisão Editing & Compositing: Guilherme Marcondes Music: Paulo Berto