Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Johnny Hardstaff lecture write up

Right, after days of saying I'll do it and weeks of saying I need to do it, here are some write ups from various lectures/ talks I have been in so far this year.

Johnny Hardstaff. Tues 6th October.

When the Johnny Hardstaff lecture was announced I wasn't entirely sure who he was, a quick google search and I had discovered that Johnny had been behind the incredible 'History of Gaming' moving image piece for Sony. 

the 'History of Gaming' piece was very influential, and its styling has been much copied. It was really the first piece of its kind, the ideas of a moving backdrop and characters, ideas developed by Johnny are now seen everywhere.

Johnny states that he is very interested in politics and social economics, these interests influence his work and are more evident in his follow up to 'History of Gaming', 'Future of Gaming'.

When approached by Sony to create the follow up, he was asked to 'make it fierce' this resulted in Johnny creating a dark, brooding advert. Creating an anti corporate advert for a corporate company was the aim, and Johnny did succeed in a way, Sony didnt show the ad but allowed Johnny to show it as much as he wanted. Thinking that by showing the ad at all possible chances he would be getting one over on Sony, Johnny was in fact promoting Sony. Both the future and history of gaming ads are great pieces of work, of the moment yet as appropriate now as they were when they were created.

Johnny described himself as a designer rather than an ad creator, adding that he is somewhat ashamed of making adverts, yet he still loves it. A love hate relationship with corporations, seeing his idents as meaningless throw away things, but still fun and loveable. By doing more commercial work for Sony and the like he gets the opportunity to do things he really loves like Music videos for Radiohead. 

The like spinning plates video he directed for Radiohead is in complete contrast to his spinning basketball ads for Sony, yet they are both still meticulously art directed, beautiful in their attention to detail. Johnny says that The aim is to create real art and design to counter balance the ads yet when the ads are so well conceived I don't think he has a need to feel as though they don't count as pieces of design.

Sure its cheesy and obvious, but it looks fantastic and as the sketchbook shot bellow shows, even when creating ads and idents, his design skills are still at the fore, endless redesigns, logotypes and design elements are drawn and redrawn till he gets it right.

Really enjoyed the lecture, still not sure moving image is for me, but its the future so maybe ill have to make the jump sooner than later....

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