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Distraction In Action #12
Huge OOHs, significant Xs, and big FUs: five links that are dominating our chat
Your new Distraction In Action email from All Conditions Media is here. Scroll away to get a look at the latest links and talking points from our team chat, so they can successfully distract you from work just as much as they did us…
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1. WATCH YOUR BACK(GROUND)
In last week’s ACM newsletter, you got to sniff around the over-the-shoulder video call possessions of nine of ACM’s freelancers, each handpicked from our sprawling network of super creatives. And you loved it, taking its 24-hour view count stratospheric. But instead of relying on an injection of creative FOMO to lure anyone who missed it back to the newsletter, we thought we’d bring you a taste of what you missed by offering up one extra addition. Check it out (and then see the full list here):
Liz Seabrook, photographer based in London
What’s that there, then?
“It’s my Anthony Burrill print that my partner, Adam, bought me a few years ago for my birthday.”
What’s the story?
“I tend to take video calls at home rather than at my shared studio, because I really don’t like talking on the phone in front of other people! ‘Work Hard & Be Nice To People’ has become my freelance mantra. I’ve never had a regular office job, having moved to London and gone straight to working for myself 12 years ago. There are plenty of perks to working freelance, but they don’t come easy. Relationships are the most important thing if you want to stay working, and I have a great list of regular clients that keep me ticking over. That said, nothing is guaranteed. Retaining clients is all down to delivering the goods and not being a dick.”
What have you done to make your place of work a productive environment?
“Although I don’t like talking on the phone in front of people, I do need to have others around me. In my studio I sit next to one of my oldest pals, Ben Marshall. He’s an amazing director of photography (look him up!) and getting to chat to him and other amazing creatives through the day is so energising. I tried to work from home for eight months, but I almost went mad. I need people around me.”
What’s on your playlist today?
“I’m packing up to go to Belgium to shoot the ninth Transcontinental Bike Race, so I’ve got an upbeat playlist to get me motivated. As I type, Fred Again is blaring.”
We learned: Cycling around the world is loads more savage than we imagined.
2. LOOK US UP IN LONDON
We’re not saying our recent creative work with Db will definitely save lives in the city, but we’re also not saying it won’t, and using italics to really show we’re kinda joking but also kinda not. Maybe? Earlier this summer we were drafted in by our longstanding Scandinavian luggage pals to help with an out-of-home ad campaign that needed to be bold, high-impact, and speak to their key demographic of creatives through the brand’s cool and understated tone of voice. Above all, it had to pull people’s faces out of their phones and get them to look up (instead of walking blindly into that oncoming traffic outside Bethnal Green station). And hey, through a series of creative consultancy workshops, we think we did just that. Next time you’re in East London, pop your phone in your pocket; stop, look, and listen; and scream “Hey, I know those guys!” when you spot one of these billboards.
We learned: Norwegians and Danes have pretty spicy opinions of each other.
Elon Musk is the bleakest thing to happen to the letter X – the coolest of all the letters – since Simon Cowell and his 17-year ITV campaign to suck any joy from the Christmas number one title race. Honestly, ye olde maths boffin and original X-Man, René Descartes, would be spinning in his pantomime slacks if he saw what had happened to the letter he made cool when he first used it to define an unknown variable. This unexpectedly enticing New Yorker piece by Jill Lepore plots the lofty highs (the 1895 discovery of the X-ray! The 1951 invention of the X-rated certification by the British Board of Film Classification!) the crushing lows (2002 spy action film XXX – deafeningly omitted by Lepore, who is an obvious Diesel-head) before bringing us all to the now. A now that’s seen Musk steal away all the glory of X by irritatingly naming one of his kids it; launching ego rockets into the sky under the banner of SpaceX; suddenly making his Tesla X electric cars unavailable to UK customers; and, just this year, saying “bye-bye, birdie” to the Twitter branding to make way for his X social media platform. The man’s weirdly obsessed. Y, we ask. Y O Y.
We learned: The first Hollywood movie to sport an X rating was Brian De Palma’s Greetings (1968) starring lil Bobby DeNiro. It’s got 88% on Rotten Tomatoes and sounds well odd.
4. SEE A SKATEBOARD
Our bullshit-detecting hackles almost leapt off our backs when we first caught wind of The Design Museum’s intent to throw an exhibition called ‘Skateboard’. It felt like we were about to see our mum, four pinots in, insist on playing the Smoke On The Water riff on our new Squier Stratocaster in front of all our mates at the 14th birthday party we didn’t want but that she insisted on hosting because the village hall was “so affordable at this time of year, and you’ll have fun once everyone’s there”. Or similar. But maybe it might… be… alright? The eight-month event, which starts this autumn, will focus on the design and performance evolutions within skateboarding. With big-league industrial designer and skater, Jonathan Olivares, as its curator and a stack of exhibits flying in from California’s Skateboarding Hall Of Fame, we’re starting to think this could be decent. We’ve also spotted a wee nod to our friends Skateistan in the press material, which just about confirms it might be good after all. See ya there!
We learned: The Skateboarding Hall Of Fame is coughing up its biggest ever loan to the UK for this exhibition.
5. GO CAMPING ON DARTMOOR THIS WEEKEND
We learned: The public is still banned from 92% of English countryside. Let’s see how long that lasts now.
Every fortnight, one ACMer reveals the tasks that’ve been getting their head cogs whirring, so we can
all make sure they’re working hard enough introduce our talented crew and showcase what they bring to our creative process. This week it’s the turn of ACM’s think-of-a-sport-and-she’s-amazing-at-it super polite outdoors polymath (and secret etymologist), Lucy Hewson…
You made it all the way down here? Here’s a gift for your troubles:
END OF THE ROADER’S BONUS NUGGET
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