O Street’s Glasgow Film Festival 2022 Picks

08.03.22

 

Glasgow Film Festival opened last week! To celebrate the opening of our favourite film fest, we’ve combed the listings and each chosen a top film pick.

 

Neil

Cape Fear

Made in the year I was born, I didn’t get see Cape Fear until an arthouse screening in my late teens almost 20 years later. 40 years on, it has stayed with me. The oppressive fusion of criminal cool with intrinsic nastiness is utterly disturbing. I still find myself wondering how Universal were talked into making such a difficult and ground-breaking piece. Down in no small part to the star-power of Peck and Mitchum who were determined to play the lead roles of good and off-kilter evil with absolute conviction. It’s no surprise the censors demanded numerous cuts before they would even grant it an X certificate. It’s one of those films that leaves a mark. Directors such as Nick Roeg and have referenced it and Scorsese directed the 1991 remake. However, in context of the time it was made, the original just simmers with so much unusual menace that you won’t forget it either.

 

David

a-ha: The Movie

I remember first seeing a-ha’s Take on Me video on Top of the Pops and being amazed. It was totally unique: clever, cinematic, grungy and fun. I should add, I grew up to like much cooler, edgier music (ahem…) and only wore leather strap bracelets that summer. All the same, I’ve picked this movie as my highlight for the walk down memory lane and a chance to tumble into that pencil sketch world one more time!

 

Tessa

The Hermit of Treig

It’s got to be The Hermit of Treig. Purely because of my fascination of the freedom of wilderness contrasted with the reality of a lonely life off-grid. Sign me up. This is sure to be emotional journey of exploring that balance between independence and isolation, at two very extreme ends of the spectrum.

 

Jack

Monstrous

My GFF pick is (drumroll) … Monstrous. There’s been a bit of a reinvention of Monster horror in recent years, rather than being a tool for punching down (think of the stigmatisation of the mentally ill as serial killers or ‘demonic’ figures, a la Jason Vorhees etc.), directors (example: Jennifer Kent of Babadook) have used the genre to reveal deeper, more insidious forms of trauma and terror that haunt the everyday experiences of marginalised people. A real, pervasive threat, as opposed to an aberrant, fantastical unlikelihood. Monstrous looks to continue on in that vein. Very anxious to be anxiously watching this one!

 

Eli

Mandrake

Does everyone really deserve redemption? Or are some people simply evil? Mandrake is a thrilling, demonic tale featuring witchcraft and heavy violence. I got so excited about this film I bought a ticket immediately! As someone who prefers to go into a film knowing as little as possible, I have no idea what to expect – maybe some strange mix between The Witch and Silence of the Lambs, or maybe something a little darker… I can’t wait.

 

George

Superior

A mysterious, thrilling, Lynchian film, with influences from Almódovar and textural, filmic, saturated cinematography. I’m a real sucker for a super stylised film, and Superior’s 80s, 16mm aesthetic really hits the spot.

 

Happy watching!

 

 

Graphic Design Festival Scotland Live 2-Day Brief

30.10.17

Graphic Design Festival Scotland is an annual festival that seeks to elevate the global stature of design and its reach in Scotland. Four years in, it’s working. O Street were delighted to again be invited as mentors for the fest’s live 2-day brief. This year’s challenge, posed by It’s Nice That and Eye Magazine, was deceptively simple:

True to real-world pressures, students partaking in the live brief are thrown into the fires of intense brainstorming, conceptualising and prototyping. Each of the ten mentor studios choose a champion to present their design to the festival (they also win an internship with their mentors).

We began our process by introducing the youngsters to O Street’s process: fresh air and unusual inspiration. In other words: we won’t be caught dead scrolling through Pinterest. Our team hit the streets of Glasgow city centre and snapped photos of anything that looked interesting. Within half an hour we’d not only cleared our heads and gotten some exercise but also catalogued a collection of amazing street photography.

Feeling fresh, we dove into a round of Crazy Eights: coming up with at least eight ideas responses to the brief in just a few minutes. This allowed the team to really stretch their creativity and get a few things down on paper. With a minimum of eight, there’s bound to be some duds destined for the bin — which makes the good ideas stand out.

It was then time to interrogate the brief: what was the problem we were being asked to provide a solution for? What was a public domain; public space, the internet, social media, royalty free intellectual property, information, knowledge? We also dug deep into the meaning of what the brief was seeking—to make people FEEL BETTER ABOUT THEMSELVES—and decided it wasn’t enough to make people smile.

After some motivation and heavy discussions involving self-worth, socioeconomics, etymology, design theory, and good old-fashioned feelings, our team re-approached their ideas and settled on what they’d be designing. O Street’s one rule: everyone had to MAKE something. The response to the brief could not be, “I have an idea for a campaign/app…”

We were floored by the quality of work done by our group; everyone adequately answered the brief and made some lovely graphics to boot. Here are a couple standouts:

Dundee students Paddy and Stu created Still You, a guerrilla campaign reminding people that even if their day’s gone off the rails, they’re still their fantastic selves.

Moritz Schottmüller and Shuaitong Zong of HFG Karlsruhe in Germany took a wildly different approach: their public domain was language, and they sought to create a universal good to insert into languages worldwide. While they didn’t quite find a solution (yet), their research led down some amazing graphic rabbit holes and became a project in itself.

Molly Davies of the Glasgow School of Art devised a sophisticated visual identity around a simple theme: morse code. She sought to bring comfort to those in distress by making use of old telephone boxes.

O Street’s whole group came to play, but we had to choose one to show the entire festival. We selected Paddy and Stu’s project Still You, as we felt it most directly responded to the brief, and had a sound visual identity to boot. They also came through on our one rule, to MAKE something and put into the world (in just a day!)

The GDFS live 2-day brief isn’t just useful for the participants, but for the mentors, too. We were able to hone this design process by guiding our group:
— Take a walk, and take in unusual inspiration
— Chuck down loads of ideas
— Take pains to truly understand the brief
— Trim down the ideas and execute

TopForm top tips

23.10.17

GDFS seeks to elevate design in Scotland with an internationally relevant festival. The 2018 fest kicked off with TopForm, a day of talks from industry leaders.

There’s a lot we could say about the breadth of amazing insight from this day. We’ll keep it simple and treat you to one takeaway of ours from each legend that took the stage:

Supermundane
Stop getting angry about typefaces

Image © Kevin Lake

For a few years, Rob Lowe has been making some of the most visually interesting and provoking visual communication in London. A modern day First Things First crusader, he bemoaned industry infighting and frivolity, instead asking: why do we have so many different brands of toothpaste? Isn’t there a better way?

Harry Pearce
Keep your eyes open and tell stories

Image: Pentagram

Pentagram partner and design legend Pearce could have spent his time on stage breezing through his greatest hits. Instead, he focussed on the work that was really important to him: evocative, not-for-profit adventures that spanned everything from foiling fox hunters as a boy to working with Witness to empower citizens.

Studio Dumbar
Design is a process

Image: Studio Dumbar

The studio that most famously branded the Dutch National Police treated us to a visual onslaught of their history and process. For Dumbar, it’s all about the journey: experiment, experiment, experiment.

Wolff Olins
Know what makes a brand

Wolff Olins fancy themselves radical designers. That’s debatable, but they ARE no doubt radical businesspeople, and the design industry is undoubtably better off for it. The masters of brand strategy provided insight into their thinking, including how they break down Brand Purpose: Offer, Presence, Capabilities, and Culture.

Spin
Be a family—break bread together and thrive

Image: Spin

Spin have recently left their slick studio behind for a homely abode with a shed in the garden. It was inspiring to those of us who share the practice. To fuel their rigorous work life, they cook each other meals and also share a big breakfast every Thursday morning. We’re joining you on that one.

Pantone
Look at color in-situ

This entertaining start to the day was full of great tidbits (how old are the swatches in your studio—are they faded and inaccurate?). One that especially stuck with us is the point that you must ask your client how they’re viewing color when proofing designs. If the end user will encounter the work under florescent lighting, then be sure to experience it under the same conditions!

There was also a presence from sponsors, including Windmill Printing who showed off a host of amazing print techniques (including our menus for BrewDog).

TopForm was a serious start to an amazing week of GDFS. O Street will be mentoring the live 2-day brief — see you there!