News & Views

Contagious / Issue 53 Cover Shoot

by Contagious Team
Studio of Art & Commerce, London, produced this issue’s smashing cover, marking the BrewDog Brand Spotlight piece in Issue 53 of Contagious magazine, published next week.

BrewDog is an authentic and rebellious brand that has grown rapidly to be worth over a billion dollars. The brewer is expanding into the US and Australia and launched its first full advertising campaign, I AM PUNK, earlier this year. 

Flo Heiss, creative partner at Studio of Art & Commerce, talks us through the process.

We explored quite a few concepts, from the obvious menacing dog to a stuffed, scared cat (don’t ask) to a beer bleeding Contagious logo to a dog on the moon to a “paper” chain of people literally cut from a can of Brewdog to an idea using the ring pull of the can, but then quite quickly – with the guys from Contagious – settled on a very simple idea:

An “action” shot of a smashed bottle of beer against the Contagious logo.
We liked the energy of the image and the concept that it represents BrewDog; a brand smashing up beer conventions.

It was important to us that we would do this shot for real. So off we went to a studio.
Simple concept. What could possibly go wrong….

James Williamson – the wizard behind the lens – decided to use a sound activated trigger for the shoot. So – in theory – when the bottle hits the Contagious logo (a vinyl stuck to a piece of wood on the floor) the smashing sound of the bottle triggers the camera and bingo we have a nice shot of an exploding bottle.

But the bottles just wouldn’t break.

Our first couple of shots were of a bouncing bottle. Nice, but not what we wanted.
So we decided to drill a screw through the wood with the sharp bit sticking out to break the bottles. Again. The bottles just wouldn’t break.

A quick trip to a DIY store was in order (where we also bought some safety goggles)…and we came back with a glass cutter.

I “hand-grooved” (technical term) all the bottles with little incisions all around the body of the bottle and finally we were successful and the bottles broke.

Another little glitch was that the sound trigger didn’t work. It was too slow to get a prefect shot of the bottle smashing and all bits flying around in midair. We tried a laser trigger – again too slow.

In the end we used the good old fashioned 1 -2- 3-go! technique and James took the shot by hand.

We created an almighty mess. It’s really a miracle that no one ended up in hospital.
But we ended up with an awesome shot of a smashed bottle. And we used close up crops of the shards for the inside.