CANNES, France—Women dressed as nurses handed out special high-tech wristbands designed to track the audience's "biometric data" at Saatchi & Saatchi's 2014 New Directors' Showcase here this morning.
The peaks and valleys of our blood pressure probably weren't as dramatic as last year, though, when Saatchi screened a truly intense set of ads, music videos and art pieces. This year's "Feel the Reel" collection of 19 films was frenetic, brooding, hilarious and only occasionally graphic—with less sex and violence but perhaps more conceptual high points.
We've collected 11 of the films below, and divided them into the ridiculous and the sublime. I'll describe the ridiculous ones, while Saatchi worldwide digital creative director Tom Eslinger was kind enough to offer his thoughts on the sublime ones.
• Tripp Crosby
"Conference Call in Real Life"
Office humor at its best. The title says it all, and this is one of those clips that just keeps getting better as you get toward the end.
• Kyra & Constantin
Nothing goes right for the rotund creatures in Kyra & Constantin's charming animated short, which left the Palais crowd cheering.
• Alvise Avati
We've posted this one before, but it never gets old. The Cinesite VFX showpiece of spec is brilliantly executed, with a killer punch line.
• Alberto Belli
"It's Not Porn"
We won't spoil the ending of this one. Another comedy triumph from this morning's event.
To set some context around my favorites, I'm the guy on the Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide Creative Board that usually brings experimental weird things, stuff that makes you watch through your fingers or weird technology that we need to figure out how to show in the Palais des Festivals at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Oh, and anything that is designed within an inch of its life. —Tom Eslinger, Saatchi & Saatchi worldwide digital creative director
• Tarik Abdel-Gawad
When film crosses over into different technologies—motion controlled robotics and integrated projections—and lets the craft and beauty shine above the technology, you get something magical like "Box." This will inspire many bad copies and appear on many mood reels for less good ideas! —T.E.
• Donato Sansone
I always try to bring the most disgusting, yet gorgeously executed films to the Worldwide Creative Board for consideration for NDS. I'm bummed that I didn't find this gem. Must. Try. Harder. —T.E.
Note: This film is graphic and NSFW.
• The Sacred Egg
I brought this to the Worldwide Creative Board meeting as one of my contenders. The giggling, smiles and foot-tapping commenced. I love the art direction and the detail put into a video that takes icy EDM and makes it cuddly and fun. —T.E.
• Emile Sornin
Disclosure "Grab Her"
I love the weirdness here: A boss that you love to hate that appears to be Magneto's fat cousin from Slough. Emile Sornin had a blast imagining, crafting and really sweating the hell out of the details in this clip. —T.E.
• Josh Cole
Rudimental "Not Giving In"
Wow. Remember when music videos were events and crammed an entire movie worth of story into four minutes? If MTV still played proper music films, this would be on heavy rotation. —T.E.
• Truman & Cooper
Kid Wise "Hope"
I described this as an H&M shoot that stumbled into Friday the 13th Part 15. I love me some skanky kids with time on their hands, and the direction and styling makes it hard to look away. The way Truman and Cooper set up the menacing atmosphere, you know he isn't going to get the girl. —T.E.
• Vania Heymann
Bob Dylan "Like a Rolling Stone"
I'm an art director and a sucker for any sort of interactive film. "Like a Rolling Stone" has such awesome craft and and lets me really imagine that these people really are slurring the words together. —T.E.