10 of the Best: The Most Read News Stories of 2016
From Rupert Friend to VR highs, from new Axe work to young agency producers; it's the most read stories of 2016.
Though it only happened at the start of November, the shots Awards, we’re happy to say, garnered enough interest to storm into the ‘top 10 most read pieces of news content’ list with a late surge. The results of this year’s event were split into two separate stories – ‘Work’, and ‘People & Companies’ – and it seems that, at the time of going to press at least, the masses were more interested in reading about winners, such as We’re the Superhumans, Field Trip to Mars and The World’s Biggest Asshole (though not by much, the ‘People & Companies’ story came in at a strong number 15).
Who says awards are all the industry cares about these days? Following on from the shots winners, we have the story of the winners from Saturday night at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity 2016. This story highlighted work from the four different categories – it seems clear that the desire to find out who’s won what is something that shouldn’t be underestimated.
Lists – you’ve got to love them, I mean, you’re reading one now. And this list of the most viewed ads to appear on YouTube over 2015 was a very successful list indeed. Google revealed the results in January and we published it with the relevant embedded work right there, front and centre. Christmas campaigns featured heavily in the top 10, as did a number of award-winning campaigns from that year past.
As if to prove the popularity of a decent list, number seven in this list is another list, namely our collation of what we believe to be the 10 best creative virtual reality experiences made so far. VR has been the ‘next big thing’ for a number of years now, but with the increase of clever, creative VR initiatives it’s possible that VR’s time has finally come. This story charts experiences from the Dalí Museum, Lockheed Martin, The New York Times and O2, to name a few.
2016 saw the inaugural shots Rising Star event brought to life in Los Angeles in September and this story was the introduction to our newest talent showcase. Focussing on creative visionaries from a variety of disciplines (directors, producers, editors, creatives, strategists… all were welcome) who were under the age of 30 and living and working in LA, the response was huge and the standard of entrants inspiring. If it’s piqued your interest in any way then you’ll be pleased to know that a New York version will be happening later this year. Stay tuned!
For the last few years shots has teamed up with production company Biscuit London and VFX house Electric Theatre Collective London to highlight some of the best and brightest young agency producers. This year we spoke to producers – including Iris’ Alex Coughlin, Karmarama’s Sam Breen, WCRS’s Stefanie Forbes and BBH London’s David Lynch – about the work that inspired them to get into the industry, the most difficult part of the role of producer and the main challenges they, and the industry as a whole, face.
Amsterdam agency 72andSunny revealed its first work for Axe at the start of 2016 and everyone was interested to see how the creative would move on from its BBH days. This interview with 72andSunny MD Nic Owen and director of strategy Stephanie Feeney highlighted the new brand film, called Find Your Magic, and how the agency approached the challenge of reinventing Axe with a confident and cool new approach.
From football and rugby through to vodka, banking and bus travel, this story, one of the first published on the site in 2016, is a run-down of the most viewed spots on shots.net in 2015. We started the new year, as we start every year, hoping for a barrage of great work in the coming months, but you can’t know exactly where the bar is set until you review the previous year’s achievements. This list reminded us of the creative excellence of the industry at large. And yes, if we’re honest, as good as it is, we’re surprised by the number one slot too.
In early February, Rupert Friend, aka Peter Quinn in Homeland, signed to Another Film Company in London for directorial representation. The actor already had producer and director credits under his belt for two short films and some music videos and, ahead of a screening of his most recent, Colin Firth-starring short film, called Steve, later that month, he spoke to shots.net about his work, moving from in front of the camera to behind it and why he wants to step into the advertising world.
In late January 2016, British electro giants The Chemical Brothers released another in a long list of visually stunning promos. The video, called Wide Open, was helmed by long-time collaborators Dom&Nic and combined the emotive choreography of Wayne McGregor, the hypnotic and elegant dance moves of Sonoya Mizuno and the VFX trickery of The Mill.
In this story, the most read of the year, Dom&Nic and The Mill’s Dave Fleet and Suraj ‘Sid’ Harrington-Odedra, reveal the challenges in bringing the striking video to life.