So busy they're turning jobs down, Legs are run off their feet right now, but working late together suits this lot – their creativity thrives on friendship. As Danny Edwards discovers it’s hard to keep Legs apart…

"I've got to say," begins Adam Joseph, one quarter of the Legs team, "I'm in LA at the moment and not being in the room with the guys is weird because we work so well together and know each other so well that you come to understand the visual clues and interpretations of who’s going to say what and when, so being on a conference call makes it a lot harder." This I can agree with. Conducting over-the-phone interviews can throw up many problems when speaking to only one person; lots of talking over each other if there’s a slight time delay; lots of polite silences to avoid talking over each other if there’s a slight delay; time delays. Interestingly, some people think arranging the interview while being at the International Jumbo Jet Engine Convention/National Association of Road Diggers Assembly/World Congress of Parakeet Lovers is a good idea. Generally it’s not.

So, conducting an interview with four people over the phone, three of whom are in New York while one is in LA, was something I thought would turn to farce. I needn’t have worried. All four are ensconced in quiet, conference call-friendly rooms – albeit in two locations – and even though Joseph can’t see his fellow collective members, they seem to have an innate ability to know when to talk and when not to so as to allow the most able person to answer the question.

But, as Joseph has already mentioned, the Legs team members are not only happy in each other’s company, they positively revel in it. The quartet has known each other for many years and worked together in different combinations but only became Legs a little over a year ago.

Georgie Greville and Greg Brunkalla had been friends for some time before working together at MTV. Greville was also friends with Geremy Jasper, and Joseph was the central figure who drew the separate parts together as one. His job at Milk Studios, a photographic studio, casting company, gallery and, basically, “a warehouse space in which people create various sorts of media”, meant that their paths crossed at various points in time. “Georgie, Greg and I had this amazing connection and just thought that something bigger needed to happen out of this,” explains Joseph. “And Geremy knew Georgie and we kind of all came together on this Diesel pitch about a year ago.”

The work for Diesel was the catalyst for the creation of Legs because even when they were working on the campaign, the collective as it is now known was yet to exist. "Adam, Greg and I were conspiring to work together many months before the Diesel project,” says Greville, “[we were] talking about making a TV channel for Milk. Then a friend of mine forwarded this email to me from [Swedish agency] Farfar about how they were looking for a production company to do this TV channel project for Diesel. I just jumped on it and the next thing you know we were on a conference call to Farfar and we pretty much pitched for about a month out of my apartment and got it."

The resulting work is a stunning if unusual showcase of the talent that lies within Legs. Featuring Pete the Meat Puppet, a "rags-to-riches, Pinocchio-meets-Eraserhead, Muppets-on-meth music video" and Hairbath, in which a naked model reads letters while laying in a… well… bath of hair, plus a lot more content that is dark and surreal but utterly brilliant, the campaign was a huge success and directly led to the creation of Legs.

"It was when press for Diesel started to come out that we had to think about a name," confides Brunkalla. "There were meetings and meetings about it because as soon as you come up with a name then you have much more of a team feel." So why Legs? "That was the first name that we threw out into the mix I think," laughs Jasper. "I was reading something about this guy Legs McNeil, an old, punk-rock writer [co-founder of Punk magazine] and I thought that was the best first name I’d ever heard. I thought it would be a great name for a company or a band or something because you need to have legs to have longevity, so I threw that out there when we were just starting to talk about names." As is often the case, it’s the first idea that’s always the best and after many long discussions about what to call themselves they came back to Jasper’s original suggestion. "It was sheer hell trying to come up with a name," Greville pointedly concludes.

Once a name was in place, Legs still had to decide what exactly they were and it’s something that is still hard to define. They are asked – particularly by journalists grasping for an easy label – if they would describe themselves as a collective.

How about a studio? Production company? Or an agency? "We like the flexibility of being able to morph a bit," explains Joseph, succinctly. "On our website we say, and we believe, that we’re a full-service creative team of writers, directors and producers." "But a collective is a good word to use when you don’t have time to explain all that," laughs Brunkalla.

Since deciding who and what they are, Legs have gone on to create an amazing, as well as eclectic, body of work. Puppet-based idents for Diet Coke, a triptych video for L’Oréal/Diesel’s fragrance Only the Brave, films starring Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes for The New York Times Style Magazine, a fashion film for Temperley called Circus Zoetrope, and a documentary for Kia. There is no noticeable style or theme running through the work, which is just the way they want it. “I think that something that happens with collectives is that they get put into one category,” begins Brunkalla. “Like, Traktor is very successful and we’ve all watched them make some incredible stuff but I think there’s one kind of style there. We’ve talked about this a lot, it’s not necessarily a style that creates a thread between our work, but our creative approach to it; so it may be a completely different style but it’ll have the same creative resonance."

Fashion is a theme that does seem to crop up quite frequently through the course of their work though. Temperley, Diesel, the NY Times Style Magazine, for instance, all point to a fashion-centric ethos. They agree that fashion has a strong influence over their work, Greville saying that fashion films have held much interest for her for some time, and that Milk Studios is the 'fashion hub' of New York. But the creative spark from the fashion world is stronger than that. "I think our work is creative and fashion people seek out that kind of work and are pretty open minded about trying to push looks and be creative," states Greville. "I think it just sort of makes sense that we would do stuff like that. Like with Temperley, they really wanted to push it and try something new and they trusted us to do that with them. You know, fashion people are reinventing themselves every season so of course they want to evolve and push it."

Legs are represented by themselves everywhere bar France, where Wanda Productions are their home, Canada, where they’re with Holiday Films, and the UK, where they’re signed with Rokkit. When asked to define the collective’s stylistic tendencies, Nick Hussey, Rokkit’s executive producer, fires off: "Fashion, comedy, documentary, photographic, music video, meat puppet-hippy-Tom Cruise-bloody everything style." He continues: "[They work in] so many genres, but all with that certain cool edge. You’d think from some of their really out-there work that they were going to be a bunch of PCP-snorting freaks, but they’re really sweet, kind, very knowledgeable and collaborative professionals."

Their knowledge comes from the fact that their four members, while each having creative backgrounds, are experts in differing areas. Greville and Brunkalla are, predominantly, the directors, Jasper art directs and writes while Joseph – the ‘dad’ of the troupe – is the executive producer. "We can’t really get over how we all bring completely different things to the table that all compliment each other," says Greville.

It’s a relationship that obviously works in a professional capacity but it’s definitely the personal friendship between the four members that keeps the collective ticking. Friends for many years, similar ages – they’re all between 30 and 33-years-old – the camaraderie is both the glue that keeps the team together and the spark that fires their creativity. They all admit they love working together and come to the office everyday when they could sometimes just as easily each work from their respective homes. "I've worked with a lot of different groups of people before and the thing that pleasantly surprises me about this group is how much fun we have together," says Jasper. "No matter how long the hours are we have a great time and it’s a really good chemistry between the four of us. It never gets antagonistic and it’s really pretty mellow and ideal." "I'm trying to think of one fight or tiff we’ve had," laughs Joseph, "just to make sure we’re normal… it's been a really long time."

So, the present looks pretty rosy for Legs, the future is surely a similar hue. One of the things they believe might aid them in the coming months and years is an expansion to their set-up. They’re not entirely sure how to tackle that yet but plans are afoot because at times they have to turn jobs down because they’re so busy. "We don’t know how to handle that just yet," states Jasper. "We're trying to figure out how to become more than a collective but not a production company."

"The game plan is just to continue working and continue growing," concludes Joseph. "But we're excited to see how all this unfolds and what happens as we go along. We still want to be this core group but spearhead other projects as well." You’d be a fool to bet against this fun-loving, hard-working and creatively agile quartet. They’ve only been a true collective for just over a year but Legs have hit the ground running.

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