“I still remember, the way things were” – Amsterdam clothing brand ‘The New Originals’ takes us back, back to childhood days, back to warm memories. Produced by StudioStudio and directed by Rutger van Leeuwen, the film complements their SS/23 collection, taking viewers on a journey down a memory lane true to the TNO founders’ childhoods. This film is about the memory of 'endless days', where the abundance of time leads to boredom, creativity, and imagination. Ambassadors was brought in to collaborate on the special vibe of this film through design, animation, edit, color grading and music production.
Narrated by a poem from Yohan Kebede (from the band KOKORO), the film takes us back to the heritage of the brand by reflecting on childhood days at home. In the film, we also see Freddy, the brand's mascot who made his appearance on posters, stickers, and the brand’s clothing since its inception. Freddy seems like an imaginary friend, neither real nor fake, both there and not there. He encourages us to imagine, to be playful and creative.
For the first time, Ambassadors brought Freddy from a playful 2D sketch into a character who interacts with the real world – adding a new element to The New Originals universe. “We couldn’t have a polished look for Freddy, he needed to be true to the spirit of his unique history. We wanted Freddy to be scratchy, dreamy and blur the lines between real and fictional worlds. To do that we used 2D, 3D, and even cel-animation techniques to bring a rough, steppy and scratchy aspects to Freddy’s movement, along with using a lower frame rate for Freddy as he moves around in this world”, adds Justin Blyth, Creative Director at Ambassadors.
The same goes for the 3D animation of the bees and the flowers which came directly from the TNO apparel graphics. While they are based on patchwork and quilt work designs, they also mimic the look of 8-bit video games like Gameboy, which we interpreted as another part of childhood memories. We animated them in a 3D space but with an 8-bit pixel movement, to capture that low-res, nostalgic aesthetic.
By grading the film with a subtle color palette, we ensured a warm and nostalgic look, which Amy Besate, Colorist at Ambassadors explains: “I really enjoyed grading this spot for The New Originals. I used a warm subtle color palette that lends itself perfectly to the nostalgic feel. The combination of diffused highs and pastel hues really helped bring Rutger's vision to life and added depth to the overall look.”
Another special addition to the film is the music produced by our sound & music partner Amp.Amsterdam // The Sonic Branding Company. “With the film drawing inspiration from the heritage of the founders of TNO, Rutger shared 70s Ethiopian jazz tracks to inspire and set the vibe for our music. We wanted this film to sound like Dad’s record player in the living room. To capture the essence of 'Warm Memories' and reminisce about childhood, we began with a simple chord progression in a 1/3 and 6/8 meter with a comforting and swaying character. Our focus was on finding the right balance between the interlocking saxophone and piano melodies, which were inspired by Ethiopian jazz, and counterpointing them with the voiceover and sound design, ultimately forming one band" adds Bertus Pelser, Head of Studios from Amp.Amsterdam // The Sonic Branding Company.
Not only was it a very collaborative project with Studio Studio, but also with TNO and everyone involved as Director Rutger van Leeuwen describes: “What sets this project apart is the collaborative approach that defines every step of the way. I was fortunate that The New Originals granted me creative freedom, and I sought to reciprocate by involving my collaborators in the writing process. Suze Kuit, Yohan Kebebe, and Justin Blyth, all contributed their unique talents and perspectives, so long as they aligned with the film's core message and overall vision. The result was a truly heartfelt and personal project, with each person leaving their own personal mark.”