As our days pass during COVID-19, many are looking to discover new ways to work in our changing world. Lupine Hammack and Creative Partner Sarah James have always thought ahead. In today’s creative culture, they are pivoting to address the spectrum of new needs they see in the advertising industry. Lupine and Sarah did a test shoot to illustrate the collaborative spirit they offer, and we wanted to know more. Here is our discussion.
Many people can say they have a collaborative spirit. What does having a collaborative spirit mean to you?
To us, a collaborative spirit means fundamentally believing that by connecting earlier on, we can produce stronger, more authentic visuals. Our process starts long before a project even happens by connecting with the individuals involved to understand better where everyone is coming from. By being aware and familiar with all of the unique perspectives involved, we can create visuals informed by a well-rounded understanding of the brand. Whether internally with our crew or with our clients, we know that incorporating everyone’s needs and perspectives in our process makes for the best work possible. To us, everyone is a fellow collaborator that brings something unique. A shared vision is the most powerful place from which to create.
You’ve said that you are in search of new ways to bring more to your work. What do you mean by that?
When we say “more,” what we are talking about is more support with creative development, more perspective regarding the approach, and more visual mediums to tell the story. What came first was a request to add motion, so we now offer many different options here. There has also been a need for more treatments which we gladly create. Now what we’re offering is to be there to assist with concept development and pre-visualization. In response to offering pre-viz, we have been asked if we are creating some sort of an agency. The answer to that is no. Our job is to create strong visual stories, and what we are creating is a process for better supporting the brands and agencies that we work with.
How does this process lead to better work?
Joining the conversation earlier on, for us, is an upstream approach to addressing some of the friction points we could see later on during production. We love to offer our point of view while there’s still room to play. If an idea is still in development when we join the collaboration, we have so much more we can offer in terms of how to approach it in the most efficient way from an execution standpoint. The goal is to understand what our clients are faced with and be there to offer our support.
How could this increased collaboration help with remote shoots?
Whether in person or remotely, collaborating is all about building trust and keeping lines of communication open. Knowing that we are going to have shoots where important people will be remotely connecting reinforces the value of aligning and connecting long before shoots happen. We strongly believe that we can still craft an enjoyable, effective client experience when shooting remotely. The more we can communicate and align before, during, and after a project, the more we can successfully move through a remote shoot with that “in-person” feeling of connection.
We’ve talked about your work being something akin to alchemy. Can you expand on what alchemy means to you? Talk to us about the role alchemy played in your Smartly Messy test shoot?
To us, alchemy is the method of combining basic elements in unexpected ways. Alchemy informs our process as a reminder to always question the basic principles of the shot. What was the intended experience of this product? Sometimes it plays out as a process of simplifying the shot, taking elements away to allow the inherent beauty of the product to shine — as we did with the bottles. Other times we need to add an additional element to create the feeling of something unexpected, like adding the graphic cutout shape inside of our food messes. The idea with Smartly Messy was to combine these two different interpretations of basic elements to create something unique.
How are you bringing more to post-production?
Sometimes less is more. As visual artists, we have an in-depth understanding of what is possible through the lens and in post. While on set we are always weighing which of these choices is more efficient and which is going to give us the best result. By bringing that perspective in earlier on, we can create better approaches that align with the expectations and leave room in post to offer more in the way of creative enhancement.
What does partnership mean to you?
In a traditional approach, conversations generally start with an inquiry for a shoot and end when the final files are delivered. But our goal is to treat our collaborators as friends and offer support that extends far beyond the basic structure of any given project. With this in mind, we are always happy to help a client find a resource or weigh in on an approach, even if we aren’t working on the project. Partnership to us means being aware of what our clients are faced with and continuing to develop options that help support their specific needs.
Follow Lupine on Instagram to see more imagery created through alchemy.