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Abstract and Medium-Agnostic: Other Half Creative Rejects Box-Ticking


LBB speaks with founder and creative director, Cara Scott, about the creative studio’s approach to work, cutting through content fatigue, and staying medium-agnostic to fuel creativity

Abstract and Medium-Agnostic: Other Half Creative Rejects Box-Ticking

Cara Scott, Other Half’s founder and creative director, has worn many hats in her past. She started her professional life as a dancer before shifting to working with agencies, art directing for editorials during her time in Berlin, and line producing on several projects, before eventually founding the creative studio in 2020. What unites all these endeavours is Cara’s creative instinct, which combines her knowledge of production, love of craft, and a sharp eye.

"It’s this self-exploratory phase of my life that shaped my creative thinking and helped me hone the creative direction I am most interested in now – genuine expression, capturing emotion, and executing vision through imagery." Founding the New York-based Other Half felt like a natural extension of that while also building a familial, communal space for everyone else I work with - employees, artists, creatives,” Cara explains. Helping lead the charge with Cara as part of Other Half’s team are Dustin Grant, executive producer, and Brian Riley, VP business and operations, plus an extended network of highly talented people the team can call on wherever a project requires it.

Above: Coach FW21 

“Premium execution” is one of the foundational principles for the team while they also look to “create an open forum with clients” and look for projects where there is “room to play”, as Cara phrases it, meaning a creative dialogue is possible. “It’s only going to make for better, more interesting, and more relevant work.” Other Half functions both as a creative and a production agency, with an “a la carte” model tailored for each production where Other Half can plug-in seamlessly as creative partners. The team has already worked with some of the industry’s biggest names. They’ve completed commercial projects for Ferrari, Postmates, NFL, Mackage, and Coach, and produced music videos for Arca, 5 Seconds of Summer, Alissa Miller, and Blackbear. The team’s multidisciplinary experience and background is what helps them toe the line between creative risks and premium execution for such a wide range of clients.

Music Videos, Reimagined

Working on music videos is something Other Half loves thanks to the freedom and creativity that’s often afforded by the medium, even though the productions themselves can sometimes be challenging. “In many ways, music videos are the Wild West of our industry,” laughs Cara, adding: “but when you work directly with an artist, something unique and special happens in the ideation process. There’s a lot of room on where to take the video, whether that’s a narrative approach, something more conceptual and visually driven, or a combination of the two - there are no rules really. While music video budgets can often be tight and there are logistical challenges to work through, it gives us parameters to play within, and see how far we can stretch creativity and resources to deliver something beyond expectation.”

Above: Arca, Time

The video Other Half made for Arca’s lush electro-pop track, Time, is a great example of all of the above. The video was filmed during the last day of Arca’s residency at The Shed (an experimental performing arts space, with a live audience present), depicting Arca on a metaphorical date with the devil. It’s fun, provocative, and drenched in neon light; it was also a challenge to put together.

“Shooting in front of a live audience is never easy, which is heightened when it’s an immersive performance being produced in real-time. We regularly pivoted at a moment’s notice to accommodate creative instincts, such as taking to the streets with Arca and her demonic lover (performed by visual artist Carlos Sáez, wearing enhanced prosthetics), booking a limo, and heading to a karaoke bar in Chinatown. It was intentionally free-flowing, which ultimately lent itself to a wild and incredibly fun video to produce.” The video, which feels like a surreal trip from Arca’s mind, is a firm fan favourite.

The team also has a longstanding relationship with 5 Seconds of Summer, going far beyond music video production. “We work collaboratively, providing creative direction and production, while constantly talking with their management and publishing company on all aspects of the marketing campaigns,” explains Cara. Recently, the team worked with 5SOS on a 360-campaign, encompassing deliverables like album artwork, merchandise, a zine, album and press photography, and a live performance on James Corden’s Late Late Show. “It’s a very supportive and trusting relationship, they can lean on us much more and we can explore more creatively, taking risks too. We developed a cohesive overarching campaign for their new album launch, and then perfected all the individual assets, bringing in the right people to collaborate with at every stage. Partnering with clients that allow us to flex our creative and production muscle is where our sweet spot is at.”

Above: 5SOS, Me, Myself, and I 

Overcoming Content Fatigue

Having worked with so many big and culturally relevant brands, Other Half is highly aware of the issue facing them today: content fatigue. To say that there’s a lot of content across multiple platforms would be an understatement. How can brands make a mark, reach their target audience, and push the creative envelope? “As a company, we like to help our partners think more abstractly, which might mean venturing to a new medium or removing a direct sales pitch from the campaign to create interest and drum up intrigue.” Consumers today are acutely aware when they’re being sold to; instead, Cara believes now more than ever “creating something that engages emotionally and evokes a certain feeling is smarter because people get attached to brands through an alignment of values, not just products. It’s connectivity over content.”

Above: Postmates Present 

What does such an approach look like in practice? The team was tasked with promoting a smoothie created and taste-tested by Khalid in collaboration with the brand Erewhon and Postmates to coincide with the launch of his new track, Present. “We took a step back and decided to have a bit of fun with it and to keep the spot almost tangible, yet abstract. The visuals don’t give the punchline away, it’s all this beautiful fruit and rich colours -you’re not sure what you’re being advertised. Then - suddenly - it’s a smoothie. We removed the direct sell without losing the essence of what was at stake,” says Cara, who actually directed this piece herself.

Seeing what Other Half has achieved in such a short period of time is impressive, but it’s only the beginning. Fuelled by a creative hunger, the team is actively exploring different mediums like digital art, experiential events, animation, and virtual spaces while building on their experience with photography and video. “We’re striving to keep Other Half in a hybrid, flexible space - we see the future as a kind of creative horizon to explore.” Their latest move is a recent expansion into Austin, TX with their eyes set on additional markets to follow.

Already expanding and busier than ever, the team is quickly making a name for themselves with a creative multidisciplinary approach that seamlessly marries a commercial mindset with serious imagination. “There’s always more than one solution to any given challenge, especially in the creative field. That’s why we’re always going to look at the grey areas outside of the standard production and agency approach to deliver the best work we can; you never know when a new branch of art is an idea away.”  

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Genres: People

OTHER HALF Creative, Wed, 06 Jul 2022 15:47:00 GMT