The centerpiece of the new lululemon activewear “FEEL” campaign from Droga5 New York is this two-minute film, “Being well is a journey,” directed by Daniel Wolfe via production house Love Song.
Set to excerpts from Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Selfish Giant,” the anthem follows one person’s journey through a cycle of punishing, unsustainable and closed-off behaviors, before opening up, emotionally and physically, to a new world of sustainable practice, community, and joy. The giant in the story builds a wall around his garden, closing off his world from others--and thus even fails to feel the change of seasons. A tale of isolation and its consequences carries an extra measure of relevance today given the COVID pandemic and the craving for connection that so many of us have felt as a result. Simply, in order to feel well, you have to feel, necessitating that we reach out to others and allow others to reach out to us.
“Being well is a journey,” on which Barking Owl was the music/sound house, took the #1 slot in SHOOT’s Q3 Top Ten Tracks Music Chart--with two-time Oscar winner Atticus Ross serving as composer and Dan Flosdorf as sound designer and audio post mixer. Ross won Academy Awards for Best Original Score in 2011 for his co-writing exploits on The Social Network and earlier this year for Soul. Soul was one of two such Oscar nods that Ross received in 2021--the other being for being a co-composer on Mank.
Other key members of the Barking Owl team on “Being well is a journey” included creative director Kelly Bayett and producer Ashley Benton.
Letting the narrative speak
Bayett shared that doing justice to Wilde’s story musically and in terms of sound design was a high priority. “Oscar Wilde’s ‘Selfish Giant’ is an absolutely stunning piece of work,” she said. “When you hear that over the visuals, it tells such a clear story and so many people can see themselves in the narrative and our hero. We couldn’t do anything with the music or sound design that would overshadow the narration. That is the key here, and even the mix was a very delicate balance of what brought depth and weight and what became overpowering.”
Bayett observed that the biggest challenge the lululemon film posed to the Barking Owl team involved getting the desired feel and inspiration just right. “From an audio standpoint, we wanted to really highlight the repetitiveness in our hero’s daily life. But his repetitive behavior wasn’t just the same thing every day, but this idea that you push yourself to the limit everyday, and you become numb. We wanted to make sure that, as the viewer, you felt the intensity and also the relief once he is finally quiet and allowed to just FEEL. We push ourselves so hard to feel anything, taking pills, working all night, working out with high intensity. But from a sonic standpoint, we had to make sure you felt the difference between the intensity in the beginning, as well as the relief when you realize you don’t have to push so hard. You can just be present, and you will feel so much.”
Mike Ladman served as sr. music supervisor for Droga5 NY on the film.
Click here to see the full quarterly Top Ten Tracks Chart.
Client lululemon Agency Droga5 NY Tim Gordon, Felix Richter, co-chief creative officers; Alexander Nowak, global head of art; Thom Glover, group creative director; Marybeth Ledesma, creative director; Ted Meyer, sr. copywriter; Jason Gold, sr. art director; Gabe Santana, copywriter; Germany Lancaster, art director; Nate Scott, executive design director; Sunny Lee, sr. designer; Kenisha Rullan, designer; Mike Hasinoff, executive producer, film; Martin Couch, sr. producer, film; Mike Ladman, sr. music supervisor; Cecilia Diaz, group strategy director; Sarah Khan, brand strategist; Ben Nilsen, group communications strategy director; Cherish Lee, sr. communications strategist; Christina Fieni, group data strategy director; Joy McKenzie, data strategy director. Production Company Love Song Daniel Wolfe, director; Deepa Keshvala, DP; Emily Skinner, Kelly Bayett, exec producers; Julie Sawyer, producer. Editorial ZED Dominic Leung, editor; Rob Daglish, assistant editor. Color Framestore London Simon Bourne, colorist; Chris Anthony, sr. color producer. Postproduction The Mill Dan Williams, executive creative director; Chris Allen, Clare Melia, exec producers; Mia Saunders, producer; Chee Yen Wang, production assistant; Dan Adams, 2D lead; Beck Selmes, 3D lead. Music/Sound Barking Owl, Los Angeles Dan Flosdorf, sound designer; Atticus Ross, composer; Kelly Bayett, creative director; Ashley Benton, exec producer. Audio Post Barking Owl, Los Angeles Dan Flosdorf, mixer