Responses by Dan Harrill, art director, and Austin Lane, executive creative director, BLVR.
Background: For Andis, a brand that makes tools for professional barbers, stylists and pet groomers, the Andis Creator Series champions unique individuals and their impact on culture. The content demonstrates how creativity and self-expression can make the world a better place through rich storytelling, inspiring others to create their way.
Design thinking: With Andis being a brand rooted in originality, community, and creativity, it was important to embrace others who live out the same core values. The Compton Cowboys, a group of horseback riders based in Compton, California, are emblematic of everything the Andis brand strives for: they have an essence and aesthetic all their own. Beyond that, their commitment to uplifting the community through their youth equestrian programs resonated deeply with Andis, and it just made for the perfect collaboration.
Challenges: Telling the story of Randy Hook, Ant Dogg, Kee, Lay, T-Man and the Compton Cowboys in the right way with a stripped-back crew. We knew we would execute the spot at a high level, but there was no leeway to marinate on decisions. We had to move quickly and trust our gut.
Favorite details: We’re most proud of how the team prepared and executed the project. The heart that went into every little detail and the commitment to never settling inspired us, Andis and the Compton Cowboys. On top of that, the idea of embracing authentic storytelling to educate and inspire is quite powerful. You can’t get much purer than that.
New lessons: You always learn from every project, especially productions. There are so many aspects of the project, and you’re collaborating with people outside of the day-to-day. So, there is a lot to take in. Aside from the project, getting to know the Cowboys on a deeper level was everything. To see how much impact they have on their neighbors, their community and each other is infectious. And to be welcomed with open arms at the ranch, share stories and hang out outside of being on set was a true testament to who they are.
Visual influences: We knew we wanted something that felt raw and real with cinematic influences. We were a fly on the wall—we weren’t trying to sell anything beyond an authentic story—so as a result, the film needed to feel that way. Our influences really came from everyday life. Thinking about those California blues and golds and the dust from the ranch being ingrained in the city of Compton all came into play. The team made some great calls on set and in post to set the stage for a beautiful piece.