COMBO BRAVO

DIRECTOR. EDITOR. PRODUCERS.

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/COMMERCIAL

/ commercial / 7ACRES / accept nothing less / casestudy

7ACRES –
ACCEPT NOTHING LESS

Objective

Create a 10 part video series exploring 7 ACRES meticulous cannabis growing and manufacturing process. All 10 episodes are driven by voice over so we needed to find interesting ways to give this magical plant and process a personality its own.

Approach

Working with the agency, Cruel Commons, we built a creative visual approach that would allow us to create 10 unique episodes that all fit within the campaigns style but allowed each one to feel unique in it’s presentation.

Like David Attenborough, but for weed.

We focused on a combination of specialty camera and lens techniques to shoot the plant in unique ways we hadn’t seen before. Using microscopic lenses we were able to shoot these plants in extreme detail and make science a little more cinematic.

Cannabis seed suspended in resin shot using a microscopic lens.
Final shot from episode 3, genetics.

Outcome

The campaign kicked off with a profile on Highsnobiety and releases weekly across the 7AC social and web outlets.

Check out the first 3 episodes below.

Episode 1 – Why We Accept Nothing Less

Episode 2 – Genetics

Episode 3 – The Home of High End Cannabis

/ commercial / RBCxMUSIC

First Love – Starring H.E.R.

Fueling Firsts

DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
EDITOR: Connor Illsley
AGENCY: Salt XC
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Devon Soltendieck, Chris Rochon
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Brad Van Schaik
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Shady Hanna
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Gideon Ayesu
LOCATION: Toronto, Los Angelas
DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
EDITOR: Connor Illsley
AGENCY: Salt XC
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Devon Soltendieck, Chris Rochon
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Brad Van Schaik
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lester Millado
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Breathe Ent.
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Stephen Trivieri
LOCATION: Toronto
/ commercial / XBOX / Series S x Roy Woods – Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas – 60 Sec Hero

Blank Canvas – Teaser

DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
EDITOR: Connor Illsley
AGENCY: Salt XC
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Devon Soltendieck, Chris Rochon
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Adrian Valenzuela
 
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Julian Lomaga
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Breathe Entertainment
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Devin Jones

/MUSIC

/ music / The Halluci Nation / ALBUM ROLLOUT / casestudy

The Halluci Nation – Visual Rollout

Objective

When A Tribe Called Red was ready to rebrand as The Halluci Nation, we wanted to create an elevated EPK (electronic press kit), that would tell the story of where they came from, and where they’re going. To launch their new album, One More Saturday Night, they needed: album artwork, music videos, promotional photos, social media content and 3 x 30 minute virtual sets.

These were all major parts of the roll out, and allowed us to shape the creative across a larger rebranding. The EPK would become a short documentary and the visual centerpiece of the launch, incorporating elements from the entire portfolio of work.

Director Jon Riera interviews Bear Witness and 2oolman.
Scene from EPK.

Approach

We had been filming music videos, tours and social content for the group for 8 years at this point, meaning we had a library of historic footage to draw from. To tie this all together we built an in-studio interview set inspired by all the musical and pop culture passions of the band. Through interviewing the band we were able to build a cohesive narrative told from a unified voice that would connect the past, to the present, to the future.

We doubled down on shooting the Music Video for Remember 01, the first single to have The Halluci Nation banner, by shooting the images that would become the album cover as part of the video. All of this content was used in the final EPK.

Scene from It’s Over music video.
Clip from one of the virtual performance sets.

Outcome

The Halluci Nation – One More Saturday Night released July 30 2021 to critical acclaim. It’s since been nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2022 Juno’s.

We Are The Halluci Nation – Mini Doc

Remember 01 – Music Video

Song Breakdown – Ba Na Na

/ music / Machel Montano / Fast Wine
DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
PRODUCER: Che Kothari & Lorraine O’Connor
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Michael Reid
EDITOR: Dan LeMoyne
COLOURIST: Clinton Holmouth
SOUND: Connor Illsley
/ music / Harrison / Mustang
DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
PRODUCER: Scott McCuaig
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Adam Madrzyk
EDITOR: Dan LeMoyne
COLOURIST: Clinton Homouth
PRODUCTION: Combo Bravo/Breathe Ent.

/360VIDEO

/ 360 video / case study

Objective

This case study will be describing our approach to 360 video and virtual reality once it was introduced to be an accessible medium.

Our objective was to bring cinematic storytelling tools and techniques to all of our 360 projects.

We weren’t satisfied with just using the medium to show cool perspectives, we needed to make something we hadn’t seen done yet with what was available.

SWEDEN 2019 – The Throne of the North – 360 Image for Game of Thrones Campaign – #FORTHETHRONE

Approach

We invest in months of research to develop a cinematic language to immerse the viewer in the story, finding new ways to utilize the tools we had traditionally used in linear video.

Our first major project, Jazz Cartier Red Alert/100 Roses we developed ways to fly the camera using a drone. The test footage from this project alone secured us our next project, shooting in Uganda for Unicef.

Final scene of Jazz Cartier – 100 Roses 360 music video.
BTS of JAZZ Cartier’s performance piece.
Clip from flat broadcast video deliverable from the 360 video.
Jon and Connor launching the drone for 360 aerials shots in Uganda.

We were immediately hooked. We found our unfair advantage was to bring creative and technical to a medium that no one understood at the time.

Here is where we really realized what Combo Bravo could be.

The momentum of a new storytelling format sparked a fire that led us to working with UNICEF, Rotary International, Right to Play, CAA, Mountain Dew, Chevy, Metrolinx, Cadbury and Game of Thrones.

Handing off an underwater 360 camera in the Bahamas.
Underwater 360 in the Philippines.
Catching the Freefly Alta 8 drone on location in the Philippines.
360 drone shot in Ghana for Cadbury Bicycle Factory.
CBF_widedrone3_c

No matter what the project we always look for how the narrative or idea is best serviced by the technology, and not the other way around.

BTS Cable Cam setup in Ghana for Cadbury Bicycle Factory.
Finished 360 cable cam shot for Cadbury Bicycle Factory.

OUTCOME

WINNERCanadian Screen Award – Best Direction Web Program or Series – Deerbrook
WINNER SILVERClio Awards 2019 – Partnerships and Collaborations -Game of Thrones #ForTheThrone
ShortlistCannes Lions Titanium Lion – Game of Thrones #ForTheThrone
WINNERSlatix Sitges Cocoon – Best VR Experience – Deerbrook
Official SelectionSitges Cocoon 2018 – Deerbrook
Official SelectionFIVARS 2018 – Deerbrook
Official SelectionAFI Tech Showcase 2017 – Deerbrook
Official SelectionAtlanta Film Festival 2017 – Deerbrook
NominatedAMD Awards 2017 – Most Creative use of Marketing in VR – Unicef Karamoja Rising
NominatedMMVA 2016 – Best Rap Video – Jazz Cartier – Red Alert/100 Roses

Poster for Deerbrook (2018) – our award winning original VR film
Accepting the Canadian Screen Award for best Directing Web Program for Deerbrook.
/ 360 video / Game of thrones / #FORTHETHRONE
SPAIN – Location scout timelapse.
SWEDEN – Connor clears XLR cables packed with snow.
SWEDEN – JON and CONNOR with the northern lights
SPAIN – Connor unravels 150ft AV snake.
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jon Riera
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Connor Illsley
AGENCY: DROGA5
AGENCY PRODUCER: Alyssa Cashman
DIRECTOR: Aramique
PRODUCTION: Tool of North America and Podium Films
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jordan Eady
PRODUCER: Kegan Sant and Kate Montague
/ 360 video / Jazz Cartier / Red Alert 100 Roses
DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR:
Connor Illsley
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Martin Wojtunik
EDITOR: Combo Bravo
PRODUCER: Matt Power and Dave Gardiner
PRODUCTION: Mad Ruk Entertainment
VFX: Call Me Smith
VFX LEAD: Peter McAuley
VFX ARTIST: JAMES ANDRES
VFX PRODUCER: Karen Huybers and Jenna Edwards
MADE POSSIBLE BY MUCHFACT
/ 360 video / Cadbury Bicycle Factory / Lets Go
DIRECTOR: Jon Riera
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Connor Illsley
AGENCY: The Hive
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Simon Creet
PRODUCER: Summit Ajwani, Alora May
PRODUCTION: MAKERS
POST PRODUCTION: Combo Bravo
CLIENTS
JON &
CONNOR.

For the greater part of a decade we’ve been directing, shooting, producing, editing, and post supervising projects that shoot around the world.

We started as a partnership made to create 360 immersive experiences driven by narrative storytelling.

That continues to takes us around the world and expose us to cultures that raise the bar for the stories we tell.

Today we work with brands and agencies to: bring ideas to life, reimagine how we experience music through visuals, and push the limit of technology in storytelling. 

We pride ourselves on bringing together an uncompromising creative vision with a problem-solving, solutions forward approach on every project.