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“THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT with us,” says Xray Doll co director and co founder, Chrissie Hall. Fellow XRay Doll founder and director Wassim Bazzi nods in agreement, “We like to offer unique creative solutions rather than follow the pack”.
The boutique production agency’s folio is testament to that. Just like the duo themselves, Xray Doll’s images are saturated in colour and showcase both the photographic skills of Hall along with Bazzi’s highly sought after retouching prowess. Xray Doll provides the whole shebang from concept to postproduction. In addition the two directors bring with them a host of expert make up artists, cinematographers, editors and assistants to make the process that little bit smoother for all involved.
The inception of the Sydney•based production company was a slow burn, with photographer artist film maker producer Hall and graphic designer art director prepress master retoucher Bazzi meeting over ten years ago while the two were work•ing at a photography studio in Sydney’s inner west. It wasn’t until Hall returned from London in 2009 that the pair started their collabora•tion and the kindling under Xray Doll started to burn.
“I met Chrissie when she was a photographer at VAiG. The owner of VAiG, Gary Logan – rest his soul – was the one who first suggested we work together,” Bazzi explains. “Chrissie got back from the UK right when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with art direction. After she showed me her folio Gary said to me, ‘Her folio is actually one of the best high fashion folios I’ve seen. You two should work together’. That just sealed the deal for me. ‘Water Assassin’ was our first shoot and from there we started Xray Doll.”
“It helps that we’re both on the same wavelength and we’re both slightly mad. Plus, I’m not sure anyone else would put up with us,” Hall laughs while Bazzi looks at her with an expression of mock shock.
“Seriously though, we both love tossing up and ripping down new ideas, experimenting with visuals and giving our commercial clients the best outcome possible. We’re pretty focused on not being just another production company – there are so many of those already out there. We really want to help our commercial clients reach their audience in new and exciting ways, rather than just follow some tired old formula or the old ‘tried and true’ method,” Hall says.
Xray Doll has already racked up an impressively diverse list of clients including Nathan Paul Swimwear, Retrosweat, Sea Shepherd, The Glitta Supernova Experience, Fourplay and Peek Tours. Between the two directors, they have also worked alongside an impressive hit list of agencies that includes M&C Saatchi, BWM, Studio Woo and GHG, to namedrop a few.
Hall cites the company’s “Don’t Drink Alone” campaign for Sydney based touring company, Peek Tours, as one of her particular standouts, thanks to the rich subject matter and challenging brief.
“The client runs tours around Sydney’s historic Rocks area and wanted the campaign to speak to this particular era of kidnapping and intrigue. They pretty much wanted to sell the tour but not give away all the stories, so we came up with little teasers, which didn’t give away all the exciting parts of the tour but whet the appetite of the audience,” Hall says.
“The stories in Sydney were pretty crazy. My favourite was ‘Shanghaiing’, where a sailor would go to a pub in The Rocks and some dubious folk would get them so drunk that they would pass out. Once out cold, the sailor would be dropped through a trap door and wake up hung over and aboard a boat far, far from home. I loved researching the history.”
Never one to shy away from accepting a challenge, Xray Doll have recently added short films, online content and music videos to the firms oeuvre. They recently shot for local brands Van Cooper and The Art and picked up an award recently for best punk release 2014 at the AIMVA’s.
While Xray Doll keep expanding in weird and wonderful ways, there is one constant: the directors’ drive to work with great advertising agencies who share their passion for delivering messages in the most creative, provocative and effective ways possible. Bazzi sums it up neatly: “We want to challenge the way commercial imagery is presented.” xraydoll.com or email email@example.com
CAMPAIGN BRIEF FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015