“I like playing around with different media because they complement each other to bring out a message”, says Benny Leung from Hong Kong based creative studio BLCH.
During its relatively short existence (founded in 2012), BLCH. had an opportunity to work for clients like Puma, Lane Crawford, Joyce Beauty or Jean-Paul Hévin. We discussed projects that span across various media: video, animation, exhibitions and the web.
What does BLCH. stand for? BLC obviously seems to be Benny Leung Creative, but what about the mysterious H at the end. Headquarters?
There are two meanings for the name. The first one you guessed right. It can be a creative headquarters or creative house.
The second meaning is that it’s also the initial for my full name. The “C” & “H” are initials from parts of my Chinese name.
You as a creative director work with various talented individuals – photographers, musicians, producers, developers. Is it important for you and for the success of your projects that you get along well together, or you strictly look at their talent?
I look at both. Getting along with everybody is very important because I usually work with differently talented parties.
We have to respect each others working style, opinions, and the schedule at hand. We have to always find a good balance that makes everybody happy.
Let’s talk about music, as it’s an important part of many your projects. You’ve collaborated with musicians like Judson Cowan and Tobias Lilja recently. How did you get such vibrant and sunny beats from the otherwise dark and melancholic Tobias Lilja for this Puma video?
Tobias is a very talented person. We basically just show him some video clips, tell him what style we want, and everything goes from there.
I think he has that bright and active beat inside him, and I quite enjoy the contrast he did for the project compared to his other works.
The following video for Taikoo Spirit starts with simple piano tones, but then gradually builds up to a very strong cinematic and ambient atmosphere, mixing music with the environment sounds. The result is quite unconventional for this type of company. What kind of story did you want to tell, or what kind of emotion did you want to deliver?
For Taikoo Spirit, I wanted to make it more dramatic. I wanted to take it a little further than the typical company videos we see.
It is a story of a day inside the company and we wanted to create an atmosphere that makes you want to see the entire process.
When planning videos for certain projects, do you already have a particular musician in mind? For example, was Judson Cowan a logical choice to emphasize the colors and energy of the Lane Crawford Spring/Summer 14 collection in the following video?
I actually don’t really have a musician in mind when preparing for each project because during the process there are always many changes.
It is not until we started to have something down before we think about the music. I want to capture the visual first and use music to take it to another level.
Judson was the most logical choice for the Lane Crawford video. I’ve always enjoyed his music. I discovered his music through his Tettix albums. I love the energy and beat he brought to the video, as it made the video came alive with bright colours.
Are fashion and beauty projects naturally easier for creative expression than let’s say… projects for tech companies? If so, do you prefer them, or do you thrive in the challenge provided when subject to more creative constraints?
I like both. I think they bring different, fun elements to the table.
For fashion videos, you are working with beautiful clothing and beautiful people. It offers a more open creative expression, and you can dream a little bit more.
For technology videos, I like to learn the ins & outs of the skill-set and interact with the workers. You discover a lot of hidden things.
We have worked together on a website for the Royal Salute Power and Grace project. When you work on project like this which involve various media like video, installation, or web, are you seeking some unifying element across the platforms, or does the media itself direct your creative ideas and their execution?
It all adds up to storytelling. I like playing around with different media because they complement each other to bring out a message.
We will often find a unifying element, but usually it just flows.
Does your background as a 3D artist and animator help you when working on real world objects like exhibition places or booths? Or do those require a different approach since they eventually need to be placed in a real setting?
It helps a lot because I can imagine it in a 3D space. I understand how to create elements that will work at different angles, which is really important for exhibitions.
Thank you for your time, Benny! Looking forward to all your amazing projects in the future.