Colin Renshaw's Cannes Diary #2

image001.jpgColin Renshaw, VFX supervisor and founder, Alt.vfx is representing Australia on the Cannes Film Craft Lions jury. Renshaw, along with most of the other Australian and NZ jurors writes exclusively for CB.

The French do many things well. Handshakes are one (did you SEE how tightly Macron gripped Donald's tiny hand?!). Wines are another. Advertising and creativity festivals are another.
 
Food, on the other hand, is not one of them. Call me backwards you may, but I would smash a Chiko Roll from the local servo over 90% of what is on offer here in Cannes.

As beautiful as the place is, I'm longing for a servo pie, or a sweet chicken schnitzel, (The Old Fitz will be my first port of call when I land back in Sydney). Breakfast maybe the most important meal of the day, but not to the French. Stale baguette. Some ham a croissant..and...mmm...That's it.
So as a rule I tend not to eat here in Cannes, which is probably a good thing as I left my run on my Cannes bikini body workout plan a bit late this year. Not as buff as I should be. Hopefully the rigours of 16-hour judging days combined with a very limited diet might just shed that extra 5kgs, allowing me to prance around the villa pool resplendent in my DTs come next week.
 
The late, great Anthony Bourdain said: "Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride." Well, my body isn't an amusement park. It's a water park. It's Wet n'Wild. Except that isn't water. It's wine. And I am here to enjoy the ride. Here in France, they are gods amongst men, making some of the finest fermented grape juice in all the world. At least there is that to console my troublesome digestive system.
 
But alas, I am not here to just eat, drink, and be merry. I am here to take part in the International Jury for Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Thankfully, the Lions' organisers know how to bring a very diverse group of international creatives together, and they use the tried and tested method of the 'first night welcome drinks'. This is a delicious river of social lubrication that flows and flows and with each day the previous night's festivities help break down the barriers between the judges and level the playing field. You quickly work out who the characters are, the nay sayers, the negs, the doo gooders. Hmm...what box am I in?
 
It is declared open season on some of the entries as strong opinions come to the fore quite quickly. Of course, that's part of the joy of the process, because what makes great work great and bad work bad is all subjective. One man's trash is another man's treasure.
 
2017 was not a great year, let's face it. And so, it seems the advertising community as a whole has decided to do its part to facilitate change. Gone is flippancy and silly/quirky humour has been relegated to the sidelines and earnestness has taken the field.
 
No worthy cause is left unturned in 2018. The ad world is taking the power back from misogynists, racists, ageists, ablelists and warmongers and so, in my IMHO, they should.
 
But fuck me its seems everything in 2018 is about the struggle. The transformation. The eventual acceptance all brought to you by....XYBRAND.
 
It strikes me that we are not watching branded content as much as it is sponsored content. Well, that's how it feels when it's done badly anyway.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not ragging on the subject matter or the effort to bring these things to our consciousness'. I just that this year's work contains so much struggle, so much indignation it is absolutely overwhelming. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the output of the entire world I am watching - and its distilled and amplified due to the event. That is the only thing that stops me from rushing to join Anthony in the great beyond.
 
Day 2 was heavy man.
 
Give me Middleditch, a soup can and two guys in a kitchen talking shit. Please.

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