Friday, August 14, 2009
Although launched last week at a Sydney party, no mention has been made to date of the creative component of Bonds’ new Rollergirl-themed ‘Racey’ campaign. Pop culture aficionados would associate the name Rollergirl with the porn star character played by Heather Graham in the 1997 film Boogie Nights, which satirised the 1970s-1980s US porn industry. Coincidentally, the 30-second tvc, which is set to The Phenomenal Handclap Band's catchy 15-20 and has just gone to air (see below), has a definite 1970s vibe and boasts a cast of Bonds underwear-clad Rollergirls - four pro skaters, the rest dancers - complete with old skool rollerskates, kneepads, elbowpads, afros, Brady Bunch stripe socks and leggings and even a pair of Lolita-esque heart-shaped sunglasses, as sported by Graham in Boogie Nights. Campaign Brief reports today that the spot was produced by Sydney’s Campaign Palace and directed by James Brown from Stink in London, with creative direction by Cameron Hoelter and Danny Ruhlmann as DoP. Most interesting of all however is Fijian Australian choreographer Leah Howard, who is briefly interviewed in this making-of video.
Although under-the-radar in the Australian media, Howard has a fascinating story.
Adopted as the fourth daughter of Jack and Margaret Howard, whose three older daughters founded what is today Australia’s best-known performing arts high school and talent incubator, Brent Street, Howard performed from an early age.
Her impressive list of professional credits as not only a choreographer, but also an actor/dancer and singer, includes the local productions of Hair, Fame, Steel City, So You Think You Can Dance and Hi-Five, as well as Tap Dogs, with which she toured in the UK and US.
Howard has worked on numerous clips for Bonds and her other advertising clients include Just Jeans.
Across a series of video clips, television awards shows, the Sydney Mardi Gras and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympics, moreover, Howard has also worked with everyone from The Rogue Traders to The Young Divas, The Vines, Sheena Easton, Olivia Newton John, Cyndi Lauper and Kylie Minogue.
She is currently performing in Avenue Q at Sydney’s Theatre Royal and recently married Human Nature drummer Joe Accaria.
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