Groove Jones Launches the LARK AR App for Lexus at the new Toyota Experience Center

Groove Jones was brought on board to help the Toyota Lexus team develop an advanced Augmented Reality system called the Lexus Augmented Reality Kit (LARK). This interactive application demonstrates how AR can help with the education and training of Toyota team members to understand the features in a vehicle.



The Lexus AR app uses machine learning to “learn” what each of the features and controls are so that it can “identify” what is displaying on the screen. GJ also uses Augmented Reality to place tap-able icons at each button so that the user can bring up the features and sample videos of each button.


Multinational automotive manufacturer Toyota just opened its first visitor attraction in North America at their headquarters in Plano Texas. The 44,000sq ft (13,400sq m) Toyota Experience Center (TEC) is Toyota’s first and only comprehensive museum space in North America. The TEC exists to educate its visitors about Toyota’s past, present and future as a mobility company. The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits and displays, all designed to reflect on the people behind the Toyota brand.

Welcome to BACKYARD Jeff Aron Lable

Super pleased to welcome director  Jeff Aron Lable  to  BACKYARD


Here’s the press from SHOTS

A humor director with a flair for strong art direction and a slightly off-beat visual/narrative style, Lable has brought his talents to such brands as VISA, Toyota, Sears, HBO, DiscountHotels, and Pepsi. Lable’s work has been honored in Cannes, The One Show, and the LA Shorts Fest, in addition to being included in the SHOOT New Directors Showcase, the New Directors Showcase at Cannes, and on the BBC “World’s Funniest Commercials”.

Equally comfortable directing celebrity/athlete talent or cast actors, Lable is known for his ability to get a brand message across in humorous vignettes — oftentimes executed at the apparent expense of his subject’s discomfort. His work has been described as awkwardly funny, occasionally bordering on the absurd, but always in keeping with the creative objective.

“Jeff’s comedic sensibility and directorial style is wholly unique and fills a spot on our roster that clients are clamoring for,” notes Backyard EPs, Kris Mathur and Emily Malito. Backyard CEO Kevin Allodi adds, “Backyard is known for advancing the careers of strong comedy Directors. Having put in over a decade of hard work honing his craft, we’re thrilled to have Jeff joining us at this stage of his career. He is absolutely one to watch!”

“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Backyard,” says Lable. “Their long-standing reputation as a high-quality production partner to world-class agencies and brands, particularly in the comedy realm, is what drew me to them. Their capabilities to address the broader range of work now being demanded by agency creatives and brands takes advantage of my strengths as both a Director and former Creative/Art Director. Plus, they’re just a really great group of people with a demonstrated willingness to seek bigger/better creative work for their Directors. I’m excited about what we’ll do together.”


SHOOT covers Jeff’s signing here

Magellan Sets Sail with SEED

Director Magellan Rubin has joined the roster at SEED MEDIA ARTS.  Magellan has a passion for telling emotionally charged stories that are both visually distinctive and powerfully delivered. He began as a cinematographer but yearned to tell the stories himself. With some good fortune and keen instincts, he began to selectively choose work that he was passionate about: heartfelt storytelling, within the genres of natural lifestyle, sports and music content.

23-year-old Magellan has already helmed commercials for leading brands like Mercedes-Benz and Nike while also pursuing music videos for major artists like G-Eazy. His interest in, and use of, experimental techniques, conquers any limits to storytelling in both real and imaginative worlds.

Magellan blends his narrative sense with an impeccable eye for visual detail. Throughout all his work, there is a consistent thread of beautiful film, powerful performances and a message of sincerity that drew me in. At this early age, he is already a significant powerhouse and is soon to be a industry superstar name,” predicts Roy Skillicorn, Seed’s owner.

“Roy has keen instincts, ” says Seed’s Executive Producer Kris Mathur; “He knows talent at first glance, and after meeting Magellan, I couldn’t agree more.” Kris and Roy have worked together for decades and continue as a team at Seed and at Backyard Productions, the company Roy founded. Seed is currently a sister company to Backyard. Both entities share important resources that enable them to excel in the current marketplace.

“Skillicorn’s track record for nurturing young directors, like me, is storied,” claims Magellan. As a representative in the 80s, Roy planted the flag for several major directors and production entities, most notably, PIXAR and HKM by securing them their very first assignments and helping them to develop for years. He continued that approach when he started his own production company with young talents at Backyard, and then yet again with Seed. “I trust that I’ll grow within the fertile soil here as Roy and Kris understand my work well and know the path to the top better than anyone,” adds Magellan.

UPDATE: The Big Jig Collaborative Animation Project via SEED Animation

Fun project from our friends at SEED

Full brief available here

UPDATE: Seed received 111 submissions, which were all shared on The Big Jig Instagram page. The best entries were then edited together into a short film. Here’s the final film Each individual entry is posted here: Click here to download selected images. Animators (in order of appearance): Morgan Powell (Seed) James Carbutt Campbell Hartley Hleb Kuftseryn Andreas Wolfl John LaPrime Pip Williamson Marina Nakagawa Leonie Link Paul Balykin Maya Remenyi Yael Biran Arman Alipour Richard Beerens Music:Sam Worskell from Mcasso Production: Seed Animation

Engage & Resonate Goes Back to School for Amazon Dormcore

Experiential marketing + production agency  ENGAGE & RESONATE  in partnership with their client Amazon, this week launched 10 Amazon Dormcore retail pop-up installations at Amazon Hub Locker locations on select college campuses across the country. The installations will be live for 3 weeks during the traditional back-to-school time.

E & R’s designed the spaces with an aspirational DIY look/feel to illustrate how quick and easy personalizing your dorm can be with the help of Amazon/Amazon Lockers. They incorporated a reflective die-cut vinyl sign for photo-ops and participants can sit on the bed, use their camera flash and get that ‘pop’ on the sign to upload to social channels with #dormcorelife.  A cheap, easy and effective solution to create a fun and unique IG-worthy backdrop.

E & R also created web content with an associated retail site where consumers can purchase from their Amazon Fire tablet or other mobile device immediately on-site at the pop-ups.  From the Amazon app camera button, scan the attached Smile code to see the site.  Scroll to the bottom to see partial time-lapse footage of their install of the dorm set for the website shoot


Oh YEAAAAAAH ! Groove Jones + Slim Jim Storm Comic-Con with The Macho Man

The legend of the Randy “Macho Man” Savage continues. Mattel, WWE, and Conagra are celebrating Savage’s time as a spokesperson for the Slim Jim brand and their memorable television commercials with a new action figure that is being released at Comic-Con San Diego.

Groove Jones was brought on board by the agency help them with the launch of this momentous, retro nostalgia event by creating a digital camera experience which turns fans into Randy “Macho Man” Savage!