Musician playing an instrument while being photographed.
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RICHARD KEENAN

12 May 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE OFM BRAND SHOOT

Brand is perception: an intangible concept, a set of beliefs that identify an organisation, product or individual.

Brand communicates personality, a set of values, the mission and vision. Logo, tag line, tone of voice, colour and typographic choices are identifiers that together form the brand’s identity.

The aim of any company, especially a startup in a cutting-edge space like Web3, is to create a brand identity that sets them apart from the competition. At Ocean Floor Music we believe that communicating our brand message in a compelling, authentic way to our community is what sets us apart: helping artists to understand and create value in Web3.

Communicating authentically and relatably is particularly important in a crypto market dominated by tech-heavy branding that can often feel cold and esoteric. If our mission is to help artists create music in this new space our brand identity needs to reflect that.

So what does creativity look like? The creative process is a little harder to explain than branding. Often instinctive, it relies on imagination, vulnerability, experience, patience, craft, technical ability, improvisation. Oh, and a large serving of bravery. These are prerequisites, must-have qualities to get the job done, but not the focus we’re looking to visualise. The results of that creative process are the qualities our branding and design team felt should represent the Ocean Floor Music brand: beauty, tension, harmony, discord, vibrancy, colour, texture, movement, energy, power, joy.

Ocean Floor Music shoot detail


So how do you go about visualising these emotive qualities? Yesterday the Ocean Floor Music team headed down to Chris Huzzard Studios in East Perth to do just that.

Ocean Floor Music’s Richard Keenan (Head of Design) gave local image-maker Austy Durnin the creative brief to photograph artists in the process of creating music, capturing the qualities mentioned above. There was a caveat - we didn’t want any of the artists to be identifiable as this would shift the focus away from creativity on to identity. Austy had the answer: a photographic technique he had previously used with local band Racka Chachi where in-camera motion blur combines with strong coloured, directional lighting on the subjects.

Austy explains: “On the shoot we used high contrast RGB lights with a slow shutter speed to give the images lots of movement and energy. This style of shooting is really fun as I feel it has a certain futuristic look you can’t quite put your finger on.”

So who would form the talent base for the shoot? As our community is our top priority, it was only natural to call up local musicians and creators to feature in our first brand shoot. A diverse range of talent, looks and music styles were represented. Eight musos, ranging from drummer, to rapper, saxophonist to DJ came down to the studio and brought the tools of their trade to feature in the final images: drums, drumsticks, congas, tambourines, microphones, headphones, decks, saxophones, flutes - even a VR headset. Colour gels and fluro lights in the Ocean Floor Music brand palette gave each artist a different, distinctive look.

Our photographer Austy found working with real musicians vital:

”Using musicians was super important for the shoot as it needed to have that same feeling and energy as a live music show. Everyone was amazing to work with. They all brought such expert insight and lifted the creative process up to feel hugely collaborative.”


The studio was indeed buzzing with creativity and energy as our artists showcased their talents on set. Bassist and guitarist Dennis Kooji, of bands Racka Chachi and Witchy Djypsies, was surprised and energised: “The shoot was really fun. The Ocean Floor Music team was very welcoming and the set was super relaxed but upbeat. The vibe felt really authentic as we were all musicians doing the shoot. I know the photographer too which made it feel natural and relaxed.”

On Ocean Floor Music’s mission Dennis wanted to know more:

“It (Ocean Floor Music) sounds like something I want to be a part of. Very exciting. I’d like assistance in getting started. I don’t know anything about the Web3 space and would like some education from Ocean Floor Music.”

DJ and decks at OFM shoot

Singer-songwriter and saxophonist Alannah Chapman was also impressed with the experience: “It was a different, fun way to do a shoot. I had a great time.” On Ocean Floor Music: “It’s a unique, different, exciting angle on the music funding space. Ocean Floor Music seems different to what everyone else is doing. I’m really keen to learn more.”

Austy agreed with Dennis and Alannah: “OFM is really exciting for me as a creator. I think it’s going to really change the way we go about this hugely important side of the music industry. Being able to come to artists with a plan on how we can raise funds for shoots instead of having to pull it out of their own pockets is exciting and will change the game completely.”

Hank Gidney, Head of Brand at Ocean Floor Music, expands on how the photoshoot marked a new phase in the brand evolution of Ocean Floor Music:

“Ocean Floor Music encapsulates possibilities and better outcomes for the music industry and its supporters. The brand creates energy and exudes positivity and at its core will educate and nurture creatives to realise alternate revenues outside of current conventional models: essentially how to understand, navigate and create value in Web3.

He continues: "The OFM brand shoot brought all of these elements together: energy, vitality; a sense of fun and togetherness; colour and movement; the blurring of boundaries; the passion, freedom and power of creation.

Each artist was encouraged to be in their moment, to be free to feel the energy and to express themselves. This alignment of artists and Ocean Floor Music generated the emotive space that creates the environment that our business is building: energy, vitality and possibility.

We aim to break long held traditions that have hindered and withheld potential and open doors to new horizons. The shoot was the culmination of all of these: freedom, passion and vibrancy. Each musician expressed themselves in the moment which we gratefully captured and have woven into our new brand ethic. You’ll see the new hero imagery soon on our refreshed website.”

The perceptions of Ocean Floor Music held by the musicians and creatives that collaborated with us yesterday are positive indeed.

Brand is perception, and our brand is looking good.