Toronto’s Teehan+Lax have landed among a very exclusive set of companies at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Out of 270 entries from more than 40 countries, the agency’s Google Street View Hyperlapse project was one of only 25 shortlisted entries in the inaugural Innovation Lions competition.
It was Canada’s only entry on the shortlist.
The project – which consists of a website, video and open-sourced software – gives users the opportunity to create movies using hyper-lapse photography and Google Street View. While time-lapse photography shows the passing of time with the camera lens on a fixed object, hyper-lapse uses a moving camera, giving the impression of smooth glides or massive speed in addition to the rapid passing of time.
Jon Lax, founding partner at Teehan+Lax, said the Cannes nomination is exciting, particularly because it acknowledges the type of pioneering, inventive work his firm strives to create.
“It’s even more special because it’s the first year this category has been run. No one understands what the jury will be looking for. To be recognized for broader-based innovation is great because it’s closer to who we are as a company.”
Google Street View Hyperlapse was the brainchild of Jonas Naimark, a Teehan+Lax motion designer who wanted to create hyper-lapse videos with the assistance of available data sets and emerging technology. After three-months of developing the software and consulting with Google – which is not officially involved in the project – the agency posted a simplified online version that does not require any technical knowledge on the part of users.
However, the company also made a more powerful version available as an open-source download, mainly for developers and advanced users. All the source code can be found at Github, enabling developers to play with higher frame rates, better image quality, and more complicated camera movements.
Google Street View Hyperlapse launched on April 9, and has received media attention from The New York Times and numerous tech sites and blogs.
Teehan+Lax is competing against a roster of international agencies that have been judged by a 10-member jury led by David Droga, founder of Droga5.
Among the 15 countries on the shortlist, the U.S. and United Kingdom lead the field with four nods each. Brazil has three while Poland and Japan both have two apiece.