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Go Behind The Scenes Of The Richard Dawkins Internet Meme Show At The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase

Professor Richard Dawkins, an EWI, and a whole bunch of insane visuals came together for an epic moment of WTFness.

A few days ago the video for the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase 2013 hit the internet and was met by a collective "WTF!?", as biologist (and father of the word meme) Professor Richard Dawkins gave a speech explaining memetics, which exploded into psychedelic internet madness—featuring footage of an owl lasering the disembodied head of the famed evolutionary biologist, and ending with him playing an EWI, an electric wind instrument, live on stage. The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase "Just for Hits" live show happened on Thursday 20th June at the 60th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.


The video features the theatrical show for the annual Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase—which traditionally opens the event and precedes the show reel of directors showcasing some of the best new directing talent, selected by Saatchi & Saatchi’s Worldwide Creative Board. The spectacular introduction was conceptualised for a third year by independent creative directors Jonathan Santana and Xander Smith.

"Just For Hits", the theme of the live show, explored the cultural impact the internet has had on how we create and share, and the creativity of the hive mind in full throttle, auto-tuned, audiovisual overload. The hallucinatory visuals that assault your senses were directed by Marshmallow Laser Feast—Memo Akten, Robin McNicholas, and Barney Steel—with music by composer Finn McNicholas and musician Tim Exile. You can buy the track featured in the showcase, "Memes & Genes", as a digital download with all proceeds going to WildAid.

The mind-blowing visuals were designed and animated by James Francis of Merchants and Sons, and Mark Warrington, under the direction of Marshmallow Laser Feast. The logo and typography were designed by Laurent Fetis and Sarah Martinon.

It was Marshmallow Laser Feast's third time directing the show, following on from last year's strangely moving quadcopter light show, and it was produced by Juliette Larthe from Prettybird. "The purpose of the theatrical element for the Saatchi & Saatchi NDS is to bring in the new directors reel with a bang," notes MLF's Robin McNicholas in the behind the scenes video above. "We saw that the internet is such an integral part of our working life, as a result we thought we'd celebrate the internet meme—a weird evolution of what Professor Richard Dawkins wrote about back in 1976."


Once Professor Richard Dawkins was on board they started to develop the concept and also, crucially, convince him to play an EWI. "We wanted to take that serious lecture and completely mash it up, internet style." Says MLF’s Memo Akten. Watch the behind the scenes above, filmed by Sandra Ciampone in Cannes and London, and watch the performance below—but mind your eyes. A film of the live show and reel can be seen [here](http://

And check out our documentary on Marshmallow Laser Feast below…