BBC – Journey To The East – Damon Albarn’s Olympic Ad

This was first released a few weeks ago, but better late than never for stuff this good. Here is a BBC commissioned commercial for their Olympic Games coverage set to original music from Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s dramatic remake of the Chinese Legend Journey To The West. As for characters, those of you in the USA may not recognize them but they’re from the cult British TV series Monkey. Named The Journey To The East it shows the animated characters on their quest to “The East” or rather the Olympic stadium.

Damon Albarn, famous for being the creative mastermind behind bands Blur, Gorillaz, The Good The Bad And The Queen and various side-projects, is once again reunited with fellow Gorillaz founder Jamie Hewlett for this 2 minute advertisement. They had both just been involved with a massive stage adaption of the Chinese novel Journey to the West which premiered at the inaugural Manchester International Festival in June of 2007. Called Monkey: Journey To The West, Albarn composed the play’s score, Hewlett designed the costumes, set design and visual concept, and the resulting stage adaption was directed by famous Chinese opera leader Shi-zheng.

RKCR/Y&R was the agency used with Passion Pictures, Red Bee Media and Zombie Flesh Eaters as the production companies (Cara Speller and Deborah Stewart were the Producers). It was directed by Jamie Hewlett.


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