TEG/Bearfight + Sehsucht: Tetley “Red”


The Ebeling Group has expanded its family with the addition of London-based Bearfight, a collective headed up by Christopher Hewitt (formerly DSTRUKT).

To herald their arrival, Bearfight and TEG have released “Red,” a lyrical spot for Tetley Tea and agency John St./Toronto. The spot was co-directed by Hamburg studio Sehsucht, whose technical prowess helped achieve the breathtaking inky simulations that drive the project. The concept’s a bit well-worn, but the execution alone is worth celebrating.

UPDATE: After doing a bit of research, I’ve learned that Bearfight didn’t exist at the time of the spot’s production. Chris Hewitt did indeed work on the spot while at Sehsucht—just not under the name of Bearfight.


About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



nicely done. weren’t the boards for this posted on this site a few days ago? i thought i remember seeing them on someone’s site.


Yeah it was on briangossett.com. From the quickies section, hrmmmmm.


thats it. interesting that brian lists it as an unused design for stardust.

anyone have any more info on this?


If I were a betting man, it would seem Brian did some boards for Stardust who pitched on the job… Not very uncommon. Spot is cool, human face kinda throws me though.


I understand several companies doing boards, and pitching on the job. I don’t understand that Brian did these boards for Stardust and in turn the job was produced by another motion design company. The only explanation would be that the agency/client, bought the rights to the original boards created by Brian, from Stardust, and had them produced elsewhere. Until someone that was involved in this chimes in, this is only pure speculation.


Just wanted to step in and let people know that we’re trying to figure out the full story. Things are not always as simple as they seem. :-)


Here’s the deal, guys.
This spot, Brian’s boards, hell everyone who pitched on the job’s boards probably looked exactly like the boards the agency created and sent out to these companies to pitch on.

if Brian was the Creative Director and was on the phone with the agency and saw the entire Agency Boards/Brief, he would have seen that not only were the boards very much the end result, but the spot they referenced as what they wanted, was Created by Bearfight and Sehsucht 2 years ago.

so, anyone else whom might have copied the agency’s boards AND ripped off the inspiration spot, would have actually been stealing from Bearfight and Sehsucht.

however, of course, liquids forming beautiful shapes has been done plenty, by planty and in plenty of ways, so if we want to get technical let’s credit the bloke who did it first in 1979 or whateverthefuck and admit we all ripped HIM off.

that’s the full story.

Marc B.

Here’s a wise advice of the year from Marc B. the third.

If you don’t want your stuff to look like everybody else’s just stop using fluid ink, painterly drips and fluid particles and simulations. Those things tend to look the same before it’s even dry. And you’re surprised the end result is identical to Stardust’s boards?

And obviously I’m aware that this concept must have been the idea of the agency. Remember most agency creatives do not much else than look at other ads and want the same idea applied to their own ads. Why they needed Beerfight and didn’t go straight up to Sesucht is a mystery to me. Especially since we have seen their blood version for that concert event up here a while ago which looks pretty much the same except without this ugly tea shot and camera zoom at the beginning and end.

Cheers heaps I’m out again!


if a mographer farts someone will spot that stuff up on motionographer!
“hey, did you..”

im curious about this.


btw its DSTRUKT….formerly known as…

Charles Lee

Here’s the story.

I was in the room next to Chris while he was doing these boards.

The reason they look similar is a simple coincidence….. Just think…if you were asked to do a pitch for Teatly, from John St./Toronto. The pitch was they wanted it to be about Africa formed from Tea which is steeped in a mug(obviously a bit more indepth). I’m pretty sure that anyone that pitched on this job would have the same color palette, the tea color….and would have an Elephant.

The reason why Chris and Sehsucht were picked was because: a.) If you look at Brian’s beautiful boards…. the liquid still isn’t flowing enough, a lot looks a bit skeleton and just not quite up to par of the actual look of the commercial. Which also was what Chris was struggling with when he was doing the boards, but he managed to figure out how to make it look softer and more fluid…..especially on the Animals and Girl. And b.) Reference for this pitch by the agency was Sehsucht’s Symphony in Red…..which i’m sure we all remember. So that in itself gave Chris and Sehsucht a huge upper hand for the project.

I’m not dissing Brian’s work at all, its beautiful, but I’ve seen both sets of boards and I can say that Brian didn’t quite get the fluid right and Chris’ did.

I think Pysop pitched on this too…would be interesting to hear from the guys there and have a look at the boards they did…. I bet they’d be along the same lines.


Hey Charles,
Thanks for clearing everything up. In haste I posted a comment that I realized was too quick to judge. I have huge respect for Chris and know that there is a reason he and Sesucht won the job.

Yes, I do recall the agency referencing Symphony in Red. I thought a way to take the ink drop to the next level was to create photographic images from them. I hadn’t seen it yet and thought it’d be an interesting way to resolve their concept. Just days after I finished the boards, Mate’s piece for Psyop was posted here and I thought “Oh great, someone beat me to it!” That was an awesome piece that they did.

I think it’s just a matter of coincidence and a somewhat direct brief. Great job on the animation though Chris. I wish all the best to you and your new venture with Bearfight.


I think props to the guys for pulling this off. I think the piece works well, I’m not so sure about the human face, but other than that it has a really nice fluid feel to it and is pretty successful.

For what it’s worth Bartle Bogle Hegarty used Aardman and a similar technique back in 2005 (?) for a campaign for Robinsons Fruit & Squash.


well, there you go.


Thanks for clearing this up. I guess it just goes to show with specific direction from the client, designers can come up with like minded solutions. I didn’t mean to raise any eyebrows with my comments, I was just interested in how two different people came up with very similar results. You guys both did great work on this, and it is an outstanding piece of animation.


“Christopher James Hewitt the Third, formerly known as Dstrukt”

good lord praise the man, its been all ink for him in the past year, just try to find out how many of his SOLO spots in the previous year had been INK-FREE lets all glorify his holiness for being so talented and humble. oh yeah, Humble, thats him right?

There’s already a new religion called Dstruktism which is made of fresh grads who create these distorted jump cuts and put the legendary ben lukas boysen as a soundtrack now somebody needs to give the message to these young folks that is a cliche and its about time they start moving on to ink splats.

Praise the lord, Praise Christopher. May he shed his talent on all of us.


Don’t feed the troll.

Simon Robson

I have a feeling ‘asimpleotherdude’ could well be MarcB…Justin?


I have a feeling you’re right, Simon…

Marc B.

Not true.


I enjoyed the spot for what it was (except for the end, but we know how that works). It was well executed and on-point.

I enjoyed the discussion even more. Its interesting how these things work behind the scenes. Even asimpleotherdude added a nice bitter/cynical/jealous angle to the mix. Part of this complete breakfast!


hey simpledude,
i half agree about the overused ink bit, the only thing is, typically people use the readymade ink footage as a cop-out from having to create actual *motion design*. Except here Chris Hewitt and co. managed to take something THE AGENCY came up with and still manage to make it fresh and unique(aka no canned ink, but all smoothly manipulated CG.) Just don’t hate too hard on the guys who are makin the good stuff. ( Do you blame Nirvana for Puddle of Mudd?)


You guys are right, a bit too cynical and jealous perhaps, Chris Hewitt is definitely a talent , I love his work and I can only assume the bottom part of his palm hurts like hell from using that wacom tablet.

But, if we were to compare with music then :) Nirvana in this case would be Blind with Gnarls Barkley’s and Chris would be Puddle of mudd.

I personally would’ve chosen Prince for that metaphor (who is the only musician I can think of changed his alias over from Prince to a Symbol and then, The Artist)

“Christopher James Hewitt formerly known as Dstrukt” is completely unnecessary as far as I’m concerned and I’m sure all you people out there who come into motionographer once a while could’ve realized who this is without the “Formerly known part”

it’s just that sometimes Motionographer feels like its got a Public Relations
department from within, next thing you know they’ll be Paparazzi shots of motionographers seminude in the Carribeans with their beer belly in focus.


In Motionographer’s defense, not everyone knows that Christopher Hewitt and Dstrukt are the same thing. Not everyone comes to Motionographer every day. In fact, sadly, most people do not.


Simon Robson

> next thing you know they’ll be Paparazzi shots of motionographers seminude in the Carribeans with their beer belly in focus

Can we organise this Justin? I for one am pale as hell from the British winter (And decimated pound sterling) and could do with a few UVs…


Hahaha, jeez…

asimpleotherdude, this is a blog for all of those interested in mograph, filmmaking, animation etc, and that includes people who work in the bizz and those who don’t.
Not everyone knows Dstrukt / Chris Hewitt, let alone that they are the same person, so a little bit of extra information is always helpful.

Remember this is also a journalistic site, write ups are a big part of it. If you’re more interested in only watching the work, perhaps you should try other sources.



will someone start a Motionographer fight club

studios v’s studios

individuals v’s individuals

just a thought


I’ll met you all at the bike racks. 3pm.

No weapons. Just fists of cold, hard rage.

Simon Robson

Ruffmercy, I love this idea. No one would DARE pitch against the badass studios. Let’s Go!


everyone’s work looks the same lately.


Bah! Chris, dude, people have been saying that shit since the dawn of visual culture. It’s might be true; it might not. A comment like that points less to a fact in the actual world and more to an internal state of the commenter.

You know I love you, so I’m saying this with the kindest intentions, mate.


“people have been saying that shit since the dawn of visual culture.”

come on, this isn’t culture.



haha i was just kidding, i wanted to see if i could get 26 more comments going – this was a heated comment battle.


But in a historical sense of things. Didn’t Monet’s work look like Renoir’s or Pissaro’s. Or didn’t some of Rauschenberg’s work feel like Jasper John’s. I am not saying we are in the same league as these amazing artists. I am just making the point that we are influenced by our times. Just go to any graphic design portal and look at how so many designers influence each other. The point is moot.

Marc B.



okay, i really was kidding but now i’m kind of interested.

if ad agency’s want an ad to stand out and be memorable/valuable/viral/whatever why wouldn’t they want a concept and visuals that looked nothing like anything currently out there?

if human memory works in a fairly predictable way, why aren’t people who throw around millions of dollars putting a few of those dollars towards picking ideas that stick around in our heads for more than 15 seconds?


Because people are afraid of change. Using something that has a proven formula is easier than trying something completely new, and, to a degree, it provides some form of security.

Not saying that’s the case with this spot, I think the concept works better in this context than other similar ones (beer commercials come to mind). Brian’s boards look great, as does the final spot. I would love to see Chris’ boards, see the difference in the “flow” of the tea and how that helped decide the job.


“why wouldn’t they want a concept and visuals that looked nothing like anything currently out there? ”

Mostly because normal people haven’t seen everything out there. They have lives. Unlike us.



I don’t think it has anything to do with weather or not it looks like anything else out there. That only matters in the world of design types. In the real world the thought process is probably more like “hey cool, they made an elephant out of tea swirls!”.


nice spot, story and discussion! i’d would love to see Chris Hewitt boards and Psyop’s! that would the suppa dupa “grand finalle”!


a.) Hey how about this; leave the forum open to anyone, but anyone who wants to throw out hard criticism or just hate either has to pass an IQ test or post a DIRECT link to their reel (glass houses right?). i’m looking at you Martz and SImple dude.
b.) Justin, ingore the comments about posting Hewitts full name because I think its a good idea; motion graphics is growing up. Alot of people who used to have alias are now going by their names( I noticed Mr. Mate now using his name as his website now.)
c. just to actually add something to the original point and help clarify, i actually saw the written treatment for Tetley and it was a step for step highly detailed telling of the narrative only super finite details could be called out as a ripping off and still thats a little absurd.

Marc B.

Justin should’ve just posted this one into the quickies where it belongs IMHO and put the Durex ad in the main section.


I have to say COME ON.

look at the boards of Brian Gossett, is it really a coincidence? Symphony of red has a diffrent color palette !

If Chris Hewitt’s boards existed I say they would’ve been out by now already to prove the point? but instead you have a good friend of chris (Charles Lee) coming and telling us how stupid we are for thinking he used Gossett’s board, smart move, it sounds much more reliable coming from someone who claims of being in the room next to him… rather than himself.

And then he mentions about how fluid is the liquid at chris boards that Brian hadn’t nailed it right, which is obviously the worst excuse I ever heard.

But please, coincidence? The Tree? The Elephant? The Woman?
Good minds do think alike , but this is identical. and I can’t really see how Brian gosset’s flow of liquid is less good.

Are you all buying this theory?


You obviously know VERY little about how the industry works, particularly in ad world.


Hey Guys, I think its time i try clear some things up. I find it incredible that people honestly think that because Brian released his boards for the Tetley pitch before the actual spot came out that we therefore ripped his visuals. There was a process involved here… the Agency John St gave us a specific narrative for the piece i.e we want to see the African planes, then some elephants, then a traditional african woman etc etc and so on all made from steeping tea. This is why Brian’s boards (which are beautiful by the way) look like the spot. It was a set structure devised by the agency, it was our job to then stylize and Direct. Im not going to release our pitch documents online, I shouldnt have to.


wow. didn’t mean to start all this. i was just curious…


Yeah, I wasn’t trying to stoke the fires, just curious about how one idea won out over the other. I think the ones that criticize don’t understand how it is working with an agency. They have a script and visuals they want, and like Chris said, you “stylize and direct” it. Being a purist doesn’t work in the ad world.


I think that anyone who’s familiar with the pitch process knows that this happens all the time. What’s scary is that now agencies get away with pitching 4, 5, even 6 companies against each other (can’t we all collectively put a stop to this?). As successful designer’s sites become more of a point of interest in this forum and others, trust me, this will come up again. I’m amazed by the need of some people to shout plagiarism. Anyone who’s ever pitched a job, lost it, and then seen the final product on air should know what happened here without Brian and Chris coming on here and defending themselves.


i think that for the majority of the people who have commented this thread, once Charles Lee (i will separate this in 2 parts before and after Charles Lee) told the story everything got cleared up, people (at least my self) showed interest in seeing the boards that were made (chris and psyop), because we do like to see boards! and having the oportunity to see diferent versions of the pitch would be really nice! Now, before Charles Lee there was an issue that i beliefe needed to be clarifyed because we are talking about a top job, that involved top creative people.


FYI AFAIK PSYOP didn’t pitch on this. aaaah acronyms…


well i’ve read it on a comment..my bad if thats not true!


Why so few stars? I’m new to motionographer (although I’ve been lurking for a year). What are we judging the ad on? The marketing concept? This is not “ads of the world”, shouldn’t we be looking at the motion graphic technique and its… beauty?

I have done few ad campaigns and to be honest whenever I’m doing a TVC, I never could come up with an excuse to use extensive motion graphic in the ad. Like that Guiness beer ad, how do you think they come up with the concept in the meeting room? (I actually don’t know, may be some of you may know and can enlighten me.) “We are going to talk about a dot, and then we are going to have bunch of cool motion graphic, and it will sell?” No way that will fly with the clients, unless they want to take risk. And those things happened long before the work even get into the hand of the motion designer, so I don’t think it can ever really be their fault.

I don’t think these ad should be punished because you think they won’t sell. We should applaud the clients for taking risk, and judge the work based on the aesthetic. That’s my opinion anyway.

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