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Behind-The-Scenes: True Life Retreat 4.0

The image below is of a construction of several hundreds of individual matchsticks painstakingly glued together to form 3D lettering.
True Life Retreat Pursuing Passion Matchstick Lettering

And the featured video is when we set it on fire. 🔥🔥🔥

But first— let’s rewind.

True Life Retreat: pre-game

Making this matchstick masterpiece is only a small part of my involvement as the Marketing Creative for the True Life Retreat, but it’s also by far the highlight for me!

Since the theme for this year was “Pursuing Passion”, my team and I decided upon the matchstick as the central element. The idea is that a person is meant to blaze with passion in life… but that one can also burn out pretty quickly if not lit or sustained by a great call or purpose.

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We spent at least 12 hours straight in execution: ordering a hundred matchboxes, glueing the matchsticks together (Tip: always stick to the glue gun. ALWAYS!) and taking photos from different angles. To be honest I also just about died when it came to cleaning up the final image—full of flaws— on Photoshop the next morning. My perfectionist side was writhing… but you gotta work with what you have so far.

Matchbox press kits

Fast forward to making the press kits! We used all the empty matchboxes to put little calling cards in with a matchstick wedged in between. Oh, and that strip on top isn’t real sandpaper but I got ya fooled, didn’t I? ;D

True Life Retreat
True Life Retreat


Such a nice, soft, and feminine hand…….. except it doesn’t belong to a female. HAHA! Somebody hire Mike Blas Yap for his amazing hand modeling!  👏
True Life Retreat


Here are logo studies I made for the merchandise. We eventually chose #3 for the shirt, and #8 for the tote bag.
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Behind-The-Scenes: setting our matchstick masterpiece on fire

Just being arsonists, lol. Watch the video below:

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Don’t try it at home, kids!

Video Credits:
Shot with iPhone 6 and Nikon D90
Edited by Jeff Fernandez
Music: “O Sweet Child” by Jesiah

Shout-out to the Marketing & Creatives team:
Michael Blas Yap, Phoebe Tarroja, Shek Bangsil, Jeff Fernandez, and Marco Lazaro.

Special thanks to: Sammy Magsino (for filming the BTS), Mic Narra, Weesa Ang, and Arjay Bautista for assisting us that evening in the balcony of A.Venue Mall!

View more posts on Friday Night Light

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Hannah is a visual creative and aspiring digital nomad based in Manila. When she's not pushing pixels, she can be found cuddling with her cat, chilling in cafés, or finding her next flight out. She enjoys tea lattes and making alliterations.

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