We've been partnering with a super talented agency out of Wyoming called Warehouse 21. Headquartered in Cheyenne, it's refreshing to work with a team of creatives across the state line. One of their large clients is the Wyoming Department of Health, and WH21 wanted us to take their scripts, and find a Director who would "elevate the creative" overall.
Pre-production & Planning
We were hired to produce two commercial spots, 3 radio ads with the same voiceover as the TV commercials, and a kit of still photographs from our shoot for print. Although our focus is video production, in a case like this, when we're organizing such a large film shoot and managing all talent, locations, and crew, it makes sense to have us deliver the other media assets as well if the client wants a consistent look and feel to the campaign.
Jordan Dean, creative director at WH21, is always great about giving my team simple yet concise direction, but then allowing my team the creative freedom to make our own decisions in line with that creative umbrella. Jordan wanted us to cast "real looking people" so that our viewers could relate with the folks in screen. The more weathered and full of character or on screen talent could be, the better.
We brought in Image Brew Director Marshall Burnette to guide our casting and shoot days. With a focus on “blue-collar storytelling”, Marshall creates films that build trust and respect between brands and their customers. He was the perfect fit.
We shot both of our commercial spots over two days, with a crew of 14, all in Colorado. Our budget wouldn't allow filming in Wyoming, so one of our creativity location tasks was to find locations in Colorado that could represent Wyoming. I think the locations we ended up securing were a huge part of the productions success.
We shot the spots on an Arri Alexa Mini, a camera that's extremely powerful for cinematic looks, yet while small enough to allow for quicker setups and company moves. This was Marshall's request, and the end result is in large part due to this powerful camera's capabilities, like recording in 4K ProRes.
Interesting Fact: The gas station scene in "Empathy" (video in next section of story) required us to use a gas station 2 hours east of Denver. They would only allow our crew to film when they were closed to the public, so we shot at the gas station from 10PM - 4AM, requiring our crew and talent to make a sleepy drive home back to Denver that morning. Mission accomplished safely!
Marshall was able to crank out a Director's cut within a few days of the shoot, a cut that everyone liked right off the bat. I think there's a huge "value" secret here, one that many of our clients don't take us up on: Let the Director lock themselves in an edit suite for 24 hours and see what they come up with. Even if they cut the spots different from the script, they know best what happened on set, where the gem performances are, or if there may be a different way to tell the story now that the filming is over. There's a lot you can't anticipate early on when writing, and the Director knows best come the edit, which is the most direct oath to storytelling success.
We featured "Empowerment at the top of this post, here is the second spot, titled "Empathy":
Results & Client Feedback
The fact that we produced 3 of these videos really gave the social followers of Einstein's something to look out for, watch, and share if they previously enjoyed one of the others. Each of the three spots has averaged 1.7 Million views on Youtube alone, and was called Einstein's most successful video campaign to date.
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