MATTHEW MICHAUD

BEVERAGE: Bacardi [Intro]

Bacardi's Take the Stage project is a movement. A raw, uncontrived, passionate celebration of talent.

True artists - the ones with mad skills and hustle - will finally break free from their chains and seize the moment that's been right in front of them all along. We will be there to capture it.

It'd be easy for us to create another glossy liquor spot with bunch of aspirational 20/30 somethings who make life look effortlessly cool. To hell with that. Your idea screams of authenticity. So let's go deep. Let's get real. Find the soul at the core of this idea and tap into it. This particular audience has a huuuuuge bullshit detector, and they want to see a bona fide life experience on their screens.

These are genuinely amazing moments in time where deserving artists blow us away from unexpected stages. Let's knock over our audience. Not only with talent, but with the audacity - the cojones - that it takes to put it all on the line.

In doing so, we will inspire every single person that watches these videos to get out there and take the stages in their own lives. It's a call to action. A gritty and authentic optimism that 100% belongs to Bacardi.














CARS: Porsche [Intro]

The 911's little bro isn't so little anymore. He's all grown up and turned into one hell of a beast.

MEET THE CAYMAN GT4.

A roguish monster, steeped in horsepower and Porsche heritage. Raised in the twisting Hades known as the Nürburgring, this car doesn't much care if he wakes the neighbors. He's a badass with something to prove, and you probably don't want to piss him off.

To introduce the GT4 you've crafted a very interesting concept. The graffiti is a powerful metaphor for the vehicle's rebellious image and Green Hell birthright. It'll resonate deeply with Porsche-philes and cause respectable Merc and Bimmer owners to blush.
SPORTS: Major League Baseball [Intro]

Like they say in Moneyball, "It's Hard Not To Be Romantic About Baseball" and I'm excited this film shows that side of the game. Growing up in the Midwest, baseball had a significance that, for me, made it more than a sport. After all, this was the land of "Field of Dreams." There was some deeper meaning wrapped up in the game, something American, something about family. We certainly had our "Where were you when..." moments. For me it was Ozzie Smith's last game, in the '96 NLCS. I grew up a Cardinals fan and Ozzie was an icon. Last games are always so touching.

So I understand the meaningfulness of this spot. The nostalgia, the atmosphere, the momentousness. The way a single swing of the bat can bond a family closer together, or make strangers feel like they've known each other their whole lives. When watching significant sports events in public places, something special happens because you stop seeing others as strangers that are potentially dangerous and they become like your close friends and family. It's a shared experience. That's something I'll make sure to capture.

This is a powerful story that will connect with fans. A unique, emotional approach that will stand out from the platitudes of traditional baseball advertising. And a fitting way to usher in the MLB Playoffs.
















TECHNOLOGY: AT&T [Look & Feel]

In a word: dirty! Don't let that scare you, it just means this won't be an overproduced Hollywood style car chase through the streets. I want this film to be more immediate, more visceral, more in touch with youth culture and... well, more like life, really. Still exciting and beautiful and even a bit sublime. But... real.

Influences range from the Nouvelle Vague ("Masculin Feminin" was the original "millennial content") to "Blue Valentine" (so real) to Paul Greengrass (maybe a few less crashes) to "Blue Is the Warmest Color" (maybe a little less sex). In these kinds of films you see life unfolding with the camera simply lucky enough to be there to capture it.

The whole idea of this project is "the chase"... the chase of the phone, the chase of the camera after the characters... sometimes we catch them and sometimes we don't.

I think the nighttime should be a character as well. Miami in particular has a very specific looking night. It has to do with the humidity, the reflections on the clouds, the pastel and neon, the abundance of water... even in the areas off the beaten path, there is a distinct nighttime look.

We'll go handheld for most of the film. Available light wherever possible. Lots of grit and texture in the art direction, though all occurring naturally. It's cool, moody, urban, down and dirty.










NON-PROFIT: This Free Life [Look & Feel]

These films are a beautiful, raw celebration of the way LGBT youths are growing and blossoming, in spite of those that would deny that. And that includes the tobacco industry, those powerful suits who stand in the way of the LGBT journey to true freedom.

Each film is an intimate portrait of a sacred ritual. In great detail we observe as these youths decorate their jackets with Pride pins and patches, metaphorically reclaiming these words as they express the unvarnished truth of their identity. It's an act of freedom.

These LGBT youths are brave enough to bare their soul to us, to stand proudly in front of the camera and reveal who they are. Let's honour them with a beautiful and authentic portrait that captures their true freedom.







STORE: Walmart [Approach/Holiday]

My approach is to capture these stories in an elegant, fluid way so they seem alive with a hint of holiday magic. At the same time though, it should never feel forced, or staged for the camera. This is real winter wonder that's happening spontaneously, and we were just lucky enough to be there to capture it.

Cinematically I'd like this to have the elegance of British holiday comedies such as Love Actually. Both in the visuals and the character. They continuously mix touching moments with levity. And the visuals are always picturesque in a way that makes it feel like a heightened reality of the perfect holiday season.

It's a lovely whisper of seasonal cheer that's sure to warm hearts.

















DOCUMENTARY: Dove [Approach]

Keep in mind that even though these stories are true, we still need to find that narrative foundation and refine it.

Of course we will allow things to develop organically and be reactive, as a documentary crew always does. But since we do not have the luxury of spending weeks or months with our subjects, we will need to create a frame for their stories and then capture the moments that best fill it in.

So, we'll be interviewing these men ahead of time about their stories. Fact-finding. Asking their relationship with fatherhood, about their jobs, their families, their passions, their hobbies, the joys and challenges of having children, the expectation vs. reality of being a dad, and really drilling down on the ways they are redefining traditional masculine roles by taking paternity leave.

Based on this information we'll put together a mini treatment for each of our talent. It's really a map to give you a sense of the overall arc of the story and to tell you what "scenes" we'll be capturing.

So even though this campaign is very much a documentary, both agency and client will still have the chance to approve our shooting plan ahead of time, and we will have a very strong sense of what the final product will look like.








CONSUMER PRODUCTS: ADT [Look & Feel]

To help revamp ADT's style I will create a fresh, contemporary look that defines the modern household.

"Cinematic realism" is the phrase that comes to mind. Beautiful, but natural. We'll celebrate the gorgeousness of everyday life without the film ever becoming too slick or polished.

I'd go gently handheld... not shaky mind you, but just a touch of organic movement to the frame to make it feel like we're witnessing the scene from a real person's point of view.

Beautiful natural light will be a big part of this look. Our locations will include plenty of windows so we can really welcome the sun. We'll create nice open, airy frames.

These are not isolated vignettes that we set up for the benefit of the camera. They are glimpses of real life. The moments in between. With each cut it will seem as if we've been dropped into the middle of things, catching this family in the midst of their real lives.


















SPORTS: Dick's Sporting Goods [Cinematography]

Let's take a bold step away from the typically glossy and overlit world of advertising. This spot will have a striking look and feel. It's visceral. Gritty. Dynamic. Fearless. We're not afraid for the camera to shake. We're not afraid of shadows. We're not afraid of sweat. We will embrace the intensity of these athletes so that the viewer really, really feels it.

The camera will be handheld. At times observational, stepping back to find these moments from some distance, as if we'd just stumbled upon them. At times more immersive, right up in our athlete's faces, capturing the ferocity.

We are aiming for high energy. Let's find rhythm in these sports. We can cut rapidly. Not every shot needs to be the same length; let's avoid predictability. Bits of texture can help us transition between scenes - a boxing glove ripping into a speed bag, crosscut with shoes squeaking across the basketball court.

From beginning to end, an intense and visceral fearlessness will define the film.















CARS: Porsche [Look & Feel]

MAKE NO MISTAKE - the Cayman GT4 is a raw performance machine, so we'll tell her story with aggressive action footage.

This is a big cinematic thrill ride through the pulse-quickening track at Bilster Berg. The GT4 looks and drives like a racecar, and that's the attitude we'll take with our coverage.

The footage will communicate the visceral nature of the GT4's aggressive performance. It's high intensity. Seeing this demon cut the apex of a turn, swoop straight into the lens, blast by the camera with the needle buried. Feeling the tires claw at the asphalt. The suspension loading and unloading around an aggressive turn. This is no ordinary performance vehicle. It is raw and uncut, and we will present it unflinchingly.

The GT4 will be captured with a high-energy combination of converging, crossing and chasing camera moves that heighten the feeling of speed. The camera will take on an "in your face" approach, at times making the viewers wonder if the car is going to clip the lens, and on more than one occasion, making you blink. Shooting the car in this way will allow us to create a tactile experience of its performance capabilities and maneuverability.

CARS: Jaguar [Story]

My vision of this film is to take a simple narrative - a journey from point A to point B - and imbue it with a complex layer of mood, mystery, and character. Having been in that driver's seat I can tell you that this man's 200 mile nighttime pilgrimage is about cleansing the soul of demons. Shedding the skin of everyday life as you run this gauntlet in search of peace. It's a classic story of man vs. self - a battle between you and what Jung called your shadow aspect.

The Jag roars down the moonlit road with an exhaust note that, while refined, threatens to tear off its suit and bare-knuckle brawl if provoked.

Our driver pushes through the night, racing himself, his inner conflict dramatized as Lynchian hints of the macabre visible outside the car. And eventually he wins, arriving at peace... the dawn at the end of the earth, that universal circadian rhythm resonating inside all of us.


COMEDY: Georgia Lottery [Intro]

YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY. YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY. YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY.

So I'm sitting here in my home shrine, tugging mindfully on my Japa mala beads and meditating on that tagline as I always do when I'm preparing to write a treatment. And this thought occurs to me: how can any sane human justify the opportunity cost of not picking up an Atlanta Falcons scratcher? Yet every single day of every single week of every single year, somebody doesn't buy a ticket and the person behind him in line at the gas station wins a boatload of cash.

That's completely nuts. And so is this campaign.

Overall I see this as super funny, action-packed storytelling that grabs you right at the beginning of the spot and hangs on through the last frame. You've got a soaring black helicopter, the Georgia Dome, a professional football game, a skydiving lottery agent humping hundreds of grand in cash... holy smokes. I want to go big, and once we've done that, go a little bigger. Heighten the fun and energy from beginning to end. Michael Bay-itize it with all the production value and spectacle we can muster. THAT'S how we'll elevate this script into a hilarious and epic story about the monumental error of not buying a damn ticket.

Now back to the mantra. Say it along with me.

YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY. YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T PLAY.





COMEDY: Jack In The Box [Character]

Somewhere out there, where the adventure's high and the food is good, lives a man. But not just any man. To hear some tell it, he's a Che Guvera, uniting the people as he crisscrosses the land on two wheels. Others say he's a John Wayne type; broken a few hearts between here and Amarillo, but he always brings the cows home. I've even heard it said the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson lives on this man... iconoclast, lover of red meat, and the star actor in his life's own movie.

But these are all just rumors. All we really know for sure... his name is Jack. And it's our job to deepen the mythology around this epic character, who is more than just a ping-pong head. Jack owns the night.






COMEDY: Diet Coke [Tone]

If we're looking at this spot strictly in terms of viral potential, I'm not sure we could do better than a Taylor Swift x Kittens collaboration. I think those two things pretty much power the internet.

But this spot is more than just meme fodder. There's a clever idea at work here too. Taylor discovers Diet Coke's amazing potential to amplify her life. And once she taps into that power, she finds it difficult to stop. Luckily the consequences are cute and fluffy: endlessly replicating kittens that fill her living room from wall to wall.

The trick is to take this funny concept and execute it with sophistication. Perhaps that sounds ironic given that we're talking about a pop star drowning in kittens. But I want to lean into the clever, self-aware wit behind the idea. Taylor's smart. She's self-aware. Everything she does is with a wink, and that keeps the humor from becoming too broad.






CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Tide [Super Bowl]

Every year, one spot emerges from the Super Bowl as the clear winner. Tide gets one shot to own the title; to own the attention of 115 million people sitting in their living rooms. Not to mention the Monday morning press and ensuing social media wars.

We have, at our fingertips, the biggest script of the game. A huge, hilarious spot that will be topical like none other before it. If we go for it - and I mean really go for it - we've got the chance to create a spectacle that'll eclipse everything else on TV that night. Beyoncé notwithstanding. If we commit to the scale and timeliness of this spot, I've no doubt we'll make a major splash for Tide. But event advertising is about more than one night.

How do we take something so topical and give it longevity? The key is the same as any other spot: good old-fashioned storytelling with a well-developed character at the center of it. It's easy to get caught up in the massive scope and relevancy of this script, but we've got to remember that ultimately it comes down to a simple story about a man and a miracle. That's the core of the spot, and it's our ticket to ride beyond February 13th.













TECHNOLOGY: Hulu [Casting & Performance]

This film will be most striking if we balance out the highly technological Hulu experience with naturalistic performances. A big part of elevating this project beyond the lifestyle world is casting people who feel genuine and can interact with each other (and with Hulu) in a relatable way.

I want to believe that if I was out on the Santa Monica jogging path on a Sunday morning, I might pass by our character Mike, and I'd know he was a real person with meaningful relationships, and goals for next year, and the same job struggles we all have, and that for whatever reason he likes his steak rare but his bacon burnt, and that no matter how many times he sees it he is still dazzled by how vast and powerful the ocean is.

I want to believe that our hero family actually exists out there somewhere, and that they love each other even if they don't always sit down to eat dinner together every single night, and that raising teens is tough sometimes but even so Mom still occasionally pokes her head in their door at night to watch them sleep, and the kids have hopes and dreams too, and why CAN'T Ben be a professional skateboarder if he wants, and why CAN'T Kaitlyn be a marine biologist who swims with dolphins.











DOCUMENTARY: Sony [Performance]

Coming from a documentary background, I've learned that working with real people is a whole different sport than working with actors. Fundamentally, it's about getting them into their comfort zones. Making them forget about the cameras. Earning their trust so they can deliver the kind of sincere moments that make for compelling film. When the opportunity arises (and we'll make it happen from the production side) we will push the talent out of their comfort zone - breaking through the interview, transcending theatre. It's about finding what's real.

Once we select our hero talent I'd set up a video chat to begin establishing a relationship. This will allow us to carve out the TRUTH of his story, get a sense of who he is and how his day-to-day life will relate to our narrative.

Following the call we will do an in-person sit down on the day of the location scout to give me a chance to get a rapport going with this man. This is a real person who has never been on camera before, and we don't want to meet him for the first time on day one with a full crew and gear and trucks!









CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Tag Heuer [Celebrity]

There is a fine art to working with celebrities in advertising. The rule of thumb is that you treat the celebrity spokesperson with kid gloves, don't make them wait around, and give them a nice trailer. In return, they give you a few usable takes. That's generally the understood exchange.

However this campaign is different. Of course we'll maximize our time with our celebrities and make them feel respected and comfortable. But for this film to succeed, we need more from them than a nice grin to camera. These are personal stories, and I want to tap into the truth of each one.

What is the emotion truly like for a mega soccer star like Neymar Jr, coming home after leaving the place of his birth for something bigger and better? How does Florence of Florence and the Machine transcend the criticisms that seem to follow every musician who tries to become an actor? How does Michael Fassbender reconcile the fact that when he gets behind the wheel of a racecar in his spare time, a split second decision could result in a serious crash on the track, potentially ending his acting career?

I want to tap into the core of the experience these three are going through. Make it true. Let Florence help create the scene she wants to act in. Let Neymar Jr tell us what he does on the bus with his team buddies while in transit to a match. Give Fassbender the opportunity to pick the car he would really be driving around the city at night. Let's look to these guys to bring a measure of truth to these scenes, pushing beyond the role of a traditional celebrity spokesperson.












CARS: Volkswagon [Running Footage]

To give these VWs a more visceral and emotional connection with the audience, we will augment our vehicle stories with a collection of abstract details that might serve as editorial texture.

Tight shots of styling cues. Interplay of light and shadow. Shifting natural sunlight with brief lens flares to create the feeling of spontaneity. The way the lights of a tunnel flow over a curve of the body, as captured by a hood mounted camera. A tight shot of the smoothly turning alloy wheels, the city around us attractively reflected in the shimmering metal.

We see the cars beautifully abstracted in elements of glass, metal, and water. The way the VW's reflection flickers across another car's windshield as it passes. The graceful ripples that break up the reflection of the vehicle in the surface of a fountain. The visual dance that occurs when the VW's image is reflected in the metal of a striking public sculpture.



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