BEVERAGE: Jose Cuervo [Intro]

We’ve all seen amazing CG of the world being destroyed. But we’ve never seen a bar like this.

Here, the apocalypse is something we gradually reveal. It’s a dark-humour conceit. There’s an element of mystery in this bar. We’re taking the viewer on an unpredictable ride. With every sudden story beat, we escalate the tension, the scale, and the absurdity, until at last the inevitable reveal – Armageddon on a Roland Emmerich scale.

The CG will be epic and amazing, but it will be even more amazing if we first tease the shit out of it. And if we first get to know the folk in the bar – bold, irreverent, fearless people who flip the bird to the cruel universe – Cuervo’s message can make a truly resounding impact.

SPORTS: Jordan [Intro]

I get chills reading this script, because the great prophet of basketball is teaching. He speaks to us in parables. As soon as he begins, we’re hooked. We want to know where this is going. We sense a profound revelation lies ahead.

The words of His Airness have meaning-of-life gravity. A primal engine drives our emotions and curiosities toward an inevitable yet unpredictable ending.

And that ending... damn. It’s powerful. Goosebump-inducing. The greatest basketball player of all-time has intimately shared one of his greatest secrets. We see, we feel, we believe. And when we pause and the film returns to forward-moving time, it makes the statement ring loud and clear – winning is a decision.
TRAVEL: JetBlue [Look & Feel]

How does a pigeon see the world?

Well, we know this much – it sees the world in a far crisper, more colorful way than we do. Birds have proportionally more light receptors in the retina than humans, and more nerve connections between the photoreceptors and the brain. And because keen eyesight is essential for safe flight, their view of the world is more dynamic and more hypersensitive. What we might see as a blur, a pigeon sees crystal clear.

I was just paraphrasing Wikipedia, but the above facts reaffirm my gut feeling about this film being quite stylized and visually tantalizing. This is uncharted cinematic territory. No one’s ever explored a pigeon’s daydream.

And so, we’ll avoid dreaming clichés here – the soft diffusion, the magical harp strumming, and so on. Dreams can be fuzzy, but so can the underdeveloped vision of mammals. I see this pigeon’s dream as detailed, sharp, vibrant, epic, and far more connected to the emotional POV of the pigeon. Because, for all intents and purposes, we are the pigeon.
SPORTS: Mercedes-Benz [Tone]

We’re merging the elite worlds of the Masters and luxury automobiles with the edgy, bold nature of golf’s new rock star and his cool new wheels.

Rickie Fowler and his G-Class have a definite “punk” quality to them, especially cast against the stately spaces of Augusta National. But our heroes also have the singular ability to connect the old world with the new – premium luxury infused with laid-back cool. The film gives great respect to tradition, but at the same time doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The tone of Rickie’s voiceover, as he refers to himself in the third person, has this self-assured authority and poise, but also, a self-deprecating levity. That self-aware, if not irreverent tonality, combined with the crooning lounge music you referenced, will create a wonderful juxtaposition with our dramatic visuals to really capture the soul of both Rickie and his ride.
BEVERAGE: Jose Cuervo [Look & Feel]

The town, the bar, the patrons, the light, the sound design, the VFX – everything feels completely real and immediate. This is no dream. This is actually happening.

Editorially, there aren’t too many cuts. Most of the shots are fluid, continuous takes. The camera has a light handheld touch. It documents with realism, never straining to make compositions look sexy. It constantly hits on found angles. It looks into each moment of the nightmare without feeling overly self-consciousness. It’s as nonchalant about the whole thing as the good patrons of the bar. In fact, it probably can’t hurt to think of the camera as a patron, and put it in positions where it feels like an active participant in the story. It feels like a scene from a movie.

Surely Jack Nicholson circa 1978 is somewhere in this crazy bar.

BEVERAGE: Diet Coke [Story]

We open on a pristine blank canvas. Flat space. Zero dimensional perspective. From the lower left corner of the frame fingertips emerge, lustrous and manicured. The lighting – a high key front fashion light – is of great contrast.

Next, the rest of the arm enters – long, slender, strong – and then, the face of the woman. It registers stoic conviction, an enthusiastic yet cool smile. Her heat-seeking eyes are penetrating and locked on a target, like a runner, just steps from the finish line, knowing she’s already won the race – a race she expected to win, because she put in the work.

But what is the finish line here? What is the object of her steadfast purpose, her strident momentum, her wide-eyed desire? We won’t know for at least 10 drama-packed seconds of her gilding through the air. The tension of those 10 seconds is as excruciating as the woman is graceful and strong. Graphic text only supports that suspense, slowly revealed behind the woman as she moves by.

SUPER: Coke. It’s Mine.

Then... we see it. Cast against the white, dimensionless cyclorama, and in contrast to the black & white woman, an elaborately colored and vibrant Diet Coke bottle slowly twirls into frame. It enters from the middle-right, on a course set for the woman’s eager, outstretched hand.
CARS: Infiniti [Story & Character]

It seems like just another day at the DMV, and here’s just another teenage girl attempting to get her license. Probably her sixth try, right? At first glance, this mother (let’s call her Susan, as in Sarandon, circa Thelma & Louise) and daughter (Jenny, as in a teenage Jennifer Lawrence) appear to be unassuming, All-American, suburban females. Susan’s youthful, strong, and pretty. She had Jenny when she was only 21 years old, and had to be both a mother and a father figure for her little girl. These two are almost like sisters, in a way, because it’s been them against the world since day one.

Jenny takes after her mom’s steadfast independence, but everything her mom wasn’t able to be, Jenny is quickly becoming, and then some. She’s legit. Unintentionally charming. Sassy, but a sillyheart. The kind of kid who lives for pranks and practical jokes. She hasn’t fully realised her good looks yet, nor has she any interest in wearing makeup like the other girls. Everything she does has an easy teenage sureness and joie de vivre. You immediately fall in love with her innocent, effortless lust for life.

Which probably makes the DMV examiner hate his life even more. In contrast to Jenny and Susan, this bloke is a slightly broader trope. He’s a bit nerdy, a bit disgruntled, a bit worn down by a decade-plus of departmental bureaucracy. He falls somewhere between younger versions of Rainn Wilson and Eugene Levy.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Angie's List [Casting & Performance]

Get this part of the campaigns right, and the spots come alive.

Finding specificity within our character tropes is everything. Yes, we need a husband who doesn’t want to install a fan, but if we cast someone like Keith David, we can bring extra sizzle to the role. We need a plumber on a treadmill, so we find someone like Patrick Warburton to squeeze out that extra laugh. The gutter guy can be in the Paul Rudd wheelhouse to bring an extra nuance to the humanity of everyday man. With that extra gesture to his wife, or sigh atop the ladder as he contemplates the sludge on his fingers, for example, we can always strive to find one extra comedic beat – big or subtle – that even we didn’t expect.

It’s all about accessing grounded performances. Once you buy in to the reality of a character, you will follow that character literally anywhere.

The tone is ironic, not an overt joke. It issues a very subtle “fuck you” to Vanity Fair.

The photojournalistic reportage, the black & white medium, the smooth flow of the edit, the vibe of the music all play into the conventions of, say, an Armani ad. But the content of the lyrics, the action in the vignettes, and the unconventional attractiveness of the men are in humorous juxtaposition to the “look.” It all adds up to a reversal of expectation – that’s all comedy really is – just like this fresh and unexpected grownup identity for Axe.

But we’re neither pushing the comedy nor the parody to extremes. The comedy is subtle, and the middle finger to Annie Leibovitz tactfully concealed (no disrespect to Annie). For instance, take this photo of Leo DiCaprio Bjork-ing. Given the context, it can either be high art or absolutely hilarious.

(And just to be clear, our guys aren’t going to be swan-whispers or do anything like the ridiculousness in Old Spice ads. Ours are real-ass dudes, cool and attractive because of the little things they do.)
MOCKUMENTARY: Butterball [Humor]

Meet Bruce and Wendy Krindler. They live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where Bruce works as an electrical engineer and Wendy as a physical therapist. They’re in their late 30s, and they’ve been married for more than a decade. They’ve also never missed an episode of Law & Order SVU, and their favorite album is John Tesh: Live at Red Rocks.

They share one brain, do everything and go everywhere together, and live in a constant state of turkey – and we’re not talkin’ Istanbul.

Bruce and Wendy are turketarians, not turkevangelists. They don’t preach about it, as some CrossFit junkies and gluten phobics do about their lifestyle choices. Bruce and Wendy just genuinely love turkey, and they talk about that conviction in the most honest, innocent, and unpretentious way. Listening to them wax poultry is pure entertainment.

We need to find that special breed of actor who can click into the deadpan mindset mockumentary calls for, actors who can play it totally straight, comedic but understated.
Improvisational chops are also critical. Some of the lines you’ve written made me laugh out loud, but there’s certainly lots of room to let our actors try some things. We’re sure to find lots of that spontaneous hilarity.
DOCUMENTARY: Mobile [Process]

Let’s call them conversations rather than interviews, because the VO in these short films will feel like a candid, casual, free-flowing stream of trucker consciousness.

I love working with real people, because you simply can’t write some of the brilliant character that comes from them. It’s all about empathy – being a good listener and setting the subject at ease. Pointing a camera in someone’s face creates an instant layer of self-consciousness. A subject’s emotional nuances and vulnerability can get lost when (in their mind) it’s time to perform. But I’m a firm believer that when a soul grows warm, everyone becomes a poet.

In order for our subjects to let down their guard, we should first have a meet-and-great to break the ice. This can be done over a phone tap, or ideally in person, rolling sound only, the way Ira Glass would approach a subject for This American Life.

From this unguarded, no-agendas convo, we can source the most genuine, emotional, robust audio possible to cut together a “radio edit” that will set in place the backbone of the film. From here, we can draft a very pointed storyboard and shot list. We’ll have narrative motivation behind every image captured, and the words can slowly drop away, leaving us with only the ones that make the biggest emotional impression, while epic visuals move the story forward and raise the stakes.
BEVERAGE: Milk [Tabletop]

To build this whimsical wormhole of desert fantasy, we’ll work closely with a wildly creative food stylist and model-making company. The food should look like food – tactile and real. We’ll design and make the cakes, cupcakes, macaroons, and slices of pie so each one looks practical and delicious.

Everything will be captured in super slow motion, giving the viewer a front-row seat to all the intricate detail of the food floating and falling past. We will shoot a combination of static plate shots and controlled camera moves, and then composite all the elements in post, so as to combine them into one consistent, flowing camera move.

Prior to shooting, we will make a 2.5D animatic, ensuring all our timings are spot on, making sure we don’t over or under shoot for our 30-second spot.

Lastly, visual contrast is key to elevating the humor of the end reveal. Our galaxy of sweets will be shot in a very controlled, stylized way, the food lighted to look gorgeous and appetising. The end scene with our talent will be shot to feel like reality, where natural light shines the way to warmth and immediacy.
APPAREL: Jordan [Sound Design]


...harmony between the music and sound design is crucial. But even more crucial is that the audio never distracts the viewer. It can’t call attention to what we’re doing as filmmakers.

So, we’re not just taking all these sonic elements and playing them backwards. That’ll feel too Beatles backmasking acid trippy. We’re cra^crafting a forward-moving audio track using sounds that remind the ear of elements played in reverse.

In concert, the effects and arrangements should subtly create the sensation of moving in reverse, an un-crescendo back toward that resounding lone piano keystroke.

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