Thursday, August 16, 2012

Impressive video, and the stuff that haunts a director's dreams

An impressive feat - and every producer/director's nightmare: a complete video shot in a single take. With so many moving parts and an equal number of opportunities for mistakes to occur.

I'd love to know how many takes it took to get The One. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The use of humor in video

Ace Metrix, the leading company in television analytics, recently released a year-long study on humor in advertising.

They reviewed over 6,500 nationally-breaking ads in the U.S. that aired from January, 2011 to March, 2012.

The results were surprising. 

They discovered that humorous ads did not perform better than ones that didn't use humor. Enjoyment was up, the willingness to view an ad more than once increased. But bottom line, where the advertisement translates to sales...humor did not compute.

You can download the report or read the press release Ace Metrix's site here (they will ask that you register to get the download, but there is no cost).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The right music can have a powerful impact

A tune, coupled with powerful lyrics, can be an effective tool in the hands of the advertiser.
In this spot, Nestle Purina (via our agency of record, Leo Burnett) spins a poignant and evocative tale - without words.

Just music and a few home movies.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What do a wooden ball, a smartphone and a forest have in common?

This amazing TV ad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


A few days ago someone I work with tipped me off about a guy. It's not unusual to hear about someone who is an artist at his craft. What sets this guy apart is that he's not a Coaster. He's not even in a top tier metro demographic. This guy lives in a little town in Kansas.

And he's got The Eye. Composition. Timing. Chiaroscuro. And most of his work is with nonprofits. Or wedding videos.

Seriously. Wedding videos. And they're good. So good, in fact, that I'm taking notes - I want to incorporate some of his technique in an upcoming film.

Check out Robert G. Productions. My bet is the guy has a background in photography. His storytelling is rich in imagery. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Just Um.

A very interesting use of robotics....

(From Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide for Andes Beer in Buenos Ares)

Sometimes you just gotta love technology.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Headroom. Legroom. Creative Room.

I'm just dying to take a crack at a show that utilizes this type of stop motion.
I can guarantee stop motion is going to be on my pitch list this year when I meet with clients.

I particularly like how Nissan has handled it. Take a look at their commercials "Legroom" and "Headroom" - you may want to hit the pause button a time or two to appreciate the not-so-registered technique and the fun, upbeat look that brings to the overall ad (well okay, multi-striped socks and pink hair might add a teensy bit of something, too).

I can see this being used as a way to get an audience who has 'seen it all' to look once again, through a fresh set of eyes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Smart New Promotion

Who knew the United Arab Emirates had such a problem with plastic bags? Evidently it's so bad, the government has declared that their use is to be discontinued by 2013.

With the help of Leo Burnett - Dubai and an innovative concept, they're well on their way.

Take a look:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Challenging Reality: a creative way to get your message across

The nice thing about film is its ability to suspend reality and invite you into a world of illusion.

That illusion, the creative interpretation you use as a vehicle to deliver your message, can have a huge impact on how that message is received.

I love this particular treatment and can think of tons of applications for it - ways to get your audience to think outside the box.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Profile: My Cat From Hell (Animal Planet)

As a producer/director, I usually cringe when I see the list of reality TV titles gracing show schedules these days. Oh there are the ones with production values slightly less embarrassing than your average home video. But you will never convince me that "Teen Mom" is, by anyone's definition, Good TV. Sorry, just not going there.

However, there is always that rare exception to the rule and My Cat From Hell is most definitely one of them.

A show has to have entertainment value to make it on a channel's TV schedule, and this one delivers. Its host Jackson Galaxy is colorful, articulate and fun to watch. But what really makes this show stand out is its content.

photo courtesy Valerie Allen PR
This show isn't just about entertainment; it slips in a hefty dose of education as well. And it's an education that is desperately needed to help battle against the egregious numbers of cats euthanized each year in the United States.

According to the American Humane Association, more than 71 percent of cats entering shelters are euthanized - that's well over a million kitties each year.

Jackson's personal mission, in his own words, is "to keep cats from being euthanized -- out of shelters and off the streets for reasons that are entirely preventable." With more than 15 years' experience helping people manage feline behavioral issues - and over 1,000 one-on-one cases (both in-home and in rescue situations) under his belt, this man is uniquely equipped to do something about it.

In 2011, he launched My Cat From Hell in partnership with Animal Planet. Each episode of My Cat From Hell showcases a "hopeless" situation where a cat owner is at wits' end. These people are just a breath away from giving up on their feline companion. The behavior exhibited by these kitties would certainly make them less adoptable - and probably earn them a death sentence - in a shelter situation.

As a volunteer for cats at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, seeing the solutions to each new behavioral issue could conceivably help me be a better advocate for each cat that I help socialize. And that is reason enough to support My Cat From Hell by watching it each week.

Shows like this don't stay on the air if the viewership isn't there, so I urge you to grab your favorite beverage, prop your feet up and enjoy the season premiere of My Cat From Hell with me this Saturday, January 7 (8 PM, ET/PT). You won't just be supporting one of the few good shows on the air. If you're a cat lover, I guarantee you'll find it entertaining - and educational - as well.