Blog #148 4/1/16
Our cast of four dancers: Karine Plantadit, Samantha Zack, Bahiyah Sayyed, Jaimie Goodwin.
Take a look at this short video that I directed:
What did it take to do this, and how did I make it happen?
We received a call from the ad agency DDB Needham Chicago to direct a television commercial for the launch of a new McDonald’s salad. They asked me if I could illustrate the goodies in the salad while featuring dancers.
After working out the idea and then making an agreement with the agency, we were ready to go. My idea was to create a visual connection between four dancers and the ingredients of the salads. We hired the sweet and brilliant choreographer, Tyce Diorio, best known for his work as a choreographer and guest judge on the Fox television series So You Think You Can Dance.
We then did a casting to find four professional dancers who were both highly talented and had obviously delightful personalities.
We booked a huge film studio in Brooklyn; our video producer, David Sussan, put together all the other parts and pieces: two cinematographers (one for still life—the salad—and one for dance); stylist, hair and make-up artists, grips, gaffers. (A gaffer is the head electrician on a movie crew; it’s his/her job to manage the lighting, making sure the levels are appropriate for the desired effect in the scene). The gaffer is assisted by the best boy, and may have a crew of electricians. A grip is also concerned with lighting, but from the mechanical side).
Here’s the complete list of the crew we needed for our shoot:
1ST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
4 PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY (still life)
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY (dance)
1st ASSISTANT CAMERA OPERATOR
2nd ASSISTANT CAMERA OPERATOR
VTR (person in charge of video playback during the filming)
One fifth of the gigantic studio.
I had worked out the shoot order and hung “story boards” and visual reminders as reference for the three days of shooting.
I explained to the lighting and camera crew how I wanted to light and shoot the video and they set up the studio to perfection.
I worked with choreographer Diorio to develop a two-minute routine that had stupendous energy, parts of which we would use in the video.
Tyce demonstrates a dance move.
Some individual “moves.”
For some of the leaps I had the dancers use a trampoline.
I wanted to end the video with something different, a surprise, and worked with two of the dancers to form McDonald’s logo, Golden Arches “M”.
A part of our considerable cast, crew, advertising people, with our video producer, David Sussan, on the far left.