Branded Content In The Clutch
Sometimes you get two and a half years to pull off a project. And sometimes you get two and a half weeks. (Sometimes you also get Two and a Half Men, but that’s a different story.) Our work on a recent CozyPhones project falls into the latter category. And though conventional wisdom usually agrees that more lead time is better, there’s no telling what JMaverick Studios can get done in the clutch.
A few months out from shoot date, we were contacted by a comedy writer in Los Angeles. He was vetting production companies to shoot a Facebook Video Ad that he had written and would direct for a company called CozyPhones. We’re always looking to work on original content, especially commercial video content, that lets us stretch our wings and exercise all our abilities, so we were very interested in the project, and threw our hat into the ring. Although we didn’t initially win this bid, there were likely projects down the road that we could collaborate on. Well, nothing is final in this industry unless it’s in the can (and still not even then), and we got a phone call from the writer: we were back in. We would have to pull a Hail Mary to get this project in the endzone — but it just so happens that we’re football fans, so that worked.
As soon as Jeremy hopped off the phone call, he got to work. The script called for a family home, so we immediately began the scouting process. We used a site called Wrapal and found a great home in Eagle Rock to film. Jeremy dropped in to take photos, which the Director of Photography would use to determine energy needs and options, shot composition, and also shot order (depending on the sun, some areas of the house would be better to use than others for lighting).
Once we knew what kind of space we were dealing with, we were able to start prepping the crew. We had a total of 11 people in our ranks, which included three talent. The script also called for two child actors, which means that, at least in California, we had to provide them with an onset tutor. This person would supervise the children, keep them safe, and ensure they weren’t being overworked. But, as you can see from the video, they spent most of the time on the couch — it’s a tough life. We ended up finding a tutor three days before shoot. Clutch move.
With only 12 hours on set, we had to be painstakingly methodical going about our shoot. That’s okay, because painstakingly methodical is pretty much our middle name. In fact, we finished 2.5 hours ahead of schedule, which was 2.5 hours we used for the edit. Because we shot in 4K, we had a lot of latitude to adjust the frame and resolution as needed. This was important because, shooting a Facebook ad, you have to center all the action so that it can be squared off.
Our Social Media Content Stats
We finally delivered a full two-minute edit of the video, one which could be adjusted, cut, and mixed down depending on the distribution channel, and how audiences were interacting with the ad. So far the video has 4,500 views on Facebook, and that’s only after a week. We’re hoping that this project, and others like it, will help us transition to a more aggressive, branded content creation model in 2019 and beyond.
If we can get something like this done in two and a half weeks, imagine what we could do in two and a half days!!! But, seriously, get us on board early.