Saying ‘Thank You’
July 27, 2012 by Screenmag
This new spot out of LEVEL in Minneapolis and CRASH+SUES delves into the issue of health care in a new and unexpected way.
LEVEL’s creative director, Gregg Byers and senior copywriter, Craig Roads, teamed producer Wendy Johnson and Director Grady Cooper, best known for directing episodes of the award-winning television series, “The Office” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
The spot features a group of enthusiastic employees throwing a thank you party for the boss and presenting him with stacks of gifts - from a pyramid of ‘Best Boss’ coffee mugs to an enormous cake adorned with sparklers. To top off the festivities, one employee marches in with the party gift that the child in everybody longs for: a pony. The cast of comedic actors, outrageous set-ups and rapid-fire gags makes the spot an explosion of good times.
“Greg's humor and sarcasm always brightens up my dark room,” says SUE, CRASH+SUES’ senior colorist. “For this spot we went for color with a natural look, took down the saturation on some of the brightly color objects, while leaving the skin tones healthy. We also did a few windows to help out dark areas. The footage was very sharp, but the biggest challenge working with the moiré from the office blinds. It looked great in HD but in SD it was a bit buzzy. So I used the DVO tools from my Digital Vision Nucoda FilmMaster to roll off the high frequency's and calm things down for SD.”
CRASH+SUES began collaborating with LEVEL early in the creative process, when Byers and Cooper were considering various storyline elements and ways the employees could show their thanks that packed the most comedic punch.
Cooper let the cameras roll as a dead-on team of actors improvised and came up with a number of off-the-wall plot situations that provided a wealth of great options during the editing process. Driven by the absurdity of each unfolding ‘thank you’ from the company’s grateful staff, the humor is heightened by keeping the boss a humble and likable guy who is totally surprised by all the adulation. Director Grady Cooper shot a series of whip pans that were key to maximizing the climactic pony reveal.
CRASH+SUES’ Ryan Wheeler on-lined the spot in Smoke, Carrie Shanahan was editors. Kent Militzer of Uproar came on board for audio post and music, recording a trombone riff to get the right feel and end the spot on the perfect note.