So, I may or may not have mentioned that a couple of weeks ago we got a great gig shooting 3 short online commercials for Samsung.
Through Blip.tv, we pitched our ideas to the company — who wanted a super hero theme — wrote up the scripts, and shot this over a weekend (give or take a day of pick-up shots). The videos were originally going to be 30 seconds but, I may have had a bit of fun with the script and they ended up being a little over a minute — for the best, I think.
The end result ended up being less of a 30 second TV-esque spot and more of a three episode arc of a short, very, very branded show. It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, we’ve stumbled upon what commercials are going to look like in a few years – actual entertaining bits of content, and not just bland advertising.
So, you know, we’re like the future and stuff.
Anyway! Let me know if you have any questions about the videos at all — how we shot them, how we wrote them, whatever — I’ll do my best to answer everything to the best of my very tired abilities.
Here we go:
Episode 1, Jumps Slightly Higher Than Average Girl
A little while ago I wrote a post on patience. The idea was twofold — on one hand, I hate when people tell me to be patient and that, to succeed, waiting seems to be the key (by the way, patience does not equal inaction — you should be working daily on doing something that helps your career. Waiting patient on nothing doesn’t work quite as well). On the other hand, I must and am learning to enjoy the experience of trying to succeed because, as cheesy and irritatingly-8th-grade-English-Lit-poetry-paper as it sounds, it’s more about the journey and the adventure than actually getting there.
Except getting there would be pretty awesome too.
The last month or so we’ve (and my “we’ve” I mean my production company: Happy Little Guillotine Films) been trying desperately to get a big, big gig. It’s — you know in movies when the lawyer talks about getting that “big account” — well, this was the big account. Our competition was absolutely ridiculous — networks and companies seventeen times our size (we counted). The job would be a month long excursion, with easily over a month of pre-production and it would have a budget that is roughly 10,000% of Break a Leg.
In other words, there was absolutely no way we were getting it. We’ve had a lot of things pop up like this – a lot of maybe’s — and this was just another thing we had already mentally geared up to lose. We had two things that gave us a little bit of hope: the first, we made a video demo for the company to show them what the end result of the project may look like — which, and I say this with all the humility I can muster, we absolutely, positively rocked.
By the way, to all you fledgling production companies out there — this is the way to do it. The only way we can compete against the big guys is by being more agile than them. Throwing together full-scale video proposals instead of pitch sheets go a long way in selling our services and talents. Bigger companies can’t do this because they can’t even think about doing a video without paying their brain 50,000 dollars for the suggestion.
The second thing we had going for us is Blip.tv. I have to write a post called, “Ode to Blip.tv” because they’re easily one of the best companies around. Blip.tv is pertinent to this community. Hell, Blip.tv is one of the reasons this community is even here. This deal was through Blip, who we’ve been working with very closely in the past few months. They have a fantastic reputation and brilliant salespeople and between Blip and our talents, we had to trust that we were at least somewhat in the running.
As it turns out, patience actually kind of works. As it turns out, all the no’s do, eventually, lead to a yes — because, dear friends, we got the motherfucking deal!
It’s still hard to believe because, we’re so very used to saying, “Sigh, at least we were close…” or, “Sigh… it’s the adventure that blahblahblahs….” it was hard (and amazingly fun) to get a hold of my crew and be able to actually say, “We got the deal.”
Is it what we want to do with our film careers? Not necessarily. We want to make shows and movies and while this will be a show, it’s not quite the style of show that we’re used to. But that doesn’t matter. We love the challenge of it, we love the potential of it, and we think we can hit it out of the park.
So, wherever any of you live, whatever you’re doing, you all have to take a shot of something delicious and strongly alcoholic to celebrate with us. Okay? Okay.
I do find it funny, though. Even with this big job and the promise of future jobs coming in to match its scale, there’s still a small chance that nothing will happen after this. That we’ll make the money, do the job, and never work in film again because no one will ever hire us again. Is it likely? No. Can it happen? Sure. It’s a very weird career we’ve all gotten ourselves into.
But I digress — there’s a lesson in here somewhere, for me, for you, for anyone, and it’s — you know all those cliches that people tell you? They’re cliches because they’re right. Be patient, work hard, enjoy the journey and, the most important one, love what you’re doing more than anything else. Love what you’re doing enough to torture yourself to succeed in it, love it when you’re miserably failing and love it when you finally get some kind of break, love it in the morning, and in the afternoon, love it in the evening and down beneath the moon, love it until you can’t imagine doing anything else and then, only then, will you maybe, just maybe, get to where you want to be.