OUR LOOK AND WHY IT MATTERS
To me, the look of this spot is what sells the humour. It’s the entire basis of my approach.
I believe it to be extremely tasteful not to delve into the realm of fourth wall breaking, one liners between VO lines, or things that would be a hinderance to a script this strong— but it also leaves us exposed. How do we sell the bait and switch without these things? I believe it to be a full commitment to a cinematic look. Yikes, the big “C” word. It’s thrown around in our world SO much— but what does it actually mean? Or more importantly, what does it look like... It’s an acute understanding of this theory in which I believe my skillset is strongly suited.
Here’s the secret to the word: when a motion picture is “cinematic,” what that really means is it’s something that looks worthy of our time and emotional investment. We pay for tickets to sit in a dark room to watch “cinema”, our attention is commanded, and our psychology of viewing is changed. With that type of content comes a firmly established visual language that gets our brain ready to take things seriously. That’s what we need to tap into.
It’s in this very device that lies the exact humour of the spot. It starts from the first frames of the script. When we use things like older anamorphic lenses, harder and higher key dramatic lighting, a slight haze to the environment, perhaps even talking about delivering this in letterboxed. We are engaging the subconscious part of us that knows what these types of visual elements suggest.
These are all things embedded into our psyche as viewers— when we see them, we are conditioned to pay more attention. The more seriously we take the spot off the top with visuals, the funnier and more effective the bait and switch becomes when we subvert the expectation.
My worst nightmare would be to keep this bright, flat, and sickly happy— looking like pretty much every other comedy spot coming out right now. We aren’t making just another comedy spot. This calls for a different approach and in turn a different type of director ;)
As far as key creatives, have a look at Cole Graham, Farhad Ghaderi, and Evan Ciniello’s work for me. If there is a reel that jumps out, I can approach one for us— all 3 are my close friends and can work in the US! Doesn’y have to be one of these 3, but I wanted to give an idea of the type of person we will need to pull off the look.
Let’s go into detail over our follow up call with what else this could mean for the piece, and I will want to chat more about what the transition feels like with you when we finally get there.