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Producing Top Quality Campaigns in a Pandemic? Yeah, it’s possible.

In the throes of a crisis, unhinged resourcefulness and unfaltering optimism are key ingredients to just staying afloat. As businesses, ad agencies, production companies and creatives are scrambling to forge new pathways during this pandemic, the concept of shooting a successful, cinematic, and socially tactful campaign has been a daunting task – requiring a series of miracles and an (appropriately distanced), gargantuan team effort. In short, you better be ready to pivot, pivot, pivot.

Somehow the stars aligned just right, amid the chaos, for our campaign with Uncle Ben’s and Energy BBDO. Conceptualized, rewritten, sanitized, shot, edited and pushed live over the course of 5 DAYS, we present proof that in the face of adversity, collaborative and creative problem solving will prevail. Producing quality, impactful content will ALWAYS be possible. Arguably, right now the world needs it more than ever.

Cooking Stovetop Uncle Ben’s rice is pretty straightforward. Add water, boil, cover, stir. Cooking up this spot was, predictably, a bit more complex. But now that we’re on the other side, we’ve realized that the magic of this production was utilizing what we already had on hand. Connor Martin, the director of this campaign and one of our most recent additions to the roster, was able to leverage his past experience as a viral Youtube sensation to not only contribute creatively but effectively reproduce the support typical of video village in complete isolation. His tireless work ethic and insatiable curiosity was our rallying cry to lean forward, and his cool-headed reassurance of “we got this” transformed collective sentiment from aspiration, to confidence, to downright truth.

Lighting kit from the run n gun days? Dust it off! The Airbnb upstairs you’ve been renting? Sanitize the joint, then make it look lived in! Those lavalier mics you bought for that one documentary 3 years ago? Untangle those cords! Your best friend and neighbor who also happens to be SAG? Shoot him a text! No boards for the Pre-Pro? Jump on Zoom and give the team a shot by shot virtual tour! Hard Drives and proxies? Ship ‘em a project file of selects and overnight that footage to the agency STAT!

But just when you think you’ve managed a herculean feat in pooling your resources, expect a grocery store in Germany to execute the EXACT SAME AD days before the shoot. Frantic Zoom calls will ensue, creative will be realigned, and hopefully the agency is open-minded, gracious and scrappy – because time is wasting and options are limited.