Recently, 100 ACRE FILMS had the chance to work with the amazing folks at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center on a couple commercial spots. We’ve worked with them in the past on projects, and so the chance to work with them again was an opportunity we jumped at.
The tricky part was we had really tight time frame – just three weeks to get the spots produced. Fortunately, they had been working with the team at Bryant Brown Healthcare, so the scripts had already been written. We had a week and half to prep and cast, one day to shoot, and then a week to edit.
Working with the Bryant Brown team, we quickly got the 4 roles cast. As they are located in LA and we are in San Diego, producer Brandon Plantz and director Eric Addison viewed all the auditions online, and narrowed it down to small group. Once the client signed off on the choices, talent was booked. We also did a location scout during that prep week which turned out to be very helpful. Always do a location scout if possible – you will inevitably discover a few (or many) things that can really influence your shoot…some good, some bad.
We also quickly assembled our team – Brad Olander as our director of photography, Frank Forth on sound, Nicholas Berry as gaffer, Brad Elsey as grip, and Cathi Singh as our makeup artist. These are some of the best folks to work with – they work fast and do amazing work.
The shoot day went smooth, although we had to endure 100+ degree weather. That was something we had planned for – what we hadn’t planned for was the loud cicada’s that had filled the neighborhood trees and were making audio difficult to record. Producer Brandon took a large reflector board and waved it under some close by trees. That quieted the insects and allowed us to get the few outside shots we needed with clean audio.
Once indoors, the rest of the shoot went smoothly. Chris and Jeff Speed did a fantastic job at decorating the sets – we shot everything in one house, but they made it seem like different locations.
Once in post, we brought in editor Mike Towe to handle all the editing. Working from the 4K footage shot on a Sony FS7, he did all the editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. Mike did an amazing job, especially considering he was working with director Eric Addison who was on vacation in North Carolina. Mike also did a great job at creating a new shot that was added in post. For the “Counselor Spot”, the agency felt that seeing the daughter that the actor was talking about would help make more of an emotional connection. We agreed, but as the idea came up in post, it wasn’t something we shot. Mike was able to take an outtake from the other spot, and motion track a stock photo of a young girl into a frame. He even replaced the white background in the original photo of the girl with that of a living room.
Add in the music, voice over track, some color correction and audio sweeting, and we were wrapped.
We got the spots delivered on time, and the client was happy…which makes us happy!
We have to extend a big thanks to the teams at Bryant Brown and the Hazelden Betty Ford Center. Without their help and creative input, we would have never been able to get the spots done in time.
We hope these spots reach their intended audiences, and that lives are changed.