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Studio 108 Collaborates With Burford Advertising On An Innovative Cross-Platform Campaign For Childsavers

The Four Spots Integrate a Seamless Bridge From A Tradition Broadcast Commercial
To A Web Spot That Delivers A Long-Form Documentary-Style Story

Recentlyh Studio 108, the full-service production, editorial, and audio company, joined forces with Burford Advertising to create an inventive series of two-part, cross-platform spots for Childsavers, a non-profit dedicated to helping children with developmental and emotional issues.

childs-jenny-small.jpg

The idea was very innovative,? notes Studio 108 director, Jack Hartmann. “The first component is a TV spot that sets up a story about a child facing a specific challenge – such as dealing with the loss of a parent, abuse, etc. Then, at the end of the TV spot the viewer is prompted to go to childsavers.org to see the rest of the story. The long-form website spot opens with the TV commercial, and then continues – in the same documentary style – following the child’s progress and their interaction with Childsavers as the organization helps them get their lives back on track.

“We were attracted to the project because it raises awareness of an important issue,? notes Hartmann, “At the same time, it gave Studio 108’s creative team an opportunity to work on an innovative concept that bridged the gap between tradition television and the Internet to create a single cohesive message, which was a first for us.?

child-ellie-sm.jpg

The four two-part spots, ‘EllieTV‘/’Ellie Web,’ ‘MichaelTV’/‘Michael Web,’ ‘JennyTV’/’JennyWeb,’ and ‘LutherTV’/’LutherWeb’ allow the message to reach broadcast television’s expansive audience within the timeframe of a traditional 30-second spot – and then the tie-in to the webs spot provided the time needed to tell the whole story.

“Burdford presented us with a great concept,? adds Hartmann, whose company had worked with the agency on numerous projects. “We collaborated closely, developing our own storyline scenarios, and ideas about setting scenes along the way to heightened the dramatic elements of the spots.?

Studio 108’s full-service approach to production, editing, audio mixing and music allowed its team to meet the challenge of a tight deadline and limited budget. Director Jack Hartmann, editor + DP Graham Copeland, and producer Ula Wozniak worked as a unit, carefully planning the logistics of the production.

childs-michael-sm.jpg

Hartmann directed a total of 33 scenes for the four spots in a single day. The interviews with the therapists were shot at Studio 108 in its in-house studio on the second day, and a third day was dedicated to shooting interior and exterior scenes with the kids at three locations in Richmond.

“We familiarized ourselves with the locations, explored different options, and blocked out shots ahead of time, so that we could make efficient use of our time on the day of the shoot.?

“Each spot had a very personal message so we really immersed ourselves in these stories to get our heads into the characters. Directing children presents its own unique set of challenges,? adds Hartmann. “ And we knew we’d only have time for a few takes of each scene, so putting them at ease was key to getting natural performances. And, although creating that relaxed atmosphere and making the kids comfortable took a little time upfront, it worked: We shot almost three-dozen scenes and wrapped seven-minutes ahead of schedule.?

Efficiently planning the logistics of a shoot during the pre-production phases of the project, enabled Hartmann to focus on directing – and getting compelling performances and beautiful cinematography. Studio 108 used two cameras to create a documentary-like feel. DP Graham Copeland lensed the wide shots with the Canon 5D and Anna Kolantis operated the B-camera, a Canon 7D, fitted with close-up lens.

Hartmann is skilled at capturing the small moments that make a story resonate with its audience. He added depth to the campaign with intimate shots – such as a glimpse of a child peeking through the stair railings as she witnesses a violent altercation between her mother and her mother’s boyfriend and a POV shot of a violent father chasing his son down a hallway.

Studio 108’s concept-through-completion approach affords its team the opportunity to bring their aesthetic sensibilities to every phase of the project. Graham Copeland brought the trained eye of a DP to his role as editor, manipulating the color grading of the footage to reflect the mood of each vignette as the story unfolded. The company also provided audio post production services for the project in their Pro Tools 8 suite.

“I used a de-saturated color pallet at the beginning of the spots when the dramatic and negative elements of the story are revealed, and then progressively transitioning into warmer tones, as the child’s situation take a turn for the better,? says Copeland.

“This campaign gave Studio 108 an opportunity to bring a truly inventive concept to life, and work with a world-class agency,? adds Hartmann. “Doug Burford is in the advertising Hall of Fame for a reason. He knows how to get the most out the collaborative process when working with other creatives and makes each project the best it can be.?

Credits:
Client: Childsavers Project: Four Broadcast TV/Internet Spots Titles: ‘Ellie/TV,’ ‘Ellie Web,’ ‘Michael/TV,’ ‘Michael/Web,’ ‘Jenny/TV,’ Jenny Web,’ ‘Luther/TV,’ ‘Luther/Web’ Agency: Burford Company Advertising/Richmond – Copywriter: Doug Burford, Agency Producer: Ashley Burke. Production Company: Studio 108/Richmond – Director: Jack Hartmann, Director of Photography: Graham Copeland, DP/B Camera: Anna Kolantis, Producer: Ula Wozniak, Gaffer; Nick DiMartino,Editorial Company: Studio 108/Richmond -Editor: Graham Copeland Audio Post Company: Studio 108/Richmond.

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