Monday, March 16, 2009

Geek Squad – "Do It Yourself"

Director: Edoardo Nolfo

Click to watch.

The director discusses all three completed spots:

Edoardo Nolfo: "I am a very narratively oriented director – a film director at heart – and I was determined to find scripts that needed such a director. It took months and a couple of false starts. I joined and when I read Dan Sorgen’s script for I instantly knew it was right for me, and now that the spot is done I am even more pleased with the choice!

I was planning to make three spots in one fell swoop and needed two more scripts. I found the Ray Ban spot written by Matt Shevin and loved it; it had enormous narrative and visual potential. He also contributed the third script, for Geek Squad.

I refused to write the scripts myself and was determined to use scripts written by gifted copywriters, which is exactly what I did. 

From the very beginning I was adamant that a professional casting director should handle the initial screening. Producer Theresa Marth was able to bring casting director Danny Roth on board and he did a great job. He was a pleasure to work with. I gave him a detailed breakdown for each character and a few days later he sent me links to audition videos. I’m very pleased with the talent we found.

Finding a location was tricky. The Monster commercial needed a large office with plenty of cubicles, and in L.A. that sort of location goes for about $10,000 a day. That’s the quote everyone gave me. In the end I found a location rep (Michelle Roper of LA Office Locations, Inc.) who had the right location on her roster and they give me a much more reasonable price. She was very helpful. It is somewhat ironic that the location that was willing to help me also turned out to be the most suitable out of all the ones I scouted.

To find my DP, I posted an ad online and received around 150 responses. I looked at all the reels and homed in on Brad Rushing. We met and spoke for two hours. He is a talented and experienced cinematographer, and we’re a perfect match in many ways. I made it clear in my ad that I am a camera-oriented director and he really likes that. He brought a talented camera crew on board and really delivered the goods. I really enjoyed working with him – we totally understand each other.

Every shot is a challenge, but it was the healthy, stimulating and positive kind of challenge – there were no crises as such. It was hard work but I got exactly what I wanted and we finished on schedule and within budget. I cannot overemphasize the contribution made by producer Theresa Marth in this regard, and of course everyone on the crew, who worked well and fast.

I edited my own spots and it was very quick. I was lucky enough to find Dori Amarilio, a truly exceptional composer. He looked at the spots, liked them, and agreed to write music for us. Colorist Bob Curreri graded the spots using Final Cut Color, courtesy of Cinelicious. Again, he was great to work with and did a great job.

The finished spots accurately reflect the way I saw them in my head, which is very satisfying. There are a few minor technical things I would change if I had a time machine – the distribution of extras in certain shots and things like that – but by and large I think we did the concepts justice. I selected the right scripts and chose the right people to work with. Everyone brought a huge amount of talent and goodwill to all three spots. In the final analysis, things could not have gone better.

It’s a bit of cliché’, but I really must thank the whole crew, who worked hard and put real passion into the work. That sort of attitude makes a real difference. I am grateful to Todd Lent, a wonderful 1st AD who took a real interest in my case but was ultimately unable to work on the shoot days.

Special thanks must go to Theresa Marth, an extraordinary producer who made a huge contribution, and without whom things would not have gone as smoothly. She really did an amazing job."

Producer: Theresa Marth

Director of Photography: Brad Rushing

Editor: Edoardo Nolfo

Copywriter: Matt Shevin

Production Designer: David King

Composer: Dori Amarilio

Colorist: Bob Curreri (Cinelicious)

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