Director: Aaron Kodz
Writer: Aaron Kodz/Dan Sorgen
Producer: Farideh Rezagah
Director of Photography: Alex Gallitano
Production Designer: Terra McNerthney
Assistant Director: Michael Sutphin
Sound Designer: Patrick Burgess
Cast: Zoe Kypuros, Adrienne Sorg, Randye Kaye, Jim DiMunno, Val Kica, Andrew Joseph Pagliara, Daniela Rivera, Shea Saracino, Ava Salvatore
Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?
I liked the cheerfulness of the narrative, and I thought this script would provide a good challenge to express this visually within our tight budget. It's the story of a home told through vignettes, but each moment had to be sweet. The visuals needed to conjure up nostalgia, make people want to own a home, give their loved ones a kiss. I figured this was a good venture, and would provide me a unique platform to expand my style.
What was the casting process like?
Casting was a nightmare; we had to not only find the best talent, but the best talent that looked like each other as we were showing a family growing! Like everything else though, we truly lucked out. Adrienne and Randye were both our first choices, and with our great make up artist Nick DiRamio we were able to make them match. This, along with their great performances, really sold the storyline. Jim and Andrew were also a challenge, but we found it was much easier to make men match then the women, so that was never much of a concern - we picked the best actors. It plays very well, which given our budget we were tremendously lucky to get.
How did you search for/lock a location?
We filmed at my parents' house in Connecticut for the interiors, and my high school friend's house for the exterior.
How did you select your DP, crew?
My producer Farideh Rezagah and I have worked together in the past, and she's always a great creative mind. She consistently brings great ideas to the table and comes up with unique solutions. I had worked with production designer Terra McNerthney back during my time at NYU, and her schedule allowed her to come aboard. I also went to school with Alex Gallitano, but it was during our time on the set of The Wolf of Wall Street that we ended up tossing around ideas. Michael Sutphin was a last minute hire to be Assistant Director, and he was phenomenal despite the fact he no time to prep. We had a few local hires, as well as a friend's brother, and we lucked out on every one of them. They all knew their stuff and were a pleasure to have around. I always love the sets when the G&E guys are both hard workers and laid back - even during the most stressful times they could always crack a good joke.
How did shooting go? Any challenges?
The biggest concern I had was filming with the baby, Ava Salvatore. It was my first time on set with a baby that young, and I was pretty nervous. However, Ava was great. She got through twelve takes without a single word of protest. Her dedication to her work was really inspiring, and she really dived into the role. I think it ended up being the one of the best parts of the commercial - it certainly warms the heart.
Tell us about editing and finishing.
The edit was pretty simple. Brenna Perez was post supervisor and I edited, with her doing color correction as well. Patrick Burgess was our sound designer, and he got to build the soundtrack from the ground up as we didn't record sound on set. The sound design was a blast, and while it was our first time working together, it certainly won't be our last.
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?
I really wish we could have shot during spring - I think it would have been great to see the trees beginning to bud at the opening of the spot. We actually decided to film in April to capture that "spring" feel, but it just wasn't meant to be. Summer came late this year.