Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Liquidspace "Business Meeting"


Director: Yiuwing Lam
Writer: Chris DeNinno
Director of Photography: Christian Evans
Producer: Russel Sher
Production Designer: Pam Chien
Editor: Yiuwing Lam

Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?

I thought Chris' script was really funny and well written. It really jumped off the page for me in terms of the hilarity of the concept and it was easy for me to imagine the chaos of trying to hold a meeting at Chuck E. Cheese...since I've spent so much of my early career holding pre-pro meetings at Starbucks... 

As a director, I love comedy that's visually absurd but grounded in realistic characters. That way, the audience can relate to the characters even when they may be in situations and environments you could never imagine them to be in.   

What was the casting process like?

We used an online casting service and held digital auditions. We found our two Businessmen as well as our kids this way. The cast was great-- especially Chris Bonomo, the lead Businessman, who I think really "nailed it". To round out the cast, my wife drafted her co-workers who used their vast experience in corporate America to give very "method" responses.  

How did you search for/lock a location?

The script took place at Chuck E. Cheese so we knew it had to be a Chuck E. Cheese. Luckily, they had a sense of humor and said yes!

How did you select your DP, crew?

I've worked with Christian Evans, our DP, and Pam Chien, our PD, on a bunch of spots and not only are they talented and fantastic people, they actually like working with me (or so they pretend)! So it was a no-brainer to work with them on this-- they're fantastic! And our producer Russel Sher came aboard via a recommendation and since then I've had the pleasure of working with him on  more spots-- he's a calming force of nature.

How did shooting go? Any challenges?

The shoot went super smooth. We actually wrapped ahead of schedule. That's a testament to the professionalism of the crew, the amazing actors and Russel's awesome producing chops. The only real challenges was the early 5am call time but surprisingly the kids weren't affected by this at all. Go figure! They were at Chuck E. Cheese, playing games, eating cake and spritzing each other with water guns-- they literally didn't want to leave!

Tell us about editing and finishing.

Since we had no budget to hire anybody, I did the editing myself on Premiere, mixed it in Adobe Audition, and did the color correction in Da Vinci Resolve. It was actually really fun but definitely time consuming. 

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?

Hmmm.... everything went so smooth, I really don't think there'd be anything I'd like to change. Maybe better crafty? Though, this was a spec....