MTV UK planned a 360° marketing strategy for the launch of their new reality television series: Spring Break with Grandad. MTV’s World Design Studio approached us to help them execute their creative strategy.
The strategy consisted of 3 phases:
- Social Media: Using actors, create a series of photos and videos portraying grandparents and their grand kids during Spring break to be posted across social media platforms.
- Image Spots: Using actors, create 3 image spots that depict the experiences of grandparents as stereotypical “spring breakers.”
- Digital Content: Create a series of short form content featuring the actual cast of the reality show.
- Extra materials: Cast press photography
DELIVERABLES QUANTITY vs TIME FRAME
The deliverables were 3 image spots, over 25 digital pieces and over 75 scenarios for social media. The social media series and image spots were filmed in 2 days.
The social media series needed to have a complete sense that our actors were part of Spring Break. We had over 70 scenarios to create and shoot. In order to accomplish this we had long days and went guerrilla style. It was non-stop set up and shoot. We shot with various devices including DSLRs, GoPros, iPhones and Galaxys. Even our producers became camera people -anything to capture the moments.
For the 3 image spots the creative dictated each spot needed to be one take. That sounds easier said than done. Each spot had so many moving parts. All were shot at the beach so we were at the mercy of the natural elements. The cast was over 20 people and we even had some flying props. Our key to succeeding? Repetition. With each take we were learning and improving. It was a lot of resetting and redoing until it was perfect. In the end client was very pleased with the results, even if it was the 17th take.
The digital campaign had over 25 deliverables featuring the actual cast of the reality show. The cast was only available during the production of the show which meant our content needed to be shot along side the show production. Our challenge was: How do we capture these moments without imposing ourselves and disrupting the already tight show production schedule? Our approach was to embed a 3 person crew within the show production. Our crew was on set for 30 days(!) which allowed them to build relationships and gain the trust of the producers and cast in order to gain the access needed. It was also important that we had the right producer that was able to quickly adapt the creative and execution to any last minute changes.
PRE PRODUCTION IN DIFFERENT TIME ZONES
The Reality Show will air in Europe. The client is located in Buenos Aires and London. We are in Los Angeles and the shoot location was Riviera Maya, Mexico. Our multilingual team is knowledgeable of the global market and have extensive experience with international clients. Not surprisingly the team also has vast experience of shooting in Mexico. With the different time zones, we needed to be in constant communication, be flexible in the schedules and course have commitment and dedication to the production.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LOCATION!
And with this location came it’s unique challenges. Riviera Maya is a beautiful tourist destination but it is not a major production hub.
CREW & GEAR:
Proper crews and cinematic equipment are not readily available in the area. Using our extensive network in the U.S. and in Mexico we were able to procure what we needed. The DP flew in from Miami (1.5 hr flight). The camera crew flew in from Mexico City (3 hr flight). The grip and electric crew actually took a 2 day road trip through Mexico with the equipment and gear as it was more cost effective than to fly or ship everything.
Finding local actors with the distinct aesthetic needed for a show that will air in Europe was challenging. We eventually were able to cast the young and beautiful extras but the grandparents roles were difficult to fill. They had to have the look and the willingness to do what’s required for the role. After a few ineffective casting calls in Riviera, we activated our LA team. Within 72hours the grandma was cast. The right grandpa still look longer. We actually found him 24hours before the shoot! It was really close, but we found him!
Working with the locals our experienced line producers were able to find the multiple locations needed to accomplish the shoots look needs.
“Hey guys, did you forget to put the drive in the box?”
- Post Producer in Los Angeles
The on-location producer shipped a back up drive with the footage. After a 2-week hold in customs, only the box arrived.
World Design Studio were pleased with the end product and we continue our relationship.