Jim Vecchione recently created a campaign that ran in late 2017 and early 2018, promoting new “scratcher” tickets for the DC Lottery.
The Ad agency that handles the account is a long time client of Jim's. He has been working with them for over 15 years. Discussions were had over several meetings before a director was chosen for these projects. During the discussions, Jim talked about how he would proceed and the type of visuals he wanted to create.
We asked Jim a few questions about the project, and here's what he had to say, "Who created the concept for these videos (whether it was you or somebody else), and what was your process like when translating that concept to create the final product?"
The idea and scripts were created by MDB Communications, Washington DC. Specifically, Richard Coad Chief Creative Officer and Gretchen Carswell Creative Director. After reading the scripts and discussing the concepts with MDB, the first thing I did was to personally scout the entire city. I wanted to see everything in the city that was available for filming the “Neighborhoods” campaign before I created shooting boards for the TV commercials. After scouting, I was able to make decisions about the visuals that allowed the TV spots to come to life. For the “Real People” project, each location was scouted by a location manager before we made a decision as to which location worked best for each script. For each campaign I will create shooting boards that allow me to have a visual idea of what the final product will look like. Adjustments are made after I create the boards and of course, there are always happy suprises when filming. An example when filming one day for the “neighborhoods” campaign … we had just finished filming a selected location and were in the process of moving down the street when we happened upon a mural artist who was painting a new mural on the side of a city building. This was a perfect visual for the spots, so we immediately set up and filmed.
Was there anything different about shooting for this brand versus others you’ve shot in the past?
There is always a unique aspect of filming for every client, which is different from the previous client. Some clients like to review everything and make decisions on the spot. Others like to film everything first, then cut it all together, making decisions in the edit facility. This client was open to everything we could find that was visually wonderful about Washington, DC, so we filmed and filmed. There was so much great footage that some of it had to be cut from the final spots or we would have been creating a short movie, not a TV commercial. The “Real People” campaign required a different approach. The script and story was tighter, so the talent had to be directed properly in order to make sure we had the correct visuals to tell the story.
What was the biggest challenge you faced on this shoot, and how did you overcome it?
For me, the biggest challenge when filming, as well as the aspect I like the most … is filming on the streets of a city when you are not controlling the scene with barricades and police, but instead letting it unfold naturally. The people encountered on the street are always interesting and the challenge is to decide how to best use them in your scene … or not. Some people want to step in front of the camera and ruin the scene … others want to be a part of the process and for those people we go out of our way to create scenes that work for them. An example, we were filming a section of the street in DC’s Chinatown neighborhood when two skate boarders rode through the scene. They looked great in the scene, so I instructed my producer to chase them down and ask if we could pay them for 30 minutes of their time while we filmed them skateboarding.
What was your favorite part of this project?
The freedom I was given to create beautiful imagery and footage.
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