While creating my new website I discovered a "making of" video for one of my favorite and most unusual projects over the past few years. When Prudential launched their "Bring Your Challenges" campaign, the U.S. was just beginning to crawl out of the worst of the recession. The economy was still in brutal shape but there was a lot of encouragement for small businesses to lay new plans, and people were using the circumstances to take new career paths. To me it was a palpable feeling. The campaign seemed to celebrate that glimmer of positive change, the hope for new growth, as well as the risk that's inherent to change.
The commercial to launch this campaign was titled "Sunrise". The challenge of the commercial was to gather filmmakers across the country to film one day's sunrise as it travels from the East cost to the West. 24 regions were chosen and a DP or director from each region would scout locations and help develop micro narratives for each location that would last for maybe a second in the final cut. Ideas came from the director Ringan Ledwidge as well as each collaborator based on the types of places we could offer. Often a narrative or shot idea could not work for one team, but could be patched into a place in another state. With the help of a very large creative team, Ringan became the dispatcher of all these little stories reducing thousands of available ideas, images and locations into a selected handful of about 60 shots that would tell a photographic story of new beginnings, both humble and awesome.
Seeing this making-of video was interesting because as collaborators, we never saw one another, even on Skype. Producers at Smuggler were managing several teams at once, but as DP's or directors we never saw the make-shift mission control that was set up to supervise all the cameras live in New York. With our main subject racing across the curve of the earth, 24 crews, about 60 cameras, operating in 3 time zones dotted over 3000 miles all connected by video feeds and a party line, the logistics were potentially daunting, but Smuggler pulled it off beautifully.