The Shallows | Apartment Shark

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Recently, we pitched high concept, out-of-the-box ideation for a commercial spot for the Blu-Ray/Digital release of
The Shallows, a successful summer thriller. The result was a promotional video that garnered positive buzz on social media, and this study will illuminate our process of our turnkey ideation, production, and post-production services.

 

Concept Phase

At Revolution Pictures, we shop our solicits out to everyone under our umbrella: we have our own creative team that works in the office and then there’s the roster of director’s across the nation that contribute ideas. Our deadline was a tight turn-around––we had only a few days to conceptualize and construct an ideation deck for Sony. In our office, we hosted a creative roundtable to shop our ideas; that’s the beauty of our collaborative process. These meetings are great––we leave the ego at the door, and it’s a purely positive creative space. After the tearing apart and rebuilding ideas, we hunkered down and wrote all of the ideas from our creative team and our directors.

Next, we went into the design phase. We took all of the written copy and designed it into a beautiful, cohesive pitch deck that can only be produced by Revolution. After we built our first draft, we workshopped it––checked for grammar, made sure all of the high-resolution photos weren’t pixelated; things of that nature. We went through several versions of the pitch deck, then we presented it to Randy for his notes. He critiqued. We adjusted. It was ready to send to Sony.

We sat on pins and needles to hear back. Sony replied within a few days and we hit the ground running, immediately. Matt DeLisi, one of our talented directors, and his incredible, innovative idea were chosen. Matt began to draw storyboards and pre-visuals to communicate the fantastic vision in his head, and Randy discussed camera movements and production details while Ellie was on the phone with talent agencies around Nashville. The office buzzed with a determined, creative energy.

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Production
The logistics were quite staggering in the production; we had to find a way to flood an apartment, put a shark in there, and also have our actor jump onto a bookshelf that was to fall into the water. Randy, Wesley (our production manager), and Ellie worked this production masterfully––they secured all of the pieces of the puzzle to bring Matt’s story to life. We built the apartment and figured out how to flood it with the help of art directors Brandon and Katie of Caravan, LLC. The apartment set was built in a soundstage at Citation Support, and a makeshift pool was integrated into the structure of the living room. From a fire hose, we introduced the water to the set while the cameras rolled. To track the shark’s movement, we used a practical shark fin in order to get authentic water disturbance for the 3D rendered shark created in post production.

 

Post-Production
After photography was wrapped up, we moved into post-production with the editor, Zach Prichard, and visual effects supervisor, Joel Robertson. Zach pieced together the incredible footage that we got from the shoot and the sound design from Defacto Sound to create an adrenaline-inducing story of a guy who is plunged into the horrors of The Shallows while watching it on his couch. Joel supervised the animation of a 3D-rendered shark––the final step to making the shark come to life, and making the piece seriously thrilling. In the stunning overhead shot, it truly looks as if there’s a shark lurking underneath the ominous depth of water in the apartment.

Being in Nashville for twenty years certainly has its perks: we have been able to garner some of the best talent in the city and across the nation. Through our turnkey capabilities and connections, we’re able to achieve any vision, no matter how tough. We’re ecstatic to have worked on such an extraordinary project with Sony Home Entertainment, and we are proud that we were able to take their solicit from ideation to finished product. We always seek to create compelling, innovative content, and we look forward to the next challenge.