Year in Review

Gather ‘round the fire, kids. Let me tell you about our 20th year of being in business. There are many heroes to this story: an alien, a solar eclipse, a physics-defying quarter, a magic set of headphones, and a garbage truck ramming through a bedroom wall. Rapid-fire year-in-review starts now! 

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In the spring, we had the chance to collaborate with Enviromedia, an agency based out of Texas, to produce an anti-littering PSA spot with the TN Department of Transportation. Nobody Trashes Tennessee is an unsuspecting spot, at first. A woman coasts along the winding roads around the Natchez Trace State Park. She sips on her drink, but tosses it out of the window. The discarded cup splats on the pavement… Later, while the woman is listening to music in her room, she hears the distinct beep of a truck. CRASH! The garbage truck bursts through the wall and dumps trash in her room. Beware, litterbugs!

Sean Davé crafted the spot and punched up the ridiculous comedy by tricking the audience into a false sense of security at the beginning. Then, he delivers the goods at the end. The gorgeous shots on the road make you think it’s a car spot. By the end of it, you know what the anti-littering campaign is all about. If you saw a movie in the Nashville area, you saw the spot play before the previews. We were proud to work with our city and help keep Tennessee roadways clean.

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When working with GQ, you’re confronted with how cool you feel about working with them, as well as the sneaking suspicion that you don’t know what’s cool. At all. Earlier in the year, Sean Davé directed a Nashville-based episode of their ‘A Damn Good Day in…” with special guest, Drake White. They went to Barista Parlor, HatWRKS, Dino’s… All places that I’ve wanted, but have been too lazy, to try. The stylized visuals reflect the creative forces that make Nashville not just the Music City, but a city for all creators and movers in diverse sectors of life.

Then, we shipped off to Yavapai, AZ to see the famous Arcosanti community built by the renowned architect, Paolo Soleri. The kicker: it’s hosted by Edgar Ramírez, who’s smoothe voice could melt butter. The beautiful architecture of Arcosanti, which is a sustainable, social community inhabited by “Arconauts,” is captured by the director, Blake Atienza. The wide, sweeping camera shots let the space speak for itself––the gorgeous domes and wall colors make Arcosanti a marvel to behold.

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We worked alongside Audio-Technica many times this year. Our first collaboration with their brand was a spot dubbed ‘The Circle of Music,’ directed by Matt DeLisi. The spot features Judah Akers, lead singer of Judah and the Lion, and their hit song “Take it All Back.” The electric, vibrant visuals distinguish the full breadth of use for Audio-Technica’s headphones. Whether you’re recording a hit track, pumping up a crowd from your turntable, or unwinding with music at home, the headphones are for you.

Later in the year, we worked alongside them to produce three spots for their new lineup of wireless headphones in time for the holiday season. The first spot released was our exploration of the cosmos. GoldGlove, a Twitch.tv gamer, happens upon an alien lifeform, Lirik (another gamer), and receives the greatest intergalactic gift: the cosmic heights of pure sound. GoldGlove is quite surprised when Lirik pulls out a probe the size of a mountable machine gun. Yikes.

The other two, 30-second product spots feature the headphones as the main characters. In the first, a young woman can’t help but feel the music and groove on the sidewalk. Her dancing is so infectious, that two other folks join her… and they can’t even hear the music! The next is spot is a marvel of mechanical magic. As the character starts his music, the headphones materialize, magically, over his ears. They don’t actually do that… That’s what we in the business call: VFX. But still, it looks dope. Shout-out to Magnetic Dreams for shepherding those intricate VFX components.

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In the dead of night, and in an empty O’Charley’s, we were hard at work to create a spot that broke the laws of physics. In a collaboration with O’Charley’s and Bohan, we created a spot that answered the ultimate question of the universe: chicken tenders or steak? The fate of this small family’s dinner is decided by a flipped quarter that might be possessed by the Devil. Or an angel, since they’re getting the best of both worlds: chicken and steak.

This spot proved, yet again, that we love to collaborate with teams of people who are looking to tell specific stories. It was an incredible opportunity to work alongside Bohan and O’Charley’s, especially because we shot this spot in the middle of the night and had endless supplies of O’Charley’s rolls and potato skins.

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Remand is the project that keeps rewarding us with joy and humility. Even though we finished the project last year, it continues to do well in the film festivals. It went on to win Best Documentary at the African Film Festival and Best Short Film at the Justice Film Festival in New York. Then, it was picked up to broadcast on LinkTV.

It’s inspiring to see how Henry’s story is touching so many lives and affecting change within our culture. His journey from wrongful conviction to becoming a medical student and arbiter of criminal justice reform has been astounding to witness, and we are proud to have been a small part of that saga.

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It’s many peoples’ dream to be able to train with a world-class athlete. However, not many of us have the agility, hand-eye coordination, or physical prowess that professional athletes possess. From that scenario comes slapstick comedy. Josh McGowan delivered a comedy spot with FoxFuel Creative for Saint Thomas Medical Partners that featured NFL quarterback, Marcus Mariota, and a burly, not-so-athletic father who just wants to train like he’s a superstar.

Josh and editor, Zach Prichard, did an amazing job finding the nuggets of natural comedy and infusing those moments with information prudent to the goal of the spot. The airy, pleasing visuals accentuated the action shots that led to a comedic moment with the actors. Plus, there’s that driving music bed that offsets the lack of natural athletic ability of the comedy actor.

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We ventured into the original web content space alongside Nashville’s most popular magazine about everything cool: Native Magazine. Revo’s creative team along with the folks at Native created the ‘Native Game Night’ series, which pits two artists and influencers against one another in a series of retro board games. The insightful, comedic, and oftentimes random conversations that spawn from playing one another form the episodes.

The on-going series is an exciting and creative outlet that we look forward to continuing in 2018. It’s rewarding to take an idea and bring it to life alongside Native and their extensive network of artists. Plus, there’s usually beer on the set for the talent to sip, and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t snag a beer, ourselves. We’d earned it.

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It was said to be the most incredible astrological phenomenon to be witnessed in so many years. The solar eclipse of 2017 was poised to occur right over the Nashville skyline, so thousands of people flocked to the Music City to catch a glimpse. Little known fact, the ring of light around the moon when it eclipses the sun is called the corona. Corona (the beer), Cramer-Krasselt, and Revo teamed up to produce a web spot that celebrates a world in awe and unity.

Sean Davé was tapped to direct and edit the web spot, and it was a whirlwind of a production. The pre-production was integral to the success of the spot––we knew what we wanted to capture throughout the shoot day. Sean, the creative team at Cramer-Krasselt, and the folks from Corona had a collaborative and copacetic process, which shines through the spot. You can feel the unifying and celebratory vibe through all of the great visuals.

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Sometimes there are projects you we can’t talk about, yet. What we can tell you is that we’ve been working with Tractor Supply Co. for a new series of spots. It’s directed by Josh McGowan and features gorgeous imagery and inspired storytelling. Those farmers and craftspeople make me feel bad for how long I stay indoors on a computer…

Then, there’s our project with Mazda and Corporate Magic. It’s a documentary piece directed by Cale Glendening, whose work you can view here. Also, it’s lensed by John Pope who was the cinematographer on Remand. It’s a highly-stylized piece that talks about how the people at Mazda are pushing the boundaries of their brand. We shot in 5 cities around the nation to find the killer stories in the film. It’s a project we’re proud of and we can’t wait to debut it.

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The whole year we celebrated our twenty years of being in business. In our ‘20 for 20’ episodes (all can be found here), Randy discussed his first projects. How we grew from Christian Music artists to American Idol winners, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and more. Then we worked with brands, such as Verizon, Ram Trucks, to Sony Pictures. We grew from a small cubicle offices in downtown Nashville, to a house in Melrose, to our creative space on Craighead that inspires us each day.

Our entire mission for visual creativity is to be in a state of constant change and innovation. The foundation of our storytelling remains firm, but to become stagnant is to become obsolete. We’re not in the business of being obsolete. Our commitment to excellent stories alongside exceptional people will never waver. As we move into 2018, we’re renewed in our sensibilities, yet excited for how we continue our legacy of dynamic visuals, people first, and disruptive creativity. See you in the new year.