• Ask Big Questions

    When you witness a story that’s so extraordinary… you know it. It’s a feeling you experience, and you can’t quite explain it. The story moves beyond any boundary or limitation set upon it and breaks into the coveted upper-crust of becoming an instant classic — a treasure to our story-craving culture.

    That’s what happened to me when I saw the first Shrek film.

    In all seriousness, a branded piece, by Harry’s Razors in partnership with The Representation Project titled A Man Like You, asks big questions in terms of how their product relates to its target audience’s emotions. It aspires to explore something deeper — venturing beyond just a run-in-the-mill ad. I wanted to break down and discuss why this short film works on so many levels: narrative, theme, and incorporation of branding. Before continuing any further, watch A Man Like You below:

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  • Understanding Black Panther’s Power

    Wakanda Forever. It’s not only a rallying cry for a great movie — it’s a proud proclamation of inclusion, heritage, and a hope for a better tomorrow for all peoples. Black Panther is the number one movie in the world, and, frankly, deserves to be there. read more

  • At the Turn of the Tide… Ad

    The Big Game is over and the post-hot wings and beer antacids are all eaten up. Because that’s America. The biggest sporting event in the country also comes with the most anticipated commercials of the year––some of them land, some of them flop. Afterwards, there are the endless lists of ‘Best Super Bowl Ads 2018.’

    Today, we’re doing something a little different. There was one ad campaign that stood above the rest because of its inventiveness and self-awareness. It’s the Tide ads. David Harbour, of Stranger Things fame, starred in four spots––one in each quarter––that totaled 90-seconds of air-time. Let’s dissect why the ads worked and what we can learn from Tide.

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  • Mergers and Mega-hit Independent Films

    In late 2017, it was announced that Disney would buy 20th Century Fox, including all of the beloved properties such as X-men, Fantastic Four, and… I guess, The Simpsons? The studio system continues to shrink down to a smaller number of big studios. Whether or not that portends doom for the industry or not (I tend to think not), remains to be seen.  read more

  • Scary Good Content for Halloween

    I’m not sure who you are, or what your life is, but I’ve already had to go back to Kroger to buy candy a second time for the trick-or-treaters because I ate the bag I had. If you’re one of those people who can buy a bag of candy and save it for Halloween night, send me your address so I can send you a trophy with a personalized note.

    That brings me to my topic for the day: candy brands, and how they break ahead of the pack in time for one of the three biggest holidays for candy. (Wait, there are at least three holidays centered around candy…?! Guys, we need to reflect on who are as a people.) read more

  • Transitioning to Cinematic: the Commercial Evolution

    I remember seeing commercials when I was a kid growing up in the 90s. They all looked similar; upbeat music bed, high-key lighting, cheesy product shots, lots of flying graphic text. There was always two boys of different ethnicities saying “WOW!” at the latest and greatest toy. Then, one of their moms would come in, tilt her head slightly, and ask “What are you kids up to?” Then, (presumably) her son would say, “Aw gee whiz, Mom, we’re battling Galactor!” (Galactor is a villain in my space opera I’m writing. Watch out, James Gunn.) Now, I see ads on TV that utilize sweeping, panoramic drone shots. I see wonderful, nuanced lighting that highlights the emotionality of brand’s story. The new generation of marketing content could be bonafide short films. When did this transition from sappy to spectacle happen? Where does the video marketing world go from here? Today, we’ll explore those topics.

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  • Breaking Down “Boundaries”

    ‘Live for the story.’ It’s a simple maxim; one that we hear reiterated throughout our interactions. Canon molds that philosophy into a story that explores life, adventure, and illumination in fluid motion. ‘Boundaries’ follows the story of a young man, from infancy to his mid-twenties. As he moves and interacts with his world, his surroundings are illuminated with spotlights. Surprisingly, you don’t realize it is a Canon commercial until the end when the logo fades up. Today, we’ll delve into the visual story of ‘Boundaries,’ why it works as a commercial, and how taking the “brand” out of “branded content” catapulted this spot into critical praise.

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  • Laughs & Tears: Emotionality in Advertising

    It’s the classic dichotomy of comedy or tragedy. How do you want to grab your audience, with tears or laughter? In the age of “Skip this Ad” and cable-cutting, it is vital that advertisers capture the attention of their audiences. You’ve got to tug on the emotions of your viewers; playing to people’s subconscious will grab attention. How do you reckon with the attention spans of a generation, which, honestly, have been rendered obsolete from our constant and erratic consumption of media?  Furthermore, are tears or laughter more effective than the other? read more

  • Revo Film School: Color

    Take out your protractors and ballpoint pens because your Revo Film School is back in session. Think of your favorite film. Picture the most memorable scene. Play it back within your mind’s eye. Seriously. Stop reading and do a little homework for me… I hope you enjoyed that, and I hope your favorite movie isn’t
    Trolls 2. When you imagined your scene, were you imagining it in color? Unless it’s a black and white film, most likely yes. At first, this might seem like a no-brainer, but color has a bigger role in every film than one might think. Color is the lead role in all of your favorite movies that you never notice.

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  • Wes Anderson x H&M


    Clocking in under 4-minutes, Wes Anderson’s short film for Swedish clothing company, H&M, is the perfect stocking stuffer for cinephiles. “Come Together” tells the story of Conductor Ralph (Adrien Brody) as he informs the passengers of the H&M Lines Train that inclement weather has delayed their arrival time by a whole half-day, and the passengers will likely miss their holiday plans with loved ones. The short film is a masterclass in camera movement, style, production design, and visual storytelling. Concurrently, it communicates a timely message with the holidays just around the corner. read more