Most of our commercial jobs are fairly quick projects — we typically shoot them in one day (maybe two), and take a day or two for post production. This one was different.
The Huntsville City School system is doing some great things, and they wanted a nice image campaign to showcase all the goings-on. This meant going lots of places, staging lots of scenes, and shooting for several days to complete the three-commercial series.
Over the course of five days we visited a dozen separate schools, shot in 36 different locations, and had almost a hundred individual camera setups. To get the exact right mix of locations and the dozens of student and teacher actors, the pre-production became a big puzzle that all had to fit together just right.
There were a few times we had to punt and do a quick switcheroo with a location or one of our young actors, as this project was shot right at the close of the school year when most students were in end-of-year testing. It all went smoothly, thanks to producer Phil Schmidt keeping it all organized. Todd Terry directed the shoot, with both Todd and Phil concepting and writing. Joey Skelton edited the campaign over three days of post production.
We knew we wanted the perfect voiceover, so we cast public radio's Tim Russell (of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion") as our narrator.
This project was coordinated by the school system's agency, The Driscoll Group.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said this campaign "Makes me cry." Hmmm... we hope he meant that as a compliment.