Sedna Films, a commercial production company based in Santa Monica, recently teamed up with Sara Lee/Ball Park Franks to create a couple of high-energy, high-action, 60-second spots that capture “a day in the lives” of super-skateboarder Patrick Hernandez and Olympics-bound high-jumper Timothy Sebastian, who, according to the commercials, choose Ball Park Franks for their power-snack of choice.
“The concept is that these guys are exceptional athletes who have too much energy and too much going on to take the time out to sit down for a meal,” explained Sedna’s executive producer Dirk Detweiler. “So when they need to grab a quick snack, that snack is a hot dog.”
To make the point, Sedna and director/cameraman Jon Hill spent four days with the boys on locations around Los Angeles, including a West LA Skate Park, a skate ramp built for community kids at a United Methodist Church in Venice, and Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga where Timothy Sebastian trains in track and field, specifically the high-jump.
To get the in-your-face shots he wanted at the skate park, Hill positioned himself down inside the concrete “bowls” and filmed Patrick Hernandez in action all around him. “That was a bit of a challenge,” Detweiler noted.
At the church’s skate ramp, the production crew strapped a camera directly onto a skateboard and let it fly. Occasionally, Hill climbed on a board himself for a little point-of-view action. The Ball Park Franks made their appearance when Patrick’s mother brought a big cooler full of hotdogs out to the ramp for all the kids.
“Everyone involved from pre-production to post did an amazing job of realizing the vision of this project,” said Hill. “Our challenge was to capture and piece together stories from 24-hour experiences of hanging with Tim & Pat. We’ve created windows to these amazing kids’ dreams, lives and aspirations that we all can relate to.”
Timothy Sebastian’s action sequences take place at Chaffey College where he holds the state championship for jumping seven feet, three inches. (He told the crew he hopes to qualify for the Olympics at seven feet five inches.) Eventually, Tim and some track buddies, take a quick break to scarf down some Ball Park Franks at a Junior Olympics track meet where they are checking out the competition.
“Those four days were a lot of fun,” Detweiler said. “The boys are truly amazing at what they do. It was exciting to watch them, and they couldn’t have been more cooperative.”
Hill and camera assistant Matt Goetz kept two cameras running for every sequence, Detweiler said. “We tried to collect as much footage as we could to make the spots very high-energy.” The final product, edited by Todd Betts’ of The Reel Thing, Inc., a post-production facility in Santa Monica, with graphic illustrations and special effects by Smoke artist Moody Glasgow, will include 24p HD, 24p SD, film and digital stills.
“Jon Hill loves to keep the camera rolling in order to capture all the unexpected moments that can really add to a piece,” said Doug Klekner, The Reel Thing’s executive producer. “The final outcome feels much more spontaneous. This does bring a bigger challenge to the editing process but Todd Betts knows no fear for this, having worked on many underground videos. The graphics added a whole other element to the spots and we had a lot of fun creating the look. All in all it was a great project for our shop.”
When editing is complete, the spots will first appear on the Internet on YouTube. Parent company Sara Lee intends to use the spots to create more awareness for its http://www.myhunger.com website.
Sedna Films, Inc. is a member of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). Other clients include TNT, Shell, Panasonic, Honda, Sony/BMG, Vespa, UNICEF, The NBA, and The Weather Channel. Sedna Films is represented on the west coast by Lisa Schreiber of Boardalicous in Hermosa Beach, CA (firstname.lastname@example.org), on the east coast by Rich Schafler of Schafler Artists Management in New York, NY (email@example.com) and in the mid-west by Dwayne Petch of Petch and Company in Westerville, Ohio (Dwayne@sednafilms.com).
For more information on Sedna Films, visit http://www.sednafilms.com.