April 16, 2008 (SANTA MONICA, CA) – After Sedna Films, a commercial production company based in Santa Monica, recently completed three new 30-second spots by advertising agency Fenner and Hamill of Atlanta, GA, for Lakeland Regional Medical Center & Lakeland Regional Cancer Center in Lakeland, Florida, director Jon Hill summed up the process as “a very humbling experience.”
“We were in the biggest and busiest hospital in central Florida so we had be extra sensitive to that environment — where people’s lives were actually being saved,” Hill explained. “We had to have not only the best but the smallest crew because of space constraints. We really had to pare down our equipment and each cart couldn’t be more noticeable than, say, a gurney. We couldn’t interfere with the normal work of the hospital, and we had to be prepared to move or change schedule at a second’s notice. It was an amazing experience.”
Fenner and Hamill’s Tracy Fenner (principal), Jane Kelley (art director), and Trisha Parrish (writer) created the campaign, which focuses on the state-of-the-art technologies available to patients at the centers and the people who operate them. They combine live action and “real” people with graceful animation. Entitled “Women’s Services Mobile,” “Cardiac Butterfly” and “Cancer Globe,” the short stories of the centers’ obstetrics, cardiac and cancer technologies had to fit inside an animated butterfly (whose wings move), globe (that spins), and crib mobile (that turns), yet keep moving to maintain interest.
“The imagery needed to have motion,” Hill said. “So we designed shots that would reveal things as they moved. We used a blend of organic camera movement and the interaction of the people with the technology to keep up the interest within the scenes and at the same time work smoothly within the VFX and animation environment created by VFX artist Gavin Holmes and creative director Jeff Doud at R!OT Atlanta.”
Working with “real” people posed another challenge – one this particular director enjoys.
“Ninety-eight percent of the talent in the spots are ‘real’ people,” Hill said. “I love working with ‘real’ people. It’s interesting to see what they will do in their world. We wanted to see real procedures, and it was up to them to show us just that. At times I was more observing than directing. So we were able to see just how intense it really is to do what these doctors, nurses and technicians do even though they were just pretending. They still went at it with the same intensity. That made the magic happen and the scenes came to life.”
To solve the space and time constraints, Sedna Films’ crew carefully selected and manipulated their gear. “We used a small jib arm with a 2575 O’Connor head, a Cartoni Dutch head, and an Arriflex 435 mounted on the end. I believe we pushed the gear to new heights and came out with a great look and feel in the spots.”
Hill praised R!OT’s VFX artists for the success of the final products. “These guys do amazing work,” he said. “The trick here was combining the real visuals with the unreal animations and finding a happy ground where the two would co-exist.”
This was Hill’s fourth project with Fenner and Hamill.
Sedna Films, Inc. is a member of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP). Other clients include TNT, Shell, Panasonic, Honda, Sara Lee, 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.