Sedna Films Completes Three Challenging Commercials for Florida Medical Centers

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 (lisa@sednafilms.com), on the east coast by Rich Schafler of Schafler Artists Management in New York, NY (rich@sednafilms.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.

“Day-in-the-Life” Spots Show Up-and-Coming Athletes Choosing Ball Park Franks for Power Snacks

(LOS ANGELES, CA) – 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 (lisa@sednafilms.com), on the east coast by Rich Schafler of Schafler Artists Management in New York, NY (rich@sednafilms.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.

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Sedna Films Adds To Staff

January 3, 1008 (SANTA MONICA, CA) – Sedna Films, a commercial production company, recently hired Moses Mugo to serve as manager of its Santa Monica office.

Mugo moved from Africa to the United States in 1990 when he was 18 to pursue an education. He worked in freelance production for a number of years until he earned enough money to put himself through college. In 2005 he graduated from California State University at Fullerton with a degree in Political Science in 2005.

Heather Weinstock, head of production at Sedna, first met Mugo while she was working as a second assistant director (AD) in freelance production.

“He started out working for me as a PA but was one of those people who just showed initiative and quickly moved up the production ladder,” she said. “He was a huge help to me on set then and I’m extremely thrilled he will back with me at Sedna.”

As office manager, Mugo will be responsible for day-to-day administrative and clerical duties. He will also work closely with Sedna’s sales representatives and directors on treatments, reels, and other needs.

When he retires from his entertainment career, Mugo plans to move back to Africa and get involved in politics, Weinstock noted.

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 (lisa@sednafilms.com), on the east coast by Rich Schafler of Schafler Artists Management in New York, NY (rich@sednafilms.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.

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