The past year has been a whirlwind, or just a normal year, sometimes it’s hard to tell. I had some technical difficulties with the blog, some work difficulties (in that, I had to) and ultimately some time difficulties – in that, I didn’t have time to update anything longer than 140 characters on Twitter. I took a couple of screenwriting courses, wrote two spec scripts and one original, and because of work, had the opportunity to work on some very cool things.
As I ease back into this, I wanted to share a couple of those very cool things that I’m especially excited to have been a part.
This is what it looks like when you’re happy
on set being boss.
Branded Content: CMT Music Awards 2016 + Aveeno
I work on a lot of branded content and to be honest, it’s some of my favorite work, and not just because there’s usually very cool talent (like country artist Cam). Branded content is an opportunity to engage with viewers by connecting them with brands that fit their lifestyle, plus the idea is that it’s mutually beneficial for all involved. That was exactly the idea I tried to communicate in writing this Aveeno piece, which had very few script revisions. It’s rare to be one and done, but as an Aveeno user and about the same age as Cam, sometimes it just clicks.
The spot was shot by the awesome Dave Ogle, a great DP in Nashville who also shot a spot I wrote and produced last year for CMT’s Next Women of Country + Toyota. We edited in house at CMT and gratefully, were able to use Cam’s single at the time “Mayday”. Honestly, I might be most proud of the line “hanging with my best gal” which is something I say all the time, and always in reference to my own puppy.
CMT Original Series Launch: NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed
I think we talked about this project for longer than it took to actually create it – although due to scheduling conflicts, it was one of those projects that kind of creep along for several months before it was finally released. We did three launch spots for the show – an origin story type documentary about the birth and evolution of NASCAR.
I wrote the first spot, which was brilliantly illustrated by the team at State Design, who also designed much of the original graphics used throughout the campaign. I then wrote and produced two additional spots, the second a more straight-forward clip spot using the footage from the 3-part documentary itself, and the third another partial clip spot, but this time narrated and featuring legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I didn’t expect to be as starstruck as I was, but when you’re suddenly in the interview chair asking Dale Jr. what it’s like to race at Daytona, shit gets real. Plus, we were able to shoot at Dale’s studio in Mooresville, North Carolina – a small town with a very good steakhouse.
Special Event: The 2015 CMT Artists of the Year
2015 was the fifth year of this live show, half-awards show – half gluttonous celebration of music – shot at the beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville. The artists are determined based on a series of metrics – record sales, radio spins, etc. – so they’re typically the best of the best and thus, always an exciting project to work on. Based on a design concept by Daniel Brown, one of CMT’s Senior Graphics Designers, I pitched a promo concept that echoed the jazzy, black-tie feel of our inaugural promos but updated it to reflect the more casual look of mainstream country artists and “Adele-ish” music that was in my head the moment I saw the graphics.
I was able to shoot and briefly interview all five acts in an incredibly tight space over two days. We’re talking five minutes per artist. Maybe. At one point, someone said I would have 8 seconds with Blake Shelton #jokingnotjoking. Our DP, Roger Pistole, is kind of a master at these things having shot music videos for just about every artist in Nashville. It’s always fun to work with DPs who really get what you’re doing. We shot at 60fps and 45fps. I’m proud of the whole thing, but maybe most excited that we were able to keep the shot of the women in Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman) dropping the tamborine, which also, you know, happened to be mine. It’s the little things!
It was a team effort to create, shoot and produce these spots. Visit the VIMEO links to see a list of who helped make this magic happen.