Over the past few weeks, we’ve written about our Addy Awards wins for Point3 and Whitebox. Well, guess what. We have one more win to tell you about! #HumbleBrag.
Here, we have our ad for FilterBuy, entitled Breathe Easy which has won in the category of Internet Commercial. When we took on this project, the very first thought that came to mind was, “How can we make air filters interesting?”
We began in early October, with a tight goal of a 4 week turnaround. Since this was a particularly difficult nut to crack, we began our brainstorming process early. The differences of our thoughts and experiences all came together, as we approached air filters in our unique ways. This was one of the first times the three of us were able to put our heads together to create an ad.
After some back and forth, we landed on the idea of the things your parents should have taught you. We envision a nervous dad who one day realized, “I forgot to teach my son about X and Y!” We toyed with the idea of a dad giving his grown son, who is married and has a house, advice. From there, we took a step back and came up with the basic structure of a dad instilling his wisdom in a son… but the son is already a functioning adult.
We liked this initial idea, but knew we needed more. Then we came up with the idea of making the filter talk. Taking the idea a step further, we decided to put our all-knowing, dad character inside the furnace. Needless to say, this new direction brought with it a few questions: Can we do this? What will it look like? And, how do we even get the dad in there? Once we made our tweaks, the auditions for the dad made their way to us. Funny enough, actors even auditioned with makeshift grates in front of their faces.
We worked again with the dynamic-duo of Martin and Tommy from Charmcine, to shoot the ad. We went back and forth with ideas on how to get the dad inside of the air filter. We could do green screen, but we’re honestly not huge fans of digital effects. Perhaps we could build something from sheet metal to look like a furnace? We were about to take this project upon ourselves, but then decided to hire a professional HVAC person to do it right. He built a mock furnace with parts he had laying around. Long story short, we sketched the idea for the furnace, sent that to our HVAC guy. This whole time, still not sure if it’s going to work. Can they fit a guy in there? Will it look good?
All we needed was a basement in which to film, but we were concerned over constraints about lighting and room. We ended up shooting in Martin’s basement in Havre de Grace, MD. We built a wall to cover Martin’s real furnace and a fake wall to move around. Then, we jimmied everything together and sprayed ducts and furnace with a whole bunch of clear coat so it would appear dusty and wouldn’t reflect light on camera.
According to Dan, “all commercials are terrifying until you have the first piece of the first edit.” This is especially true for comedic commercials. We learned that you can BS your way around a drama a little easier than you can BS around comedy. Comedy takes an idea. It takes language and a setup.
And, you have no idea if it’s going to be good or not until you put it together.
We’ll find out March 9th if FilterBuy: Breathe Easy will win gold or silver in the category of Internet Commercial. Wish us even more luck and broken legs.