As part of a Minnesota Wild sponsorship Sun Country Airlines had a commercial spot that played in between game periods within the Xcel Energy Center. This was a small scale production with a four-person crew so I had to be involved in every aspect from concept, to props creation and music sourcing. One of the best moments for me was the look of horror we got when we walked into the hockey arena with an ice auger. It took a lot of reassuring of the Wild staff that we were not, in fact, going to actually drill into the ice.

We actually had a couple of different endings for this that involved frozen bikinis and a fish in a block of ice. This version grabbed a bit more attention with the hockey horn blasting at the end, so this is ultimately the version that we ran with.

And for the record…filming on Lake Minnetonka in January is not something I recommend.

Sun Country Marketing was looking for a way to garner more user generated content through their social channels. They were looking for a fun, upbeat way to introduce the program through a video with very limited budget.

This video features a wide variety of stock footage and audio, and I ended up animating and editing the final version. Ultimately, the look and the ‘Travel Is’ theme became an entire campaign with TV spot, print ads, digital pre-rolls, and email support components.

This video project involved a considerable amount of make-it-up-as-you-go. A well intentioned marketing manager booked two cameras and a drone to shoot footage for one day at this week long camp for kids suffering from Juvenile Arthritis. The only real plan they had put together was to film the kids in their activities at camp. Ultimately, we needed a promotional video that covered getting kids and parents interested in the camp and tugged at the heart strings of potential donors.

So with no concept, no storyboards, and no idea what to expect of the crew I showed up with my camp t-shirt on and bug spray in hand. The thing about Juvenile Arthritis is…you can’t see it. These kids looked and acted just like any other group of kids, which doesn’t do much heart string tugging nor does it tell much of a story. On a whim I asked if we could talk to a couple of the kids. We found a quiet grove and just started having conversations with them. Our discovery of the real underlying issue for kids suffering from Juvenile Arthritis became the building blocks for the video.

The character in this video is named “Jimmy”, a monicker created from an ad that had been created the year before (we like to market to ourselves once in a while). The owner of the company LOVED the Jimmy character. To the point that no matter what concepts we came up with for TV spots the ultimate question we always got was ‘can we get more Jimmy in the spot’. So to acquiesce we came up with a visual concept that was nothing but Jimmy.

Jimmy, as a character, is built from a mix of Denise the Menace curiosity and pure excitement. We figured he was the kind of kid that would disassemble random household electronics to create something new, or get really into magic tricks that he could impress his friends with. Jimmy the Magician fit better with the ‘pure excitement’ part of his personality. So the owner got lots of Jimmy, the marketing department got a spot that featured a ton of vacation footage, and we got to move on to other concepts…with less Jimmy.

This kid in real life, is fantastic to work with. He can turn on that smile and personality instantaneously.

Travel means different things to different people. The ‘Travel is’ campaign sought to encapsulate the fun and excitement of a variety of Sun Country’s destination offerings. With a modest budget we were able to book end stock footage with a custom set up and close featuring our the established Jimmy character that we had used in several Sun Country TV spots.

It’s never a bad day on the job when your concept involves filming on a beach in Florida…in January.

“So when you say shoestring budget…what are we actually looking at spending?” [long uncomfortable pause] “Oh.”

As part of a sports marketing campaign for Sun Country we had the opportunity to run a series of shorts in between periods during Gopher hockey games. There wasn’t a whole lot of budget to be had on these so we took a ‘we meant to do that’ campy style for the entire series of videos. Using well known campus hockey personalities Doug Woog, Lou Nanne and Goldie Gopher, we thought through what traveling with these three characters might be like and the scenarios they may encounter.

What would happen if University of Minnesota hockey legends Doug Woog and Lou Nanne were on a plane and experienced that dreaded…‘please don’t let that person sit next to me’ moment during boarding. It might go a little something like this.

Video

When I first started working on video projects it took me a while to get my mind around moving through a story. I had such a heavy background in print which is much more instantaneous delivery. Now I love the challenge of the set up and payoff that video offers.

I’ve had a hand in the concept, script development, casting, production and overseeing edits for all the projects here. These range from low budget 5-man crews, run and guns, all the way through to fully produced television spots.