My early work in Television involved animation on shows as diverse as South Park and the Smurfs. But as commercial opportunities exploded and I segued from pure animation to live action, the demands of directing in a 30-second format became all encompassing. It's been extremely rewarding to return to Episodic Television with a show as playful and challenging as The Fresh Beat Band.
This show is shot sit-com style, using a classic 4-Camera format to capture an amusing blend of physical comedy, lighthearted performance, and extravagant music videos. The show also incorporates a Single-Camera approach during effects oriented sequences as well as during the process of creating music videos that intimately engage the viewing audience.
I received an Emmy nomination for my work on the 3rd season of The Fresh Beat Band, "Outstanding Director in a Children's Series". It's been a great deal of fun collaborating with a number LA's top choreographers on adrenaline infused song and dance routines designed to dovetail seamlessly with the fluid crane moves, voyeuristic perspectives, and unique camera angles afforded by the Single Camera approach.
CHIQUITA BANANA “JUST SMILE”
Chiquita Banana’s web-based “Just Smile” campaign celebrates the imaginative art of improvisational storytelling. Using the charming simplicity of child-like narration as a through-line, the team at Deep Focus and I created a series of videos blending live action with tongue-in-cheek puppet shows featuring Chiquita Bananas performing a multitude of hilarious roles.
The project was completely unscripted. I made a series of illustrations depicting bananas in all kinds exotic situations and flashed them in front of the kids to coax out stories that turned out to be more genuine, imaginative, and fun than any of us had envisioned.
Each live action performance was captured in a single take from multiple angles, and the puppet shows were created right afterwards using the improvisational narration as the basis for individual soundtracks. Our ensemble of five-year-old non-actors performed brilliantly, providing us with far better material than we could have ever come up with on our own!
Original Cue Card Concepts
LAY’S “DO US A FLAVOR”
Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” contest offers chip connoisseurs a yearly chance to win $1 million by coming up with the latest, greatest, and often outrageous recipes for a new flavor to add to it’s line-up.
I teamed up with global marketing agency Deep Focus to create a viral campaign celebrating this event, featuring live, improvisational performances by actor/comedian/musician Wayne Brady. As people Tweeted recipes live to the recording studio, Wayne transformed their proposed concoctions into a series of music videos captured in real time and distributed back via Twitter to a vast audience hungry to hear their exotic chip recipes immortalized in song.
Wayne Brady was hilarious, reading each Tweet for the first time on-camera, then immediately launching into an improvised song. We created the music videos in real time, using a classic sit-com style 4-camera set up. Everything ran through a multi-camera switcher and I called the edits live from the recording studio floor so that within minutes of shooting each video, they were already being Tweeted out. We shot 25 music videos over the course of a single day.