- CULVER CITY, Calif.
Director Peter Cote has joined WoodShop, the production house founded by exec producer Sam Swisher and ECD/director Trevor Shepard. Cote already has wrapped at his new roost a Cracker Barrel campaign, which thus far has received more than 1.8 million views.
Cote noted the extra challenge posed by the Cracker Barrel assignment for VaynerMedia NY as he and the WoodShop team had to pivot their execution strategy due to the pandemic. “Creatively, it was a challenge because sliced cheese can so easily get lost in all the other layers that make up a sandwich,” he detailed. “The cheese really needed to stick out and be the hero amongst all the flavors. In our conversations, it was all about being choose-y about cheese, and so it makes sense that the tag at the end is ‘Cheese Wisely.’ I really tried to make sure Cracker Barrel slices got their heroic moment.”
Cote started his film career working in visual effects where he contributed to the HBO miniseries The Pacific. He went on to found a hybrid production company and ad agency called Conscious Minds. What started as a scrappy two-man operation grew into a full-fledged digital agency. Cote served as both a creative director and oversaw production. In 2010, he led a project for Levi’s called “Guy Walks Across America.” The video centered on a guy in classic Levi’s 501 jeans walking in stop motion from New York City to San Francisco. It was released initially as unbranded content, but that didn’t last long as it organically grew to millions of views online and Levi’s let the cat out of the bag that it had actually been an under-the-radar guerrilla campaign. Both Mashable and CNN listed it as one of the “Top 5 Viral Video Campaigns” of the year.
Cote’s company continued to grow and so did the client list. He continued to work with Levi’s, Nike, Clorox, Microsoft and Ubisoft, among others. A few years later, Cote moved on from the agency after selling his ownership. At that point, he began to specialize in high-speed production with Phantom slow-motion cameras, and continued working in branded content on a freelance basis. He led and contributed to projects for MTV, Facebook, Nickelodeon, Nike, MGM, Adidas, and Under Armour. Today, Peter finds himself as curious and experimental as ever. He is still fascinated by constantly evolving technology, and applies an inventive and engineering mindset to lots of what he does. Currently, he is passionate about creating custom tools and rigs that bring table-top production to life. Most of all, he looks forward to what challenges him next.
WoodShop EP Swisher cited Cote’s work ethic and insatiable curiosity as being among the director’s many assets. Swisher recalled, “Entrepreneurial in spirit, he actually came to us first over a year ago saying, ‘I’m a director/shooter in L.A. and have been focusing more on tabletop production. I have a studio near downtown where I experiment, shoot, do VFX and build customized tabletop rigs.’ Trevor and I reviewed his website, his work on Instagram and it was love at first sight.”
Shepard noted that Cote “comes to WoodShop with a great deal of experience directing and extensive knowledge of high-speed filmmaking.”
Cote related, “I hope to keep pushing the boundaries of food storytelling. In particular, I love to focus on the minutiae of food and ingredients in their raw form. I appreciate food being a world of small details and sometimes beautiful chaos. But with the right perspective that beautiful chaos can come from something as simple as pouring a bowl of cereal, or as complex as chopping, mixing, and sautéing ingredients. I love to give those moments a more epic scale by slowing it all down to view the detail.”
WoodShop is currently in the midst of a series of projects, including a Burger King campaign featuring the re-launch of the famous Whopper, as well as a campaign for Post Cereal due out soon.