An impromptu celebration breaks out in a diner but soon we realize that we’re witnessing the festivities—including the deployment of confetti-firing canons—in reverse. The good times are depicted in this spot titled “Change It Up” for Denizen from Levi’s, which earned number one entry distinction in SHOOT’s quarterly Top Ten Tracks Chart.
Created by San Francisco ad agency Heat, the lifestyle commercial was directed by Tristan Holmes via production house Doomsday and lensed by DP Jackson Hunt. Helping to drive the reverse action were a musical score and sound design from Yessian Music, Los Angeles.
The Yessian ensemble included creative director Andy Grush, executive producer David Gold, producer Katie Overcash, sound designer Jeff Dittenber, head of production Michael Yessian and chief creative officer Brian Yessian.
Audio post mixer was Joaby Deal of One Union Recording Studios, San Francisco. Vickie Sornslip exec produced for One Union. Pete Koob of Cut+Run edited “Change It Up.”
Creative challenges, collaboration
Relative to the prime creative challenges that “Change It Up” provided from music and sound design perspectives, Yessian Music exec producer Gold related, “There’s an element of a story being told in reverse here. The Music and SD needed to help reinforce this idea without sacrificing the groove and fun of the track or becoming to cliche. Giving the music an authentic feel was paramount in keeping with the feel and look of the spot while also pulling us along the story that the agency crafted.”
Key to the spot’s success was the collaborative relationship developed with the ad agency contingent. Heat artisans included chief creative director Steve Stone, executive creative director Elaine Cox, creative director Jonathan Byrne, associate creative directors Sally Hastings and Scot van den Driesen, head of production Elisa Moore, sr. producer John Riddle and associate producer Aimee Bosley.
Yessian Music creative director Grush observed, “Collaboration closely with the entire creative team will always produce the best results. We had a great line of communication with the agency and stayed pretty in sync with what we were looking to do from the beginning. Having the continuous open line of discussion with the whole team really allowed us to try concepts and ideas. Even as we were a bit down the road of creation, we knew that if we steered off track, we could get feedback on what was and was not working. This allowed for more experimentation during the process and to continue in an environment in which everyone feels good about exploring the storytelling for purposes of bettering the awareness of the brand and capturing the emotion tied to the brand.”
Grush, Gold and their Yessian colleagues also benefited from being brought in fairly early on in the creative process. Gold shared, “We were exploring music direction from very early on while the team was on the shoot. We explored a variety of directions and incorporated a wide range of talent to give each piece it’s own unique signature. We had some internal discussions early on about experimenting with different drummers and drum kits to go after different feels and vibes so that we could establish a solid rhythm section which would inform the pacing and the feel for the instrumentation. That ‘feel’ is really what ended up driving the music. There were many interesting options on the table, but all lead us to a really cool and vibey place.”
See the October 2018 Top Ten Music Tracks here.
Music/Sound:Yessian Music, Los Angeles; Andy Grush, creative director; David Gold, exec producer; Katie Overcash, producer; Jeff Dittenber, sound design; Michael Yessian, head of production; Brian Yessian, chief creative officer Audio Post: One Union Recording, San Francisco; Joaby Deal, sr. engineer; Vickie Sornslip, exec producer Agency: Heat, San Francisco Production: Doomsday, Los Angeles; Tristan Holmes, director