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Ashkan Memarian of Namesake Directs Rocksmith+ Commercial For Ubisoft
- Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2021
The singular romance of learning the guitar is updated for the modern age in a new spot directed by Ashkan Memarian for Ubisoft’s Rocksmith+™, the future of interactive music learning for guitar and bass.
Having both written the script and directed the spot, Memarian captures the mystery and magic of learning an instrument in this beautiful commercial piece. Melding a jubilant yet almost elegiac tone, the Namesake-represented director manages to take a new technology and an iconic instrument and weave them together into a visual poem.
Ubisoft came to Namesake with the initial idea, wanting to craft a story that would not only show off the mechanics of the Rocksmith+ subscription service, but also highlight the emotional reasons that inspire people to learn an instrument. From there, Memarian took the creative reins, working closely with the Ubisoft team and creating a relatable story he then pulled off the page and onto the screen.
Speaking to the collaboration, Memarian remarks, “The team at Ubisoft was amazing, they saw the vision early on in the creative process, which coincided with the beginning of the pandemic, and never wavered in their support. With such a clear and easy working relationship in place, we were able to move through the script phase collaboratively and with ease, and everyone always came to the table with clear and helpful feedback.”
Adjusting to COVID-19 protocols and finally commencing production when it was safe to do so, the commercial was shot in the span of six days across eight locations. Casting for the trailer was thoughtfully considered, as the story features multiple characters of varying skill levels in terms of their playing. From entry-level strummers to full-blown virtuosos, Ubisoft entrusted Namesake to find the right talent, using traditional casting methods and also by scouring social media and making connections through the local music scene.
Having done a significant amount of editing early in his career, Memarian crafted the narrative with a thoughtful sense of pace and rhythm, which flowed into the wonderful post production phase with editing partner Jai Shukla of Nomad Editorial. “As someone who has learned instruments to varying degrees and who pursues a creative passion,” explains Memarian, “I tried to tap into my own emotional reservoir when thinking through this story from script, to shoot, to edit and final delivery.”
“What’s that moment like when you’re about to take the stage for the first time, or the pride of expressing your love through song, or the everyday joy of jamming with friends? These kinds of moments are so personal, but are also feelings and ambitions I think everybody can relate to when expressed in a genuine way.”
The finished spot beautifully encapsulates why Rocksmith+ is the premier music-learning software offering unlimited access to guitar learning. Rocksmith+ has been built upon the proven Rocksmith method which has helped almost five million people learn how to play guitar.* Rocksmith+ offers improved state-of-the-art note detection, real-time feedback, practice tools designed to give the player control, all-new personalized recommendations and a vast and ever-expanding library of songs with master recordings.
*4.8 million copies of Rocksmith and Rocksmith 2014 sold.
Namesake is a commercial and short form production company hell-bent on delivering the goods, no matter the challenge. Founded in 2018, Namesake has quickly emerged as a breeding ground for emerging talent and a nimble and inventive solution to the ever changing landscape of production.
To learn more, please visit: namesakecontent.com
Rocksmith+ is the future of interactive music learning; a new subscription service which teaches users how to play guitar and bass through their favorite songs. It builds upon the award-winning Rocksmith method and innovative practice tools developed by Ubisoft San Francisco. With improved state-of-the-art note detection, real-time feedback, practice tools designed to give guitar players control, all-new personalized recommendations, and the only ever-growing library with master recordings, Rocksmith+ is the premiere music-learning software.
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Watch Dogs, and Tom Clancy’s video game series including Ghost Recon®, Rainbow Six and The Division. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2020-21 fiscal year, Ubisoft generated net bookings of €2,241 million.
To learn more, please visit: www.ubisoftgroup.com
© 2021 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. The Rocksmith logo, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are registered or unregistered trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries.
Production Company - Namesake
Director: Ashkan Memarian, EP: Tori Palmatier, DP: Sean Bagley, Producer: Elisha Gustafson, Art Director: Meg Cabell, Stylist: Sandy Bee, HMU: Jana Salvatori
Editing - Nomad
Editor: Jai Shukla, EP: Jennifer Lederman, HP/Producer: Sheena Wagaman; Assistant editor: Adira Baum, Tommy Palumbo and Henry Carroll; Design Team/finishing Team: David Soto, Thomas Bergamini, Taz Tasnaphun, Ed Lopez and Justin Allison
Color - Company3
Colorist: Jenny Montgomery, Producer: Alexandra Lubrano
Sound Design: Nathan Hoffman
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