Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse! To celebrate the occasion of Mickey’s birthday November 18, PICROW directing collective The Hall chronicled the mouse doing surprise meet-ups with fans worldwide, from Osaka, Japan to Santiago, Chile. For the second year, Disney and agency Yellow Shoes commissioned The Hall to direct and post a month-long wish list of content, including social media films, a:60 broadcast spot and editing Mickey’s climatic celebration to be featured on Good Morning America. 

Celebrating Mickey
The campaign is centered around Mickey’s birthday, it’s a celebration that takes him out of the theme parks and direct to his fans,” says PICROW Producer Lisa Rucker. “The Hall does great documentary work, they know how to capture the natural emotion and joy of people reacting to Mickey Mouse. We’ve done quite a few international shoots, so we already had teams set up in many of the cities. Most of the casting was handled at PICROW, while a tech scout helped us prep each shoot day.”

Surprise Visits
Logistics for Mickey’s birthday campaign were ambitious. The Hall filmed 4-7 locations each day, in Los Angeles, Osaka, Japan, London, England, Montreal, Canada Columbus, Ohio and Santiago, Chile. The resulting content for Mickey’s B-Day Celebration (twelve videos, stills and GIFS) were distributed via Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.  The scenarios featured Mickey surprising fans with visits from their favorite mouse. “We told fans only that we wanted to do little interviews, then brought in Mickey to crash the shoot,” says Rucker. “It’s a celebration for Mickey, but also a chance to show appreciation to his fans, young and old, all over the world.” On location, The Hall worked two main cameras and numerous smartphones. That setup enabled everyone to film Mickey or fan reactions. “We had a very small crew where everyone wore a lot of different hats,” adds Rucker. “We did most of the editorial on the road, making adjustments each day for shooting in the next city.”

Worldwide Tour
Plans for the Mickey’s worldwide birthday campaign began in June, discussing the creative with both the Disney team and agency Yellow Shoes. Casting began at the beginning of August and The Hall started production in September. The first shoot day was in Los Angeles in early October and continued throughout the month.  “We had a great time collaborating with both Disney and Yellow Shoes,” says Rucker. “I think everyone was excited to try new and different things from last year. It’s a very unique campaign and everyone was excited to be a part of the project.”

Pictures in a Row (PICROW) Studios is a new hybrid — the combination of a studio, production house, and post facility. Equipped with distinguished directors, digital talent, and both full time development and production staffs, PICROW creates content spanning from film and television to commercials and digital media. The company is headquartered at 736 Seward St., Hollywood, CA 90038. For more information, go to www.picrow.com