1) It’s hard to ignore or not feel affected by the erosion of truth that’s caused push back against social media. Our current state of (political) affairs is inspiring content makers to find ways to tell truthful stories now that we are living in a time when it takes digging and persistence to find what’s real. Risks are being taken and audiences are craving and supporting stories of inclusion and human connection. From the LinkedIn campaign “In It Together” directed by Stacy Peralta to Indie Film Audience Award winners like BURDEN by Andrew Heckler and THE SENTENCE by Rudy Valdez, there is proof that there is an audience for independent voices to tell personal, diverse stories. Representation and inclusion is what the people want and brands to big box office film franchises are responding. The hope is we keep seeing more of this.
2) The melding of entertainment and advertising is what really inspires me as these two worlds are colliding in the best ways. Watching independent film directors bring their voices to brands is a way to bring a diverse aesthetic to a broad stage. Dee Reese’s (PARIAH, MUDBOUND) short film for Walmart, Box, theoretically should continue to inspire brands to hire minority directors to bring their culture, their families, their goals and hopes to a giant platform (like having a short film air during The Oscars). I hope brands respond courageously to this kind of work and think outside of the :15/:30/:60 second box.
A responsive chord currently was struck after recently seeing the feature Won’t You Be My Neighbor by Morgan Neville. The doc brilliantly reminds its audience of Roger’s compassionate approach to children’s TV and you can’t help but compare it to what is offered to kids now. I’m proud of the message KBS has crafted for client Dairy Pure which in some ways, feels like a throwback to a simpler time. Our social pieces focus on kids playing outside sans technology, while our TV spot shows a father and son watching a cartoon together after the young boy takes hold of the remote and changes the channel from disruptive, unsettling, cable news.
3) With platforms like Instagram launching a long-form video hub, I’m hoping that branding through long-form continues to grow. The short film NORA by Giovanni Reda is a low budget, brand enhancing piece that tells the story of Nora Vasconcellos—Adidas’s first female pro skateboarder. The film is girl power in the most exceptional way delivering a powerful message while entertaining. What a great way to share your brand-by contributing on an artistic level with an important message.
4) Art reflects life! The winning spots that I gravitate towards promote social activism or supply undeniable political commentary. Red Cross’s “Hope”, P&G’s “The Talk” and Go Gentle, Australia’s “Stop the Horror” were honest, raw and absolutely fantastic writing.
5) KBS recently invested in a fabulous upgrade to our internal Studio that includes Cinema 4D and Nuke. We are considering Flame now that it’s offered as a desk top subscription. It was important to us to keep our internal studio up to speed as we embark on quicker client turn-arounds and the occasional challenging budget!
In the past only large crews could take advantage of big drones, gimbals, and multi camera VR rigs. Now smaller single operator options are available for sets that need to have smaller footprints. Drones that fit in your pocket, auto-stitching 360 cameras, and handheld gimbals that are controlled with an app on your phone are examples of some gear our internal production studio would like to get their hands on.
6) I am a fan and supporter of Made in NY PA Training Program. Their mission is to provide unemployed and low-income NYC residents with training and placement into entry-level positions in Film and TV production in hopes to promote diversity. KBS is a tremendous supporter of Free the Bid which has proven to be a resource we support, love, and depend on.