Top Spot of the Week: The Martin Agency, Director David Shafei Delve Into "Legend of the Lizard"


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024


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GEICO has released this 15-minute, tongue-in-cheek documentary, Legend of the Lizard--directed by David Shafei of World War Seven for The Martin Agency--that features unaired footage and never-before-seen interviews all centered on one of its most beloved characters--the GEICO Gecko. 
Arriving on the scene in 1999, the Gecko is one of the most well-known brand mascots of all time. Now viewers will get a peek behind the curtain of his upbringing and journey to becoming a legend. The mockumentary--running on YouTube and TikTok--includes special appearances and interviews from the Gecko’s best friend, his high school coach, co-workers, and some fun easter eggs, including cameos from GEICO’s legendary “Hump Day” commercial, and of course, The Caveman himself who’s not too thrilled with the heightened attention being paid to the Gecko. 

Director Shafei said, “The Gecko is really one of the greats. Stylistically, we were lampooning popular prestige documentaries, but Legend of the Lizard wound up being surprisingly moving. It explores his humble small-town beginnings as an insurance prodigy and the community that continues to support him and really fleshed out a backstory to this legendary character. GEICO commercials themselves are legendary--we even pay homage to some of them in this ‘documentary’--so helming this fifteen-minute tribute was an honor.”


Client GEICO Damon Burrell, chief marketing officer; Michelle Moscone, VP, creative & content; Gary Aurand, sr. director, creative & content; Tom Perlozzo, director, marketing creative brand; Allison Eckert, supervisor II, marketing; Anna Readen, brand marketing program lead; Keye Gaglani, marketing project manager II; Suki Eleuterio, social content strategist; Hannah Meshulam, copywriter; Montana Bassett, social editor; Asia Ali, community engagement specialist; Frank Benenati, VP of communications; Rachael L. Rivas, head of communication strategy & planning. Agency The Martin Agency Kristen Cavallo, CEO; Danny Robinson, chief creative officer; Ashley Marshall, executive creative director; Neel Williams, group creative director; Ryan Raab, creative director; Graham Unterberger, creative director/copywriter; Dustin Dodd, creative director/art director; McKay Fritz, copywriter; Isaiah Timmons, art director; Melissa Wiseman, sr. studio artist; Judd Burnette, Robyn Makinson, design directors; Jo Costa, Molly Dauphin, designers; Heather Collier, executive producer; Maggie Weishaar, sr. content producer; Zavi Harman, jr. producer; Kirk Luo, group planning director; Taylor McKee, communications planning director; Becca Grimes, group media director; Charlotte Robins, strategic planner; Kara Feigenbaum, cultural impact lab director; Holly Hansen, cultural impact lab associate director; Kenia Najera, cultural communications, sr. specialist; Sofie Diskin, brand communications manager; Matt Kessler, associate director, entertainment partner. Production Company World War Seven David Shafei, director; Josh Ferrazzano, managing partner; Sloane Skala, exec producer; Michael Mitchell, line producer; Britnee Mitchell production supervisor; Jason Lombardo, 1st AD; Polly Morgan, DP; Melisa Myers, production designer; Janet Haase, key costumer; Elizabeth Rizo, key makeup artist; Tony Gardner, Thom Floutz, special effects makeup; Charlie Slemaker, audio mixer; Justin Besemer, location manager. Editorial Cabin Editorial Nick Divers, editor; Chris Kelley, cutting assist; Grace Hammerstein, sr. producer; Noelle Lucien, associate producer; Hope FuHaime, exec producer. VFX Framestore Will Frazier, associate creative director; PJ Stegall, sr. producer; Madison Bullock, production coordinator; Jim Vidal, Romain Faure, CG leads; Zavier Mojica, 2D leads; Rui Yang, Youran Lyu, asset build; Jeremy Livingston, rigging; Jass Tsai, CG tracking; Francisco Dias, Jim Hundertmark, Antonio Guidetti, Will Frazier, CG animation; Jim Vidal, Romain Faure, Kayla Whitehead, CG lighting; Zavier Mojica, Rob Williams, Elaina Brilliantes, Avery Herzog, Jason Tsai, Luke Chang, Jess Kim, Illia Afanaseiv, Kane Herd, compositors; Benjamin Walant, Callum McKeveny, digital matte painting; Nikola Yordanov, concept design; Daniel Petersen, Reese Parker, Antara Ghosh, Yiyuan (Coy) Yuan, design; John DiMare, Eugen Bekafigo, VFX editors. Telecine Company 3 Sean Coleman, sr. colorist; Matt Moran, sr. producer. Original Music, Final Mix & Sound Design Walker  Sara Matarazzo, managing director; Dottie Scharr, exec producer; Neha Ewell, sr. producer; Samantha Zirin, associate producer; Jacob Brody, audio engineer; Garrett Chabot, music editor.


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