The making of “We. Make. Believe.” for the Atlantic 10 Conference.
This wasn’t our first national TV spot. But no matter if it’s for a Grand Slam, the world’s most applied-to university, an NFL franchise, or in this case—a college athletic conference—every time is sort of a first time in its own kind of way. And on this type of project there are moments when everything can feel like it’s up in the air until the spot finally goes on air. But once it does, like it did last night, it’s surreal. It’s like one final big group check-in. Just like we’ve all sat in together countless nights before. Only this screen isn’t attached to our computer. This feed is beaming down from a satellite. Those are our words. Those are our edits. And effects. And suddenly, it is very, very real.
Pulling it off, takes a lot.
It takes a client willing to take risks and trusting enough to cooperate.
It takes the URL we wanted to somehow be available for $12.99.
It takes flexibility, and it takes patience.
Because when you work on something that you care about so much, so closely and so intensely, there’s inevitably gonna be some friction. This project was no different. It saw CCO* vs. CD, CD vs. Editor, and Editor vs. the state of Texas.** And through it all, we stood, together—just like we did last night.
So back to last night, anyway. Here’s the spot:
It was a long winding road getting there. It started with five of us packed into the back of a van for an all day shoot in Richmond, Virginia. From there it was up to NYC to record VO with artist Saul Williams who you may know from this, this, or…that. Next up, RJD2 hopped on-board to mix the track.
All along we were shooting whenever we could find a window into the busy lives of the A-10’s student-athletes. They are the ones who this spot truly starts and ends with.
These students play on the biggest stages in college sports while graduating at a higher rate than most of the big-name teams they beat regularly out on the court. But somehow that’s not the story. Somehow, they’re not America’s favorite collection of teams. Well, not yet anyway. Because now we’re helping them tell their story to a wider audience: that winning doesn’t mean having to lose what you stand for.
Over the past several months we’ve all become big fans of the A-10. Along the way we realized we share something in common. Whether it’s producing a national spot, earning the grades, or playing late into March—for us, the most important project is the one that lies in front. And then the Next one.
** The Lone Star State may have won, but Max’s mustache remains undefeated.
* Canada Dry lost a good one.
Chief Executive Officer: Shannon Slusher
Chief Creative Officer: Darryl Cilli
Executive Creative Director: Jim Walls
Director of Client Services: John Campanella
Creative Director: Timothy O’Donnell
Digital Creative Director: Konstantinos Psimaris
Copywriter: Kris Blake
Motion Designers: Chris Lee, Joe Dunlap
Video Editor: Max Paolucci
Executive Producer: Tom Ammon
Producer: Nick Pitcavage
Designers: Nick O’Brien, Dan Kent
Project Manager: Jamie MacNamara
Account Directors: Lindsay White, Andy Starr
Account Executive: Jasmine Rupert
Web Developer: Cameron Baney
Sound Design: Tom Lebeau
Musical Score: RJD2
Voice-Over: Saul Williams