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Saverio and the Flower Girls

Monday August 15th, 2011

Recently, Saverio Truglia took on a fun project with the brand revitalization agency, Woodbine. Woodbine describes itself as, “a sherpa, a defibrillator and an incubator to brands,” with their latest project focusing on bringing back life to the flower bulb industry. They planned to introduce bulbs to a new generation of gardeners through the creation of the Anthos Dig.Drop.Done Education campaign. Dig.Drop.Done aims to, “introduce flowering bulbs to a new generation of potential gardeners and demystify the bulb-growing process, while reminding avid gardeners of the low-maintenance, returning beauty of bulbs.”

For the campaign, Woodbine created three characters — Marcy, Juliana and Evelyn — to represent the brand, entertain consumers and educate potential gardeners about the ease and fun of bulb planting. Woodbine then hired Saverio to bring these three women to life.

Woodbine wanted Saverio to create print and video for their marketing plan. They handed Saverio loose print concepts and video scripts and let him take it from there. The creative freedom excited Saverio and even though he was told the videos could be simple, taking head pieces, he decided to go above and beyond with the project. “I felt there was an organic opportunity to tie the video more closely with the print. So I brainstormed with them about their three characters and what I wanted to tell about their unique lives.”

After deciding to take the videos to the next level, Saverio got to work,

First, I fleshed out the visual characteristics and narratives of the print (i.e. Evelyn should be nude in a bubble bath drinking a Cosmo and reading a romance novella) then worked backwards to develop six motion storyboards that could fit into our production timeline and budget. (i.e. Evelyn is now seated  rubbing lotion on herself talking about her hunky gardener, Roberto)

One of Evelyn’s video:

Saverio found that exploring the characters and coaching his actors into them to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of shooting the videos.

My style of directing print is similar to how speaking actors must be directed. I find it easiest to direct them from a place of motivation rather than how I want them to look. This allows for more authenticity.  So weeks out, I began a phone dialogue with each of the actors to exchange ideas and nuances we could bring to the character. We met again in person when we arrived for the production. By the time we were shooting, a trust was built and I understood what each actor needed from me to give her best performance. I found each actor needed something different.

Something true about shooting video is that its time intensive. When you have time for just a handful takes (rather than  400+ still frames) you really need to have it well pre-visualized and the larger experimentation out of the way. These six video’s, like the print, were to have a slice of  campiness, so I aimed for caricature acting and the actors were well prepared going in.

One of Juliana’s video:

When the actual shoot day arrived, Saverio and his team got to work creating three unique videos,

Each of three characters were shot on one day at a large, dark, furniture photography studio. We started at noon with print using strobe. By the time the studio had closed and the stage was silent, we had reset with hot lights and were rolling sound by 6:00pm.  After the print ad and videos wrapped, we shot still portraits on a sweep for web assets on a separate stage. It was a very long day that tested everything down the the freshness of the flowers we brought in from Europe. But I feel the results worked to my client’s advantage.

You can view all six Dig.Drop.Done videos here or see more of Saverios’ work on his website.

- Maria Luci

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