Director: Jack Mergist
Producer: James Rust
Director of Photography: James Terry
Recordist: Jessica Frech
Writer: Daxson Hale
Concept by: Jack Mergist, Jared Gay, Daxson Hale
Production Design: Jen Paul
Hair/Makeup/Costume Design: Juliette Mergist
1st AC: Brad Hill
2nd AC/Grip: D’Aaron Gonzalez
Editor: Jack Mergist
Graphic Design: Alex Vaughn
Motion Graphics: Jared Gay
Colorist: James Terry
Music by: Jack Mergist
Sound Design: Jack Mergist
Production Assistant: Nicole Sheahan, Brock Arnold
Talent: Lola Condie, Kennis Christensen, Jared Gay
BEHIND THE SCENES:
After our first meeting with FuzePlay, we were instantly excited about their team and product. FuzePlay’s story was inspired by the curiosity that leads children to learn and ask questions. We wanted our video concept to reflect FuzePlay’s journey in creating their product, so we created this little girl character who is precocious, fun, and mischievous– a scientist in the making. We kind of viewed this character as a mixed mini-version of Kristy, the FuzePlay co-founder, and her daughter who inspired FuzePlay. We wanted the character to be female to inspire girls as well as boys in an industry and market that is largely dominated by male-oriented marketing and representation.
WRITING THE SCRIPT:
Head Writer: Daxson Hale
Scriptwriting is a process that can go quickly, but that’s only after hours of preparation beforehand of getting to know the product, the client, and the brand. Once we’ve met with the client several times, we then meet several more times as a writing/concepting team, and then we’re ready to actually write the script. FuzePlay’s script was 2 pages long and took around 2 hours to write. There’s always a little editing and revising as we go along and as we get feedback from the client because we want to make sure we’re using language that describes their product and their brand. Those revisions are almost always minor adjustments.
FuzePlay wanted to highlight some key features of the Zubi flyer. They wanted to show a child putting it together and figuring out how to use it, including pushing buttons, waving the magnetic wand to activate the reed switches, and unlocking light patterns and games, as well as showing it plugged into a computer to visualize how you can hack it and program new functions. On top of that, they wanted to of course show it being played as a light-up frisbee toy.
The challenge with this (and every!) video we make is fitting in all those product features into a short video while keeping you interested. We do this by first creating engaging characters, keeping things light-hearted and funny, and focusing on being concise.
In the end, we’re really pleased with how FuzePlay’s commercial turned out. Our actress, Lola, really captured the spirit of the character and played her in a very endearing and fun way. The final video is engaging and inspiring, which is definitely how we feel about the Zubi Flyer itself.
FINDING THE LOCATION:
Co-producer: Nicole Sheahan
We wanted to find a room on the main floor with wooden floors, white walls and a large window that we could dress as a child’s bedroom. At first we tried to find children’s bedrooms that were already set up, but we quickly discovered that most bedrooms for kids weren’t on the main floor and usually had carpet. It was a little challenging to find a bedroom on the main level so we could control the lighting coming through the window and to find a room that was large enough to get the camera angles the crew envisioned. We checked out a ton of rooms and eventually found a space that fit the vision conveniently at our coworker’s home.
The backyard was easier to find. We basically needed a backyard big enough to throw a frisbee that had nice green grass and colorful plants. We ended up just knocking on a couple doors that had nice backyards near the home we chose for the bedroom and found a great backyard. I felt like the locations we chose worked really well. We had to move a lot of furniture and props in and out, but it was worth it to get the right vibe…plus we all got our workout in on the shoot that day so that’s a bonus, right?
THE SET DESIGN:
Set Designer: Jen Paul
To help set a design theme, I created a mood board. I wanted the set to feel playful, fun, and creative. Sophie (the character in the video) is curious, inventive, and smart. I wanted her room to convey those traits.
I didn’t want the space to feel too girly, or too boy-y (ha, you know what i mean) and that ended up being harder than I thought. Most kids’ room decor is targeted at either girls or boys. Finding something more neutral was a challenge. Taking everything out of the space and creating a kids room was definitely a team effort. We had so much stuff! But with a lot of help, we had that room put together in about an hour and a half.
I made the volcano, and my kids tested it out before we brought it to the set. They thought it was pretty awesome. It was also very messy. That red powder went everywhere. Lola had to take a shower after the volcano shot, and then come back to shoot the rest of the scenes.
I’m always a little worried that things won’t come out the way I’d hoped. And on shoot day you have to be ready for anything and just make it work. This set came together better and easier than expected. When Lola, our actress, came into the room and said, “I wish this were my real room!,” I knew it was perfect.
It’s always great to see things on camera. I continue to be fascinated by the difference between real-life and what you see on camera. It’s magic.