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Bionic Media and Production 920 Create MTV EMAs SpotAd Featuring Cohen's "Borat" Character (November 30, 2005)
Popular comic Sascha Baron Cohen brought his Borat Sagdiyev, "Kazakhstan's sixth most famous man," to a hilarious new spot for the MTV Europe Music Awards (http://ema.mtv.co.uk/). Cohen is also known as the unfailingly dimwitted yet likeable hip-hop journalist Ali G, as seen on HBO's Da Ali G. Show. The spot was edited by Bionic Media's (www.bionic.tv) C. Scott Gorman and produced by production company Production 920, both in New York.
"I worked with (Production 920 co-founder/director, and cinematographer on this spot) John Taggart at MTV for many years," says Gorman, "We hadn't seen each other in a long time but recently reconnected on some spec work. I'm a fan Sascha Cohen's comedy so this turned out to be a pretty sweet gig."
As "Kazakhstan's finest journalist" and video jockey of MTV's affiliate in the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia, the spot humorously contrasts Borat's MTV with MTV Europe. For example, Borat's version of MTV's popular show 'Pimp My Ride' replaces the usual dilapidated Cadillac with horse drawn wooden wagon. A morph effect, created by Gorman, transforms the ordinary wagon into one with gold hubcaps and suped-up sound system. James Bobin, who also directs the Da Ali G. Show, directed the spot.
Borat Comes To Bionic: Faced with the unusual task of making beautiful footage look horribly amateurish, Gorman enthusiastically embraced his task. Working alongside Bobin and Cohen, Gorman worked a marathon session to get the look just right. "John and James came in with all this beautifully shot footage," says Gorman. "It was then my job to make it look as bad as possible. Once we had the cut completed and the picture was locked, we blew out the whites and added a little green back to the image. We then transferred it in a way that gave the spot a nice, beat-up look."
"Creating this degraded look is a double-edged sword," says Ted Keenan, General Manager and Producer at Production 920. "Luckily, Scott got the project: the low-budget basement look, the comedic timing, everything. Working with Scott and Bionic was a complete pleasure. The Bionic space is comfortable and inviting, even when working really long hours, as Scott and James were. Scott did a tremendous job on very short notice."
For his part, Gorman credits a very focused director and the star with the spot's success. "Even though they are incredibly funny, James and Sascha are also very serious about what they do," he says. "They knew exactly what they wanted to do and had a good idea of how they wanted to get there."
About Bionic Media: Veteran editors Steve Beal and Todd Feuer founded bionic Media in 1999. In a short time the company has grown into an award-winning editorial and audio post house with premier industry talent and top clients (such as A&E, Discovery, MTV, Sci Fi, USA, FCB, Gotham, Hungry Man and Publicis). Bionic is equipped with Avid Media Composer, Adrenaline, Symphony and DS|Nitris HD in seven comfortably customized edit suites. A leader in stereo and 6.1 surround sound mixing, sound design, and original composition, Bionic's three state-of- the-art audio suites boast Digidesign's latest ICON D-Control consoles featuring ProTools HD.
Toolkit: Avid Adrenaline
Creative Credits: Client: MTV Europe Project:: MTV European Music Video Award promo spot
Production Company: Production 920, New York Director: James Bobin Director of Photography: John Taggart Producer: Ted Keenan
Editorial/Post: Bionic Media, New York Editor: C. Scott Gorman
Related Keywords:Sascha Baron Cohen, Borat Sagdiyev, Kazakhstan, MTV Europe Music Awards, Ali G, Da Ali G. Shows, Bionic Media, Production 920