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Final Cut Editor Stephen Berger Cuts Moving Campaign for National Grid

(July 18, 2008)
DMN Newswire--2008-7-18--Santa Monica, CA (July 17, 2008) Final Cut Editor Stephen Berger recently cut a campaign for National Grid, which provides electricity and natural gas to 6 million customers in the northeastern US. Created by ad agency Mullen, "Polar Bear" and "Cars" are brand spots touting the company s environmental awareness and its new "The power of action" message.

In "Polar Bear," the animal (recently listed as threatened) is used as an example of how our environment is changing. The furry companion is found in a library, in a pool and in a crosswalk of a street with young children a visual metaphor to Floe, the virtual polar bear on the National Grid website, On the site, visitors can measure the impact their daily routine activities have on the environment.

"Cars" opens on a peculiar sight as a homeowner watches a tow truck driver pull a car from the basement of his home. Replacing your old heating system with natural gas has the same environmental impact as taking six cars off the road for a year, says the voiceover, as the car gets hauled onto a 18-wheeler along with other cars collected from neighborhood homes.

To view the spots, please go to
Job ID: 19215
Password: grid

"Creating these spots for National Grid was a very involved process," remarks Erika Whitters, Mullen Broadcast Producer. "We were thrilled with the talent that we had assembled and especially pleased that everyone put their hearts into the work.  Final Cut had to work closely with JacobsBriere from the onset of the job.  Everything we shot had to be matched to the action of the polar bears we selected from stock film. Once we got into the edit phase, Stephen stayed in close contact with the directors and D-Train to make certain that scenes we valued for their emotional content would stand up to effects standards. We set out to make spots that would generate thought and drive people to want to learn more about their impact on the environment. We love the work and the team that made it all come together."

For Editor Stephen Berger, the goal with "Polar Bear" was to use the right mix of polar bear stock footage shots and their human counterparts for it to feel real and feel good. Prior to the shoot Assistant Editor Peter O Donovan handled the Polar Bear shot selection process with HKM Directors Jacobs/Briere and visual effects company D-Train.

"We had to pick the right action for the bears and most natural moments of the people for the human-polar bear interaction," explains Berger. "We integrated moments here and there to have the people on screen without the bears so we didn't overdo it."

Berger says the main challenge was creating the space for the bears with temp comps without knowing for sure how they'd look or interact with the footage, quality and space-wise, until D-Train did them for real. The other challenge was doing the complicated comps well enough with compressed low-res stock footage that the client could clearly see what was happening while also being fast enough to meet the tight turnaround. Berger and D-Train also had to make sure that the size and stance of the bears didn't appear at all threatening relative to their human counterparts. The two worked closely to discuss the intended ways to use the bear shots with VFX Artist Ben Gibbs incorporating the high-res, but still less-than-stellar stock footage in a realistic manner.

"Everyone involved in this project was great to work with, easygoing and in good spirits," concludes Berger.  "The agency creatives were very happy when they saw the first rough cuts, and the directors had clear and strong creative ideas, but were also open to how I saw and felt things. I actually wished it had taken longer because I was enjoying the people so much. The job just had a good vibe and the people involved reflected that."

Client: National Grid

Spot Titles: "Cars"    :30 & "Polar Bear"    :60 / June 2008

Agency:  Mullen (Wenham, MA)
Chief Creative Officer:  Edward Boches
Executive Creative Director:  Mark Wenneker
Group Creative Director/CW:  Stephen Mietelski
Group Creative Director/AD:  Michael Ancevic
Director of Broadcast Production:  Liza Near
Agency Broadcast Producer:  Erika Whitters
Agency Account Service:  Drayton Martin; Julie Carney; Kelly Dickens

Production Company:  HKM (Los Angeles)
Director:  JacobsBriere
Director of Photography:  Stefan Czapsky
Executive Producer:  Ned Brown
Producer:  Line Postmyr
Location:  Los Angeles

Stock Footage:  BBC/Footage Bank/National Geographic/Thought Equity/Getty

Editorial Company:  Final Cut (NYC/LA)
Editor:  Stephen Berger
Assistant Editor:  Georgia Dodson
Executive Producer:  Kiayan Reuter
(NY Producer: Melati Pohan)

Postproduction Company:  CO3 (Los Angeles)
Colorist:  Stefan Sonnenfeld
Online Editor:  Brickyard (Dave Waller)

Visual Effects:  D-Train (Los Angeles)
Compositor:  Dan Connelly
Artist:  Ben Gibbs
Producer: Shannon Preece

Audio Post:  Nylon (NYC/Australia)
Mixer:  Dave Robertson
Assistant Producer:  Karena Cameron

Music Production:  Nylon

Sound Design:  Nylon

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Related Keywords:Final Cut


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