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Steve Colby and Pogo Produce BOA CampaignFour spots scheduled to air throughout upcoming Summer Olympics (July 27, 2004)
Pogo Pictures' director Steve Colby (www.pogopictures.com) completed a new four-spot documentary-styled 'Portraits of a Bank' campaign for Bank of America (BOA) and agency Flag/Interpublic, New York. The documentary-styled package spotlights real bank associates, customers and locations to capture the spirit and commitment that makes BOA special.
"These spots give viewers a look at the inner workings of Bank of America that most people never see," says Colby. "Because of that it was crucial that we give the campaign a real, authentic, emotional yet simple feel. We sought the most powerful true stories to tell from different areas of the country. During the course of the three-week shoot we went from Atlanta to Los Angeles to Seattle to Dallas and so on. Considering the enormity of the project this was an extremely challenging production."
For Bruce Nelson, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer for Interpublic and Creative Director on the project, the 'Portraits' campaign centers on highlighting the drama and depth of understanding of what these bank associates do and the positive impact they have on their customers and communities in general.
"The goal of the campaign is to provide viewers a greater understanding of Bank of America, and essential to that was letting real bank associates tell their stories," says Nelson. "As a director, Steve has the unique combination of being able to both shoot beautiful film and get powerful performances from real people. He is able to relate to a great diversity of people, and by making them feel comfortable and relaxed he is able bring out their naturalness."
Each :60 spot begins with a title card "Portrait of a Bank" and then moves briskly into specific aspects of BOA's business.
"One Business at a Time" features a BOA banker discussing how 1 out of 5 small businesses in America bank with BOA. Images of the associate telling their personal story directly to the camera are interwoven with a montage of shots of small businesses and their employees at work.
Other spots include "Accuracy," which focuses on BOA's state-of-the-art check processing center; "Before and After," which dramatically depicts BOA's commitment to community development and their role in rebuilding struggling neighborhoods; and "Innovation Lab," which details the many high-tech A innovations the company is spearheading.
Complex Production Calls For Unique Solutions
To complete the four spots on a tight schedule, Pogo and the agency took the unusual step of chartering a plane for the entire shoot so they could avoid airport delays. "This was a challenging schedule," explains Colby. "We spent a lot of time in pre-production, we were in pre-production even while we were filming. Chartering the plane for our relatively small crew turned out to be a huge key to getting all four spots done on time. The freedom for us to walk in and out of cities when needed took a lot of pressure off us. It literally saved every day."
According to Arnie Blum, Flag/Interpublic's Enterprise Producer for the Bank of America brand, this was an unusual production in that it was constantly changing. The fact that Pogo was able to manage a production as fluid as this says a lot about them.
"Steve and Pogo took a very complex idea and production schedule we were literally in a different city every day for three weeks and made it all work," says Blum. "This was unusual in the amount of changes we had to deal with. Fortunately, Steve never lost sight of what we were doing and the look we wanted. He did a spectacular job."
Additionally, the footage Colby was shooting was sent immediately to editor Barry Stilwell of New York post house Jump, who began editing even while Colby was still shooting the spots. "Barry would leave holes where he would insert footage that we hadn't actually shot yet," says Colby. "Conversely we were seeing rough cuts via the Internet and making decisions about what additional footage we thought we needed."
However, what ultimately makes the campaign special is the mutual decision early on not to use any camera gimmicks or style clichés and instead approach each spot with a very clear and direct eye.
"We went out of our way to avoid gimmicks," says Colby. "We wanted to document these people and their roles in the company and we didn't want the camera to be overly busy or distracting. We wanted to tell these stories in a simple and honest way and avoid quirky angles or lenses. I think that directness comes though in the spots and makes them that much more impactful."
PROJECT: Bank of America TITLE: "One Business at a Time," "Accuracy," "Before and After," "Innovation Lab" (all :60s)
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Pogo Pictures, Atlanta, GA DIRECTOR/DP: Steve Colby LINE PRODUCER: Richard Sampson PRODUCTION MANAGER: Lesley Harris
AD AGENCY: Flag/Interpublic, New York EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER: Bruce Nelson ENTERPRISE PRODUCER, BANK OF AMERICA Arnie Blum MANAGING DIRECTOR, BANK OF AMERICA Steve Hardwick
EDITORIAL SERVICES CO.: Jump, New York EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Dee Tagert EDITOR: Barry Stilwell ASSISTANT EDITOR: David Bryen
MUSIC: Snyder Music, New York COMPOSER: Craig Snyder
FILM TO TAPE TRANSFER: Nice Shoes, New York COLORIST: Lez Rudge ASSISTANT COLORIST: Tom Tomlinson
AUDIO POST: Jump, New York ENGINEER: Bradley Warren
STAGE OR LOCATION: On location Seattle, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Dallas, TX; Orlando and Tampa, FL; Baltimore and Annapolis, MD, Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA
Related Keywords:Steve Colby, Pogo Pictures, BofA, Bank of America, Portraits of a Bank, Flag/Interpublic, Bruce Nelson, Arnie Blum, Barry Stilwell, Jump,