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Techniques: Sending a Different Kind of Love Letter

Editing Concepts Cutter Creates a Commercial that Doesn't Look Like a Commercial By DMN Staff Writer

Stunning beauties are typical fare in liquor ads. They're usually in bikinis washing sports cars or at a party giggling in a mini skirt and stilettos. But "Letter," directed by Paul Goldman, Cohn & Co, for McKinney & Silver client Disaronno Amaretto, and edited by Nelson Leonard, of Editing Concepts, is not at all typical of the genre although it features a lovely, but very sad lady,

The 30 second spot for Disaronno Amaretto tells the story of a distant love and manages it beautifully, without a single word of spoken dialog. It is engrossing, without any quick cuts, CGI effects or pumping electronic soundtrack. If Goddard were to cut a commercial for Amaretto it would probably look like this, heightening every element of the genre, while turning it on its ear.

The spot opens on a close-up of the heroine, sweat on her brow and a sullen look on her face. She paces about her apartment, finally sits down at her desk, takes up her pen and stares at a blank sheet of paper and an envelope. After a moment, she rises in frustration to pour herself a glass of Amaretto. She sits down again, takes a sip, and seals the envelope. The scene shifts to a man sitting on his bed and sorting mail. He takes the envelope and slowly opens it to discover it is empty. Perplexed, he examines it carefully. Finally, he smells the envelope and smiles.

"The objective was to make a commercial that does not look like a commercial," explained editor Nelson Leonard. "The foreign film ambiance was not in the least accidental. (director) Paul Goldman had everything meticulously planned, even to the cinematographer's use of a vintage lenses to ensure the proper look and color."

The non-commercial approach carried over to the editing as Leonard explained, "The last thing I wanted to do with all this beautiful footage was to chop it up so I approached it from a completely narrative stance. At first, I thought developing a narrative without dialog might be a bit strange but it was great to let the essence of the images speak for themselves. In other words, cutting only when needed to drive the story further, and keeping it clean, simple, and exact, was actually refreshing," Leonard said.

Editing Concepts serves many of the leading creative advertising agencies, including: Deutsch, Lowe, Lintas & Partners/SMS, Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners, DDB, Ogilvy & Mather, BBDO, McCann, Loew Lintas, Hill-Holiday, Cliff Freeman and Partners. Nancy Finn is executive producer/vice president. The firm's editors are: Owen Plotkin/vice president, Nelson Leonard, Renny Maslow and Jesse Reisner.

For more information about Editing Concepts contact Nancy Finn at 212.367.7373, or visit http://www.editingconcepts.com

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Related Keywords:Nelson Leonard, editor, 30 second spot, Disaronno Amaretto,

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