Fifteen minutes can change everything, as evidenced by the new 2-spot integrated marketing campaign for Geico insurance and MTV. Directed by Patrick Donnelly of the 2012 Emmy-winning creative production/post studio Cinema Five Films, the new spots weave multiple storylines and characters all interacting at the same place and time – a New Year's Eve party 15 minutes before midnight. The ads will air throughout January 2013.
"This was an unusually challenging project because of the level of complexities in the story and characters" Donnelly says. "As a director, this was fun to sink my teeth into."
Similar in structure to recent films like New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day, which feature multiple characters and story arcs unfolding at the exact same time, the spots – “Magic Moment” and “Band Magic” (both :45s) – are set at a New Year's Eve party at exactly 11:45 p.m. "Magic Moment" follows a young man working up the courage to introduce himself to a beautiful girl he's been watching all night (only to accidentally spill his drink on her); while "Band Magic" centers on an up-and-coming singer getting ready to perform at the same party, promising herself that this will be the year her band makes it. The spots end with a sudden power outage followed by a spectacular fireworks display seen through a skylight.
Shot in one day on location in Brooklyn, New York, Donnelly noted that while the concept and script (created by MTV) were well conceived, what truly made the spots work creatively was the extra 15 seconds of time – a running time to 45 seconds rather than the usual 30 or 15.
"We got lucky when the client agreed to let these run as 45s," Donnelly says. "You usually don't get that much time to work with, but that extra 15 seconds allowed us to hold on a shot for a few seconds more than we normally could, and let the actors bring more emotion to it. That extra time helped take these from good to great."
Adding to that greatness was Cinema Five Films editor Mark Breese, who focused his work on the story aspects and conveying the idea that both spots were intricately tied together.
"It was exciting to work on these spots since we had the freedom to use our collective narrative storytelling skills to essentially create two short films tied together by a common thread," Breese says. "The idea that main characters become background players and vice versa in between the two spots was an intriguing idea."