We had some fun with the Kubota national campaign project. We took an unconventional approach to a tractor and heavy equipment manufacturer spot, injecting humour, over dramatized acting into sleek, humorous radio and commercial spots.
Kubota Canada sent out an RFP to several vendors. They individually asked each vendor what they would do creatively.
We suggested poking fun at “ourselves” in and over the top way sort of way. Inviting the audience to laugh with along with us…after all, how many ways can you shoot a tractor?
Our idea was simple – let’s poke fun at ourselves by tractors “sexy”, using similarities one might see from ads that feature hair products, make up/skin care, cologne/perfume.
Fortunately, management at Kubota thought it was a fun and unique approach too. Then came the ask…32 spots…gulp.
Produced in: 2014
Client: Kubota Canada
Shot in: 2 Days
"The humour lied within the slow motion looks from talent, the blazing lights backlighting the tractors and the tongue in cheek voice over."
We were given a crash course in the lineup of tractors they wanted featured. Endless hours were spent researching the nuances of different models, engine output, accessories and the like. This was crucial to the 5 Long Web Spots we intended to create…each spot lasting roughly 4 minutes. The script would dictate the shot list on the day and would be translated into French so we could create another 5 edits. These 5 edits would then be condensed into 30 and 15 second web spots as well as 2 Broadcast Television Spots. (5 Long, 5 30s, 5 15s, 1 TV X 2 = 32 spots)
After the scripting was finalized, we went into casting. We needed individuals that looked the part so to speak. Hero Artists (based in Toronto) as well as several others were kind enough to supply us with some great talent options.
Kubota Canada happened to have the ideal shooting location. A 60,000 square foot warehouse in Markham where the tractors were already being held! After some rough blocking, the stage was set.
Stylistically, we wanted this to be a slick looking piece. The humour lied within the slow motion looks from talent, the blazing lights backlighting the tractors and the tongue in cheek voice over. It needed to look over the top stylized or we risked the work looking like it was meant to be serious…which would have killed the humourous tone.
It was a grueling two-day shoot. Lighting an area where all different sized tractors could roll in, the crew doing minimal adjustments, and the camera sets ups were consistent, proved to be the most challenging aspect of the shoot. We had only hours to work with each line up of tractor. Scheduling actors, make up, wardrobe, blocking, shooting and every other aspect of the shoot was done meticulously to avoid an on set mutiny. We decided to shoot on the Red Epic for it’s crisp 5K look, its dynamic range and its ability to shoot at high frame rates. Our lighting set up was fairly straightforward…four 9 Light Maxi Brute lights on a dimmer board for the back ground (giving us the rock star effect), a key light with beauty dish off to the side for talent and when we’d move in to get close ups on the machinery, we’d use a HMI with a 10ft parabolic umbrella.
The shoot went off without a hitch.
Now it was time to begin the 32 edits.
"Scheduling actors, make up, wardrobe, blocking, shooting and every other aspect of the shoot was done meticulously to avoid an on set mutiny."
Post Production was streamlined due to our Red Rocket X and its ability to process the intense, large files the Epic captures. There was nearly a Terabyte of footage to sift through. The challenge was the work back schedule. Once we had sign off of an English cut – we began immediately on the French cut. The other challenge was our editors understanding the dialogue in the script and knowing what to look for visually. Our synergy with Kubota’s management was extremely helpful to this end.
We cut on Premiere and did some of the trickier things in After Effects (image stabilization, 3D text).
For colour correction, we used Red Labs based here in Toronto. They were a pleasure to work with and really enhanced the overall look to our spots.
We’re looking forward to seeing the ads run nation wide as well as looking forward to seeing it play on the Trinitron Screen at the Roger’s Centre when the CFL’s Argonauts play.
Next up, two Kubota radio adverts in the same vein as the commercial campaign.
Keep your eyes and ears open!
Producer: Geoff Davidson
Producer: Marcus Matyas
Director: Geoff Davidson
DOP: Tony Edgar
Editor: Curry Leamen
Casting: Jessica Martins (Hero Artists)
Cast: Bill Vastis, Colin Price, Lawrence Bill
Writer: Kathleen Dusk
Voice Over: Shawn Devlin