Results tagged ‘ Icarus Films ’

Closing In On the Season with John Axford

Greetings from my desk in cold, snowy Milwaukee!

 

As I noted in an earlier post, I was down in Arizona last week for the filming of our 2011 TV commercials. We wrapped up our shoot on Thursday evening and I left warm and sunny Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, getting home just in time for our Brewers Arctic Tailgate event.

 


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Hearty Brewers fans were camping out when I swung by the ballpark on my way home from the airport last night, waiting anxiously to purchase individual game tickets, which went on sale at 9am this morning

 

[The first 2,000 fans received a free t-shirt, Klement's hot dog and a Pepsi. Plus, they also received special one-day only ticket offers that weren't available anywhere else. If you missed out on the event, you can still purchase tickets and guarantee your place in the crowd to the best games this season, by calling our Box Office at (414) 902-4000, or logging on to brewers.com.]

 

So, yeah! Individual tickets are on sale now, Spring Training games start on Monday… Brewers Baseball will be back in Milwaukee before you know it!

 

Look for our spots to debut during the first games of the season, beginning with Opening Day in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 31.

 

And, while I can’t give away what this year’s spots are going to be about, I can tell you that they will have the same type of theme as last year’s spots and we’re bringing some new guys into the mix, including closer John Axford.

 

 



Thumbnail image for P1010942.JPGJohn is no stranger to what goes on behind-the-scenes on a set.

 

On Thursday, John showed up on set to star in one of the spots, but he could have just as easily been directing them if life had taken him down a different path.

 

That’s because John graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Film in 2005 and even began attending Canisius College to start working on his Master’s of Science in Sports Administration before he signed with the New York Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 and began his career in professional baseball.

 


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What’s John doing? You will have to wait until our spots air this season to find out!

 

As we waited for the crew from Icarus Films and the representatives from our agency, 2-Story Creative, to set up between shots, John told me all about his film classes at Notre Dame.

 

 “I did a 16-milimeter black-and-white film my junior year,” he said. “I still have the hard copy with all of the edits and cuts and everything, because the way we cut it was actually the old-school way. We actually cut the film and taped it together. We didn’t do it digitally. That came later. It was only 12 minutes long, maybe a little less. We got 400 feet of film, which is about 11 minutes and you had a partner, so each person had their own roll.”

 

“It was pretty cool, the old Steenbeck machine, you had to get the rolls on there and line them up and press play and then fast forward it through and stop it on a certain part where you wanted it. You go frame-by-frame and then cut it and bring in the other roll, hold it down flat and tape it. I really I liked it,” he continued.

 

When I asked what the film was about, John said, “It’s rather depressing. That’s what I found out about myself while doing film classes. I like the depressing, dark movies. Mine was essentially about spousal neglect and suicide.”

 

And it is true, he does gravitate toward the darker films–most of John’s favorite movies in recent years have been heavier foreign films and films such as Children of Men and the Oscar-nominated Black Swan.

 

“I really like open-ended movies,” he said. “Black Swan, I absolutely loved. I would like for that to win Best Picture, but I know it won’t. Just because it is artistic and dark, that is what I would want to win I guess.”

 

When it comes to music, John also gravitates toward the dark, heavier side of the spectrum.

 

“I listen to almost anything, but mostly hard rock, something a little heavier. I really got into hard rock by listening to Brazilian metal, John said. “Now, I have branched out a lot further. It used to be just metal, but now it is pretty much everything,” John said.

 

Speaking of music, one of the only Brewers players who is active in social media, John is currently letting his fans select his entrance song for 2011 on his Facebook Page.

 

“There are 15 songs for fans to vote on,” John said.

 

“There are eight newer songs because everyone uses older rock–songs by AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and stuff like that–so I wanted to add some new stuff and try something different. There are also a lot of older songs on there, like Rush and Led Zeppelin. I also included Omen, a metal band– everyone kept telling me I needed to have them because they have a song called ‘The Axeman’.”

 

“Then I have a couple of theme songs…I have the Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme song, which I thought would be fun. There is also a song people will recognize from Kill Bill, but it is actually from a western from the ’60s. I also added some fun ones and some songs that were used last year for me, just to see what people think.”

 

For the complete list, and/or to vote, click here.

 


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John was a good sport during our shoot and interview, as I donned a prop from our spot that may or may not make the final cut…

 

The tall, mustached right-hander was extremely easy-going and fun to talk to on the set and, although his movie and film choices may be dark, he was nice as can be and his future only looks bright.

 

This will be a big season for John, on and off the field.  Not only will John star in one of our spots this year, but he and his wife, Nicole, are also expecting a baby boy this June.

 

“We’re very excited.” John said.

 

John also has his own bobble head, sponsored by Palermo’s Pizza/ Piggly Wiggly on Sunday, April 24 when the Brewers take on the Houston Astros at 1:10pm.

 

“I just saw pictures of it and it looks really, really cool,” John said.

 


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This is one bobble you’ll want to make sure you add to your ‘stache! Individual tickets went on sale today, so you can get tickets for John Axford Bobble Head Day now!

 

I enjoyed talking to John and I just know that the spot he’s in will turn out great, as will the other spots we shot this week. Stay tuned, boys and girls–we’re “closing” in on baseball season!

 

 

-CAIT

johnandcait@brewers.com

 

And…ACTION! Brewers 2010 TV Spots to Debut Tomorrow

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to go down to Arizona with my boss, Senior Director of Marketing, Kathy Schwab and our Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Todd Taylor.

We weren’t there to scout out the team and I certainly didn’t have time to work on my tan. No, we were there on much more important business: to film our 2010 TV Spots, which will debut tomorrow.

The ads were developed in conjunction with our creative agency, 2-Story Creative of Milwaukee. Bill Yunker of Icarus Films directed the spots.

After much preparation, we spent two full days filming and came away with enough footage for five -what I think are humorous and hope you do, too- spots to start out the season.

Our TV spots in recent years have varied from featuring our players at Miller Park talking about the fan experience to spots that are predominantly highlight driven. Since I’ve been in the Consumer Marketing Department, the only two scripted spots that I’ve been involved with were a spot for the Hot Dog Bobble in 2006 (which had a cameo by former Brewers player Derrick Turnbow) and our current Holiday 4-Packs TV spots, which feature the Klement’s World Famous Racing Sausages.

This year, each of the spots features one or more of our players in non-baseball, more everyday life, type of situations.

Thus, being on set for the filming of these five spots was an eye-opening experience for this young marketer. Of course, I knew that there is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes to get everything to look just right, but I didn’t really know until I jumped in with both feet.

They were long days, but I enjoyed every minute and was happy to pitch in wherever and whenever I could. In fact, I think I may have a career as a gofer girl in Hollywood if this marketing thing doesn’t pan out.

Help Ellen Homb, President of 2-Story Creative, decorate the set? No problem! Scrounge up some last-minute props? Sign me up! Get the extras to fill out their paperwork? Sure thing!
 
“I’m always amazed at the magic behind the scenes,” said Todd Taylor. “A lot has to happen in a short amount of time. It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork and integration to pull it off.”

Because of the tight schedules in Spring Training with games, workouts, practices, etc., our time with the players was limited and we had to make the most of our opportunity.

Fortunately for us, all of the guys were great. I honestly don’t think we could have hired better actors to play their roles in the spots. And, call me crazy, but I think they all may have actually had fun in the process.

When we returned from Arizona, the hard work was just beginning. All of the footage we’d captured had to be edited down to our final product, five 15-second spots. Audio had to be mixed, special effects needed to be added if necessary, colors needed correcting…. There is a lot more that goes into it than just meets the eye – and that’s just for 15-second spots. I can’t imagine making a 2-hour movie!

When we  got to see the finished product, it was clear that all of the time and effort was worth it.

“I think it was a top-notch experience across the board, working with Ellen, Bill and their whole team and I’m very pleased with the outcome,” Todd said.

I don’t want to give away too much about the spots, since you’ll see them for yourself tomorrow, so here are some still photos to wet your whistle.

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Darts.jpgAside: Funny story… I had my Flip Video camera and my still camera on set so I could capture scenes from the shoot to share with you here on the blog. As I mentioned earlier, I’m not a veteran when it comes to all of this TV stuff and well, apparently my flash photography interfered with some of our takes. Here’s me, getting yelled at, for you, by our Director, Bill.

(I tried not to take it personally…the best creatives can get a little intense. :) )

Each of our 15-second spots will be paired with a back-end tag that will be switched out to promote upcoming games, giveaways, ticket offers and more. These spots will run primarily during our televised games on FS Wisconsin and WMLW.

I hope you like them and welcome your feedback here at John and Cait… Plus 9.

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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