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Ad of the Day: Whistler Film Festival

Clichéd Hollywood movies suddenly get more interesting in Dare Vancouver's pear-shaped spots

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Indie film festival ads can be wonderfully odd. The movies are often peculiar, so the advertising can be as well.

The Melbourne International Film Festival produced a great spot earlier this year—a humorous stab at Polish cinema starring Geoffrey Rush as a potato peeler who commiserates with a friend that their film is too boring to make it into the festival. One of the best film fest ads ever was the John Malkovich promo (shown below) for the Czech Republic's KarlovyVary International Film Fest, in which the actor bristles at a cabby's reaction to his latest big-shot film award.

Canada produces some good ones, too. The Vancouver International Film Festival's promos are consistently bizarre, promising, in lieu of developed characters, interesting settings, or compelling plot lines, at least some bestiality, nonsense, and subtitles. And now the Whistler Film Festival joins the fun with three new promos from ad agency Dare in Vancouver that turn Hollywood storytelling conventions on their head.

The best of the spots is "Princess," which begins like a Disney fairy tale but turns into an homage to Scarface. "Gangster" is the opposite, starting off like a wise-guy movie before becoming a Benetton ad. And "Packing Up" looks like lighthearted family movie before morphing into something altogether darker. "Unexpected stories," says the onscreen tagline at the end of the spots.

The campaign has also included some clever street marketing. Unexpected stories were hidden in what appeared to be re-zoning signs, condo sale boards, pizza fliers, and help-wanted ads. The copy began normally in each but took a strange twist into tales of drug trafficking, murder, and romance gone wrong. The agency also seeded 30 for-sale ads on Craigslist for items like a chainsaw, which gave some technical specs before mentioning that the machine had been used to cut up the body of a murder victim. (Craigslist must have loved that.) On Flickr, people were encouraged to comment on fictional Hollywood-style movie posters with their own unexpected plot for a chance to win passes to the festival.

Has all this gotten you interested in the Whistler Film Festival? Well, it wrapped up on Sunday. Sorry, I know, that was unexpected.







CREDITS:
Client: Whistler Film Festival
Agency: Dare, Vancouver
Creative Director: Bryan Collins, Rob Sweetman
Copywriter: Mia Thomsett
Art Director: Rob Sweetman
Producer: Mike Hasinoff
Account Supervisor: Tamara Bennett

"Princess"
Production Company: Picasso Pictures, London
Executive Producer: Jane Bolton, Richard Price
Producer: Richard Price
Director: Tokyoplastic
Production Manager: Shiraz Peer Liberman
Concept Artist: Damian Johnston
Matte Painters: Nicolas Loudot, Carlos Nieto, Eduardo Bera
Modeller & Texture Artists: Andrew Hickinbottom, Martin Ocheng
Rigger: Mark Tsang
Animators: Janek Lender, Dominic Griffiths, Ricardo David
Generalist: Dorianne Fibleuil
Renderer: Ravinder Sembi
Compositor: Andy Hague
Music/Sound Design: Adelphoi Music, London
Music Producer: Greg Moore
Composer: Jamie Masters
Sound Design: Andrew Sherriff
Sound Mix: Koko Productions
Sound Producer: Steve Lowe
Sound Engineer: Chris Hobbs

"Gangster"
Production Company: OPC, Toronto
Executive Producer: Harland Weiss, Donovan Boden
Producer: Dwight Phipps
Director: Jeff Low
D.O.P. Chris Mably
Editor: Rob Doucet
Post-production: Cycle Media, Vancouver
Post Producer: Tom Murray
Telecine: Company 3, LA
Telecine Producer: Matt Moran
Colorist: Sean Coleman
Music: Adelphoi Music, London
Music Producer: Greg Moore
Composer: Julien Diaz
Sound Design & Mix: Koko Productions
Sound Producer: Steve Lowe
Sound Engineer: Chris Hobbs

"Packing Up"
Production Company: OPC, Toronto
Executive Producer: Harland Weiss, Donovan Boden
Producer: Dwight Phipps
Director: Jeff Low
D.O.P. Chris Mably
Editor: Matthew Griffiths
Post-production: Cycle Media, Vancouver
Post Producer: Tom Murray
Telecine: Company 3, LA
Telecine Producer: Matt Moran
Colorist: Sean Coleman
Music: Adelphoi Music, London
Music Producer: Greg Moore
Composer: Benji Merrison
Sound Design & Mix: Koko Productions
Sound Producer: Steve Lowe
Sound Engineer: Chris Hobbs