Ad of the Day: Whistler Film Festival

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

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.


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


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


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

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