Artsy Spoofs Tout Seattle Film Festival

LOS ANGELES Independent WongDoody’s work for the Seattle International Film Festival employs animation and humorous songs as it simultaneously promotes and spoofs festival categories.

In one spot touting documentaries, a banjo-picking narrator explains that such films may well include “nude skydiving, whale migration, malaria … lesbian loggers, whistlin’, cheese makin’ in Bulgaria.” At another point, the singer proclaims, “The camera may be shaky, the sound may not be clear.” An insulted “cameraman” interrupts, saying, “Hey, you try trackin’ marmots across the [bleeped] frozen tundra and see how steady your camera is!”

Agency senior art director Mark Watson, who worked on the spots with senior copywriter Jennie Moore, said, “We’re trying to reach a new audience” in addition to hard-core film buffs.

Explaining the ambivalence of the black comedy genre (and visually referencing movies such as Fargo), the lyrics of one spot include lines such as, “Take cannibalism, not funny at all. Add a scorned lover and phenylbarbitol.”

Directors cuts are also lampooned (“If you’ve got four hours to sit on your butt”) as are short films (the song warns viewers not to blink or look at their popcorn because they might miss the entry).

Watson said one of the reasons the Seattle agency created several different pieces, each saturated with visual jokes and wordplay, is that festivals goers tend to have regular patrons who become irritated at seeing the same sponsorship trailer run before every movie they see. He said the trailers hold up to multiple viewings.

The work runs both at the festival and as stand-alone spots through mid-June.