Today my new group and I were on set recording content for our fantasy commercial project. Originally “Emotional IQ”’ was centered around a child and his exhausted parent but Jenny suggested using two adults because children generally take longer adjusting on set. I’m glad we agreed because the co actors worked really well together and we were able to collect a lot of material during our 4 hours of filming. You know, collaboration is tricky… it’s really hard to get a group of busy people in one room at the same time but when you’re lucky, creative juices really flow and magic happens.
Here’s the updated storyboard and work on set.
Prompt: Create a 2-4 minute commercial for a fantasy product.
The product: The “Emotional IQ” is a mood-stabilizing app that helps you control your emotions via smartphone. The app is connected to a cybernetic tattoo that both measures your biometrics and changes them to synthetically stimulate mood changes.
Genre: Speculative fiction/design, sci-fi
Style: Emotionally-relatable scenario showing the product in use, elements of humor, familiar family tropes, “no words necessary”
Characters: Two adult housemates, preferably couple.
Plot: Couple bonding on couch in living room, playing with app on mobile device. Character 1 realizes their glass is empty and gets up to refill. Char1 opens the fridge, takes out beverage and attempts to pour. The bottle is empty and a small drop falls into the glass. Char1 is visibly angry and questions Character 2 about the empty bottle in the fridge. Char2 (still on the couch), is also visibly frustrated. At this point, there is a notification on Char1’s phone (still on the table in living room). It shows an alert of “angry” and prompts the user to adjust the emotional settings. Char2 inconspicuously changes the settings on the app. Char1’s demeanor immediately shifts as they happily plop back on the couch. It’s all good and everyone’s happy. Commercial ends with the product name and slogan (possibly small-print warnings of possible side effects for humor).
- Establishing long shot: Living Room: Both characters on couch, talking, playing with mobile phones. [you can see the apps here and they’re clearly sharing ideas, smiling, laughter, close together]
- Medium shot: Both drinking from glass, char1 notices glass is empty, gets up to refill.
- B-roll of char2 drinking from glass, playing with phone, etc.
- Medium long shot: Char1 walks to kitchen
- Close up shot: Char1 puts glass on table, opens the fridge
- Extreme close up shot: Last drop of beverage in glass
- Long shot: Char1 visibly upset, lots of body movement blurred [Char2 focused, visibly frustrated]
- Close up shot: Phone alerts on table, Char2 quickly grabs phone
- Medium shot- over shoulder: Char2 shyly looks over to make sure Char1 isn’t around and adjust settings [Char2 smiling]
- Long Shot: Char1 angrily throws empty bottle in trash can, looks up at “to buy” list
- Close up shot: [ tattoo on Char1’s neck]
- Medium shot- over shoulder: [Char2 position- emotional settings updated on the phone]
- Long shot from the trash can: Char1 body jerks suddenly; change in their emotion [char1 exaggerated happiness and smiling]
- Medium shot: Char1 excitedly adds beverage to “to buy” list
- Long shot: Char1 walks back to living room smiling
- Medium Shot: Both characters are back on the couch smiling and resume talking
- Close up: Both characters smile at the camera, Char2 gives a thumbs up and winks.
Cut to product logo and slogan, maybe with small print side effects on the bottom
We followed the new story board on set and checked off each line item as needed. I found this really helpful because we were able to record our ideas and had creative space to add to frames without losing any material.
Sidebar: Reading “At the Blink of an Eye” before shooting was invaluable! Walter Murch covers film editing in great detail. He covers video continuity, emotions, collaboration, cutting criteria , perception, interpretation, character chemistry and so much more. It’s an interesting read and eloquently explains the art of editing and I highly recommend reading it!
* I have to thank the team of course… FenFen, Gabriella, Rel and Amanda. You guys were awesome and pushed me creatively. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with for this assignment.