kaboom productions and Spy Post recently joined forces with agency Hoi Polloi to create Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s irreverent spot “Angel.” Directed by doug werby the spot uses bold comedy and the unexpected to capture viewers’ attention and encourage sexually active adults to practice safe sex. The spot, which airs on MTV, VH1 and FX for the next 10 weeks, has already raised the ire of religious conservatives who take issue with the use of the angel as safe-sex guardian.
“I love the fact that this ad challenges popular conceptions of religion and sexuality,” said Lisa Sargent, Chaplain at Planned Parenthood Golden Gate. “I think it will really break through the clutter and get people thinking about sexual responsibility as part of their larger value system, which may be religiously influenced.”
“This project from Planned Parenthood was an ideal combination, incorporating all of the disciplines I love about commercial making,” explains Director doug werby. “From the freedom to collaborate on a humorous concept with a client (Sam Clark of Hoi Polloi) that wanted creative input, to the ability to use my knowledge in visual effects and combine it with humor. Most importantly, having the opportunity to get a message out on a subject I feel very strongly about, protective sex and birth control.”
In the spot, two smoking-hot lovers are kissing in bed while the slightly scruffy Guardian Angel of Safe Sex pulls up a seat, busts out the popcorn, and settles in for the show. When a female angel appears and questions his modus operandi, he turns back time to ensure the couple uses contraceptives (“Amen!” growls the female lover flirtatiously) then returns to his voyeuristic guardianship. When he tries to turn his dubious charms onto his angel counterpart, she zaps him with her magic remote causing his immediate disappearance.
Spy Post, which has worked extensively with Director/Editor doug werby on commercial and corporate projects, provided visual effects, color correction and finishing for the spot. As part of Spy Post’s seamless workflow between telecine and VFX, Chris Martin color corrected the film and then handed off the footage to Lead Flame Artists Darren Orr and Jon Wank. With a tight turnaround of one day, Orr and Wank pulled keys from the 16mm film, combining multiple takes of different performances, executing head and leg replacements, and creating titles.
“We love working with Doug,” comments Orr. “He’s a great director and editor, and we always have fun together. What really made this spot work is that he got us involved early in the process to discuss how to best shoot elements, and we used our shorthand that we’ve developed over the years. Doug and DP Joe Mead made the film look incredible – as good as any 35 mm.”
“It was an honor to have DP Joe Meade with us,” agrees werby. “He collaborated on our vision and came up with some killer ideas in prep and on the day of the shoot. That’s why all the blue screen effects became transparent by the time it got to the great digital artists at Spy Post, who had time to polish the spot with magical angel sparkles, zaps, and TiVO-type motion control. Everyone involved was committed to the message and to producing a great spot for the organization, which made for a smooth and fun process even with the tight turn-around.”
Sam Clark, Hoi Polloi’s Creative Director concludes: “With a non-profit budget, it was really ambitious because there were four speaking parts, some visual effects and a spot that really required a delicate balancing of edgy humor while delivering an important message for Planned Parenthood Golden Gate. Lauren’s [schwartz, kaboom’s owner/EP] decision to bring Doug in was excellent as he is a great collaborator who possesses a solid blend of pathos and irony himself. Spy Post then went the extra mile to treat this spot as anything but the run-of-the-mill PSA. They run a tight ship with a talented staff operating the best gear in the city.”
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate is a non-profit health organization that has been helping women, men and teens make responsible choices for more than 84 years. Since 1923, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate has been committed to delivering the highest quality reproductive health care, teaching responsible and age-appropriate sexuality education and has been working diligently to protect a woman’s right to choose. Each year more than 55,000 women, men and teens visit Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s eight health centers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit PPGG’s website at www.ppgg.org for more information on reproductive health issues and the services PPGG provides.
Client: Planned Parenthood Golden Gate
Agency: Hoi Polloi
Creative Director: Sam Clark
Production Company: kaboom productions/SF & LA
Director: doug werby
Executive Producer: lauren schwartz
Producer: eric mccasline
Director of Photography: Joe Mead
Production Designer: Michael Merryweather
Editorial Company: Ballistic Pictures
Editor: Doug Werby
VFX & Post Company: Spy Post/SF
Lead Flame Artists: Darren Orr & Jon Wank
Colorist: Chris Martin
Executive Producer: Anastacia Maggioncalda
Music Company: Music Orange