Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design Wraps Four-Spot Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Campaign

Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design announces completion of a whimsical four-spot TV campaign for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Northern California’s electric and gas company. Edited by Bob Frisk with visual effects by Phoenix’s Matt Silverman, the campaign promotes PG&E’s forward-looking programs and community initiatives in a lighthearted and endearing way. The :30 ads were directed by Park Picture’s Alison Maclean via ad agency Venables, Bell & Partners. “Action Figure” and “Letting Go” broke February 27, while “Night Light” and “Solar Schools” break this week.

Said Paul Venables, Founder & Co-Creative Director, Venables, Bell & Partners, “There are two great things about working with Phoenix. First, they have Bob Frisk, who is a phenomenal editor and an expert at telling a story with charm and comedy while skillfully bringing out a spot’s subtle human truths. Secondly, Phoenix is virtually a one-stop-shop for us. We engage the whole team?‚àö√ë‚àö√Üthe editor and the assistant, the Flame guys, the graphics people?‚àö√ë‚àö√Üand they all work simultaneously and often around the clock to get our ads done right. It’s hard to imagine doing it any other way.”

The spot “Night Light” has a little girl comforted by the energy efficient?‚àö√ë‚àö√Üand therefore long-lasting?‚àö√ë‚àö√Übulb by her bed, which keeps the monsters in the closet at bay. To promote its “PG&E Solar Schools Program,” which teaches kids about the possibilities of renewable power, the ad “Solar Schools” features an overachieving student entering a gigantic solar panel into the science fair.

In “Letting Go,” an old curmudgeon refuses to give up his ancient energy inefficient washer. Only when the PG&E field agent mentions that they pay up to $75 to replace old machines, does he finally “let go.” “Action Figure” opens with a classroom of kindergartners playing with super hero toys. While the other kids have “Viking Man” and “Robo Droid,” one tot has “Renewable Energy Man” who fights the evils of the world with sun, water and wind. When his mother, a PG&E employee, comes to pick him up from school, he jumps into her arms and yells out the battle cry, “The future is clean energy!”

“The Venables creative team and director Alison Maclean filled this campaign with so many superb performances and funny moments, that the main challenge for me was deciding which clips to use,” said Bob Frisk, Editor, Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design. “For example, in ‘Night Lite,’ Alison shot the monster?‚àö√ë‚àö√Üwho was actually a puppeteer dressed in a suit?‚àö√ë‚àö√Ütwo weeks after the rest of the spot. This new footage was so visually interesting, we just knew the monster had to have a more prominent role than previously storyboarded.”

Frisk also devised ways to get around the inherent challenge of working with footage of children. Said Frisk, “Park Pictures did a great job casting this whole campaign, but seldom do you have continuity when directing very young kids. In ‘Action Figure,’ I used several split-screens throughout to seamlessly splice together the action. All in all, this campaign was just beautifully executed, and I hope it has a long shelf-life on TV.”

About Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design

Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design has been a mainstay in the San Francisco creative post-production community since 1991. With a roster of award winning editors, graphic designers and effects artists, Phoenix works with creative-driven advertising agencies including Venables, Bell & Partners, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Publicis & Hal Riney, Heat (formerly Black Rocket), Duncan/Channon, and McCann. The company produces spots and HD motion graphics packages for Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Intel, Yahoo, PG&E, Disney, McDonald’s, Palm, Toyota, Hewlett Packard, Comcast and the Got Milk campaign. In August 2005, the company moved into a new state-of-the-art HD facility located on the lush grounds of Sydney Walton Park in downtown San Francisco.

For more information about Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design, contact executive producer Jonathan Hinman at (415) 394-7777 or visit


Client: Pacific Gas & Electric
Airdate: “Letting Go” & “Action Figure” ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® February 27th; all other spots — May 22, 2006

Ad agency: Venables, Bell & Partners / San Francisco Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Greg Bell Art Director on “Action Figures”: Will Dean Art Director on all other spots: Ellen Springer Copywriter: Chip Waters Producer: Stacey Higgins

Production company: Park Pictures / New York City, NY Director: Alison Maclean

Editorial company: Phoenix Edit, Effects & Design / San Francisco, CA Editor: Bob Frisk Motion graphics design: Bobby Van Dyke Visual Effects: Matt Silverman Online Edit: John Crossley, Treena Loria Executive Producer: Jonathan Hinman Producer: Lisa Houck

Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld @ Company 3 / Los Angeles, CA Music: “Letting Go” & “Action Figures:” Stimmung Music: All other spots: Elias Arts / NYC and LA Audio Mix: Mark Pitchford @ M Squared Productions / San Francisco, CA

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