Film award season is upon us, and we were delighted to find a friend of the Monks bestowed with high honors: Fredrik Bond, who was nominated for an Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials by the Directors Guild of America (DGA). And he’s in good company: other nominated directors include fellow MJZ member Spike Jonze and Ridley Scott.
Bond is already highly decorated, with nine career nominations under his belt, all for commercial pieces. In a profile on the director, DGA Quarterly magazine reported on Bond’s feelings toward working within the advertising industry: “He thrives on the collaboration with clients and agencies and the genre hopping he’s able to do in the work.”
We’re delighted to hear it, because we agree—MediaMonks collaborated with Bond on “Lighter Than Air,” a 60-second film promoting HP’s Elite Dragonfly convertible laptop. The film takes a humorous approach to showcasing the HP Dragonfly’s portability and versatility, and is one of three spots that secured Bond’s nomination. When we asked Bond for his thoughts on being recognized by the DGA, he said, “I feel truly honored to get selected by my peers and to be part of the group of nominees whose work I love, adore and constantly steal from.”
“A Hollywood Production, Condensed into 60 Seconds”
The idea behind the Dragonfly film, which humorously portrays a woman being carried ever-upward by her gravity-defying convertible laptop, is two-fold. First, it puts the product’s key feature—lightness—on full display. More meaningfully, it hints at the barrier-defying potential of both the product and the people who use it; as the woman is pulled higher and higher by the device, she quite literally breaks the glass ceiling along the way, until she is joined by her Dragonfly-toting cohorts towering over the world.
The creative process thrived with a series of high-profile partners and best-in-class talent, including Bond from MJZ, The Mill (whose VFX work touches feature-length films) and Marshall Street Editors. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we were given the opportunity to elevate the genre with a premium quality of work. “HP’s ‘Lighter than Air’ encompassed literally everything you would expect from a high-profile Hollywood production, virtuously condensed into 60 seconds,” says Falk Eumann, Creative Director at MediaMonks leading the Dragonfly campaign.
Expanding the Big Idea
The campaign’s idea outlined above was bigger than the 60-second film at its center. We don’t believe in cutdowns, and instead build fit-for-format content designed from the start for the channels and contexts in which consumers will find them. “During shooting, we were already thinking about which sequences could fit as a pre-roll,” says Eumann, noting that some sequences were shot in square as well for social channels. But we staged photoshoots simultaneous to the film’s shooting, too, resulting in content that wasn’t just format-optimized, but also format-exclusive.
The short film employs Hollywood-level visual effects to convey the HP Dragonfly’s key feature: lightness and versatility.
Because so many of the shots involved both pyrotechnics and visual effects editing, it was a challenge to plan how each could be efficiently revised for the campaign’s various formats. But we made it work—while production is in our blood, we’re well-equipped to make efficiency gains wherever possible.
Making Impact Across Channels—and the World
We love the chance to tell a meaningful story steeped in cultural relevance. Recently, MediaMonks has beefed up its capacity to tell those stories at-scale. In November, we merged with the high-end production shop WhiteBalance, based in India. As a one-stop shop for premium content in India, WhiteBalance’s talent and tech-driven process enable us to expand our efforts in infusing cultural relevance around the globe—much like the solemn and beautiful “Journey to the Underworld” film that our Mexico City office made in collaboration with Mexican beer brand, Victoria, to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
The film’s protagonist quite literally breaks through the glass ceiling.
This news follows last fall’s opening of our new film and content studio in the heart of Amsterdam, catering to a diverse clientele. “With fully equipped studios specializing in food, beauty and fashion videography on one hand as well as a team of dedicated creatives on the other, the way the office is set up is unique for The Netherlands,” says Vivian Opsteegh, Head of MediaMonks Film and Content. “And the office will also enjoy the support of a network of more than 1,100 Monks worldwide.”
Likewise, our LA office has similarly opened the doors to its own in-house production studio. Designed for versatility and delivery at speed, both studios put clients in close proximity to creative teams to aid in collaboration and time to market. From tighter integrated campaigns and a more seamless transition from shooting to post-production all in one space, the studio bolsters our promise to offer efficient, consistent and emotionally resonant content optimized for any channel.
In essence, what makes good storytelling are the people behind it. We’re honored to work with passionate tastemakers like Fredrik Bond, whether on our team or through partnerships, to enable a higher quality of creative across channels and around the world. Congratulations to Bond, and here’s to more nominations in the future!
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