Bicoastal Rabbit director Brent Harris brings humanity to the moving process in the new visually poetic “Big Move” :70 for Mayflower, out of Grey Worldwide, NY. The first broadcast campaign for the brand out of Grey, the cinematic spot features a 35-ft animatronic puppet, showing us the care and attention to detail paid by Mayflower, whether moving across the country or down the street.
The life-like puppet, guided by professional puppeteers, was specially designed and built by award-winning puppet master Rick Lazzarini of The Character Shop; all effects in the spot were created in-camera, with no CG used.
Grey ECD Noel Cottrell explains, “This was a true collaboration between the agency, Brent [Harris] and Douglas [Howell, EP] at Rabbit and Rick [Lazzarini] at The Character Shop. From the day the job was awarded, Brent worked tirelessly with Rick to create the look of the doll, the dress, the hair; together over the space of about 3 months, they brought our marionette to life.”
Notes Harris, “Despite her quite literally ‘King Kong’ size, I felt our heroine should bring a certain grace, beauty and even a lightness to the proceedings.” In terms of his cinematic interpretation, “Noel charged us with finding the ‘poetry’ in the puppet’s journey, Tor [Myhren, Grey CCO] recommended we ‘keep it real’. And therein lay the challenge.” In response, “JoZ [Joseph Zizzo, DP] and I decided on a feature documentary approach: we planned our days around the sun’s path to best harness the natural light and embraced an observational camera style.”
“Big Move” opens on a close up of a young woman’s face. The camera pans out to reveal a larger-than-life marionette endowed with delicate features. As she strides confidently across a rural highway followed by a large Mayflower truck, a team of moving men attend to her gestures with anthropomorphic precision. The puppet blinks to acknowledge the passersby as she ventures into a city street, while she and her attendants stroll past apartments on par with her height. The entourage then arrives at a manicured suburban neighborhood and the scene cuts to a shot of an inviting 2-story house. With her feet firmly planted in front of the house, the puppet smiles as the movers unload a large box from the back of the truck. They set up an oversized lawn chair, and she settles in, resting her feet courtesy of one of her helpers. We then cut to a black screen with the Mayflower logo and tag, “Every step of the way,” closing out the spot.
Throughout literature, folklore and pop culture, the Rabbit is famed as a trickster, an upstart, a lovable rogue. It is also a new model for a production company. With a talent pool extending from Manhattan to Hollywood to Silicon Valley, Rabbit defies easy categorization. Except for its mischievous nature, of course.
Title: “Big Move” :70/:30/:15, “Container” :30
Airdate: Currently airing
Production Company: Rabbit, Bicoastal
Director: Brent Harris
DP: Joe Zizzo
Producer: Gary Romano
Exec. Producers: Douglas Howell, Joby Barnhart
Advertising Agency: Grey Worldwide, NY, NY
Chief Creative Officer: Tor Myhren
Exec. Creative Director: Noel Cottrell
Art Director: Steven Rosenthal
Agency Producer: Kim Kietz
Editorial Company: Rabbit Post
Post Producer: Anura Idupuganti
Flame: Company 3
Telecine: Tim Masick
Audio Post Company: Big Yellow Duck, NY, NY
Mixer: Ryan Heiferman
Music Company: Siblings Music, NY/LA
Composer/Arranger: David Baron
Puppet Design/Construction: The Character Shop, Simi Valley, CA
Puppet Master: Rick Lazzarini