This September, Gigasavvy launched a nationally broadcast advertisement for candy brand, HI-CHEW. Today, we’re talking to Gigasavvy Producer, Chuck Oldfield, about his experience bringing flavor to life.
Let’s start with that unicorn. Was she a diva on set?
That mini-horse behaved surprisingly well. It got there early and had to go through hair and makeup just like any other tallent. And that rainbow mane took some time to get right!
Is it easier to work with animals, kids or adults? Be honest.
Ultimately adults, but it’s a fine line.
As a producer, are you part of the creative process?
Yes! I’ve been blessed to be brought into a lot of the brainstorming conversations. I have a great rapport with our Creative Director, Mitch Fait.
I’m able to help take a creative idea and apply it to the logistics, the budget, and figure out how to practically execute it.
And if there’s a creative idea is out of scope but is important to the storytelling, I take that seriously. I don’t just shoot it down. I see why we went there so before we kill it, let’s talk about how we adjust other things to make this work.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see your work airing on national TV?
Just pride. Pride and accomplishment. There’s something about seeing it out in the world — and not in the edit bay — that helps me disconnect from the process. When it is done, I sometimes have to remind myself that I was a part of creating it.
I love getting to work on creative storytelling and the narrative behind a brand. I love magical realism generally, so this HI-CHEW spot was a lot of fun. There is a lot of imagination behind it.
There must have been a lot going on in this commercial – was it chaotic?
It felt very straightforward to me because we had mapped everything out prior.
When we get to set, we try to have it fully ironed out. So when we get there, it’s really about executing what’s on paper. On set, there are never any big decisions to make, because they’ve already been made.
What are you most proud of for this shoot?
In all our spots, what I’m most proud of is the production value. Mitch comes up with a lot of big ideas that we are able to mold to fall into budget while keeping the production value high.
And as always, I’m proud of how the team comes together to execute something really fun and exciting.
What was your biggest challenge in producing the HI-CHEW commercial?
One of the biggest hurdles was finding the right location. We looked at 4-5 other grocery stores total. Some of them were not right from a visual standpoint, and others were out of scope budget-wise.
We had a lot of gimmicks planned for this spot – like confetti and candy flying around, a couple of explosions – so it was a challenge to find something that was in-budget and that would let us do everything we wanted to do.
If someone were looking for a career in production, what advice would you give them?
For me, one of the biggest things it comes down to is the team that you build. You have to be able to put aside your ego and create a strong team that you can trust. I need to know that I have someone in front of me that I can trust to run with it and do their job.
Also, constant communication with people you’re working with. There’s no harm in making sure you’re regrouping at the end of the day and even asking redundant questions because it might spark something in someone else or it might bring something up you totally forgot about.
For those who have never met you, they may not know that you have a really positive attitude and positive vibe. How has that helped you get to where you are?
There is so much going on at any given time. Time is something you need to manage. Stopping to yell at someone or freak out over something never made sense to me. You need to keep going.
And at the end of the day, it seems to always work out, especially if you’re constantly communicating and looking over your to-do lists, and crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. You shouldn’t show up to set and not have a pony on set, if you want a pony on set. There shouldn’t be room for yelling and screaming if you’re prepared.
Plus you get more out of your team if you’re a partner with them in it. Some producers elevate themselves above everybody and allow their stance to be felt by everybody. For me, there’s no point to that.
Thanks, Chuck for sharing your experience as Producer on the HI-CHEW national TV ad!