We’re willing to bet there are not many Automotive Repair shop owners who also hold a masters degree in Film Production from prestigious California film schools, so we felt pretty damn lucky when one called us with a budget in hand and a mantra of “let the professionals do what they do best.”
Having seen our demo reel, Gary of Gary’s Automotive was confident that we were more than capable of treating the brand that his father had built with the proper care and value it needed to grow. A long time fixture in the Ottawa community, Gary’s was ready to divert ad dollars away from radio and into video for the very first time in its existence.
After researching the brand from every possible angle we settled on a simple concept that speaks to anyone who has ever taken their car to a garage for repairs, a simple reassurance that the repairs don’t need to cost you “an arm and a leg.”
It almost felt too simple, and we questioned whether we were venturing into cliché territory but as the creative seed began to grow, out sprouted the idea of taking that old clichéd saying and turning it on it’s head. We’re unsure of where the saying originated, but we’re hoping it didn’t start with a poor schmuck sawing off their limbs in exchange for an oil change. Once we decided to move forward, we were pretty anxious to see how that scenario might play out.
None of us hold any type of degree in economics, but we know enough about the subject to understand that currency fluctuates in value. We consulted various economic textbooks but found nothing related to the value of limbs, or more specifically arms and legs. In this ad, we knew we wanted to raise the stakes a bit and make it clear that our poor schmuck is giving up something that he values a lot.
Clearly, a man who values his limbs is a man who uses them, and he probably uses them for more than playing video games and walking from the couch to the fridge. So we sat around reminiscing about the good times we’ve had with our limbs; for the sake of censorship we set some guidelines and excluded events that didn’t fit the PG nature of commercial advertising.
We started by building on simple scenarios and then challenged ourselves to take things further. Arm wrestling is great, but what if he’s arm wrestling a bear!? This my friends, is how legends are born. After narrowing our list of ideas down to the funniest, we then knew we had to find a gentleman capable of playing the role and maintaining a certain level of believability while taking the humour to an even higher level.
We like to make people laugh, but just like Gary knew to let the professionals do their thing, we decided to defer to a true Pro in the funny game. It didn’t take long before we found Geoff Mackay who has been making Ottawans laugh for years, mostly through stand up comedy. Geoff is the type of guy that can make you laugh instantaneously with just a slight change of expression, and we knew pretty quickly that he was born to play the role of a poor schmuck forced to saw of his limbs.
As filmmakers, we’ve all cut our chops with no-budget and DIY techniques, but if you want things to look truly professional then you need to work with professional tools. We cleaned out practically every production facility in town and soon had a monopoly on all the best cameras and lighting gear that we lugged around the city for a week in a mad dash to create something truly epic. The camera choice was obvious, for an epic production, you need an Epic (this is the literal camera name).
But there’s only so far a camera can take you, we also went all out with set design, costumes and lighting. Throughout all this, we still managed to maintain the frugality we developed as up-comers, which helped us maximize our budget at every turn and truly produce an end product that delivers beyond expectations.
Come visit us @ http://danrascal.com/
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