- Monday, Aug. 10, 2015
Talk about high stakes filmmaking? A daring beach shoot took director Eif Rivera from hip hop to pop top as his first crossover commercial is now airing on national television for Bud Light. Rivera’s “Dropping the Beat with Lil Jon” spot was produced for Bud Light's agency, Energy BBDO of Chicago, by Creative Film Management (CFM).
The Bud Light spot is Rivera’s first commercial crossover effort, having produced wildly successful music videos for top artists like Nicki Minaj, Puff Daddy, Lil Wayne, 50 cent, and others. He was voted America’s top hip hop director by the readers of XXL Magazine in 2014.
Somewhere on an unsuspecting beach, under Rivera’s direction, who could have imagined that Lil Jon could literally “drop the beat” from the sky and ignite a beach party? Well he did, and it is now airing as Bud Light’s latest commercial in their "Up for Whatever" campaign.
To cast the spot, Rivera said he generally used streetcasting. “I wanted most participants to be everyday folks who are more inclined to be up for whatever,” Rivera said. The CFM director cast the two leading ladies and bartender near Orlando and then recruited 500 extras for the beach party.
When Rivera shouted “action,” an array of thirty cameras simultaneously began rolling to record the massive, ‘one-take’ shoot. Once underway, the cascading series of events from land, sea and air surprised the cast and by-standers alike.
Rivera admitted it was “high stakes filmmaking” indeed, but thankfully, the gamble paid off. To make the scene work, Rivera positioned three Red cameras (Epic Dragons) in key locations around the beach and no less than 27 GoPros at specific angles, including hanging from trees.
As the commercial begins, the girls order a Bud Light, read the message on the bottle, push a play button in the sand, and the action begins. Parachutes deploy, extras run in, and the lifeguard stand literally unfolds into a D.J. platform for an instant party, right?
It gets better.
A helicopter then descends from the sky, delivering to everyone’s surprise, superstar rapper Lil Jon. Beachgoers can hardly believe it as he “drops in with the beat” and the party is on!
Extras and featured players invited to the ‘beach party’ were purposely not told about events about to unfold. “They were there for a party, that’s all they knew,” Rivera said. The spot was conceived to capture and reflect the spontaneous energy of Lil Jon dropping in, he added.
In addition the stationary cameras, Rivera positioned a GoPro drone cam to fly above the chopper to get a birds-eye view. “This was the real deal,” recalls Rivera, who said his goal was to “capture the excitement” as it happened.
Having twenty-seven GoPros and three Red cameras rolling at once took quite a bit of coordination. “It all pretty much had to work,” said Rivera. “It was kind of dicey for a minute or two, but in the end, it went relatively smooth.” The Bud Light spot now airing can be viewed below and here.
“From the production perspective, the shoot went even better than expected", said CFM executive producer Andrew Swee. Bud Light agency execs were pleased with the shoot and the final cut, added CFM executive producer, Evan Forster.
Creative Film Management is one of the worlds leading commercial production companies with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Along with its child companies, Grasswood and Four Boroughs Films, CFM represents creative, literary, and technical talent in the fields of motion picture, television, commercials, books, music, branded content, technology, and new media. CFM was formed in 1994 through the merger of They Shoot Film and post production powerhouse Editors Gas, both founded by Louis Addesso. In 2014, the company invested privately to fund strategic growth launching Grasswood, a branded content company, and Four Boroughs Films with award winning motion picture director, writer Dito Montiel. CFM has invested in several tech and startup companies including Cathod.tv. Creative Film Management partners include: Louis Addesso, Andrew Swee and Evan Forster.
CFM has produced cutting edge commercials for major brands for over two decades. In addition to Bud Light, CFM has worked for clients like IBM, Toyota, Suddenlink, Johnson and Johnson, Burger King, Pepsi, Intel, McDonald's, Ford, Nationwide, Frito Lay and others.
CFM represents Rivera and other directors including Nick Cassavettes, John Leguizamo, Dito Montiel, Patrick Creadon, Pierre Morel, Jay Mohr, Adam Jones, Johnny Zeller, Steven Lippman, Deigo Fried, Thor Freudenthal, Jamie Johnson, Vladi Duran, and Aram Rappaport.
The company operates from offices in Malibu, California and New York City. More information and complete director reels can be viewed at www.cfminternational.com.
CFI West Coast Office
25001 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
CFI East Coast Office
39 Broadway, Suite 750
New York, NY, 10006
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