- Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016
Lush landscapes and candid portraits of satisfied customers set against a dramatic narration kick off a new Kubota national brand film, “We are Kubota, This Is What We Do” directed by award-winning Director S.C. McCullough and shot entirely on location in Missouri and Kansas. McCullough was chosen to direct the two-minute brand film for Kubota Tractor Corporation, a subsidiary of a successful manufacturer of high-quality agricultural equipment, tractors, diesel engines, utility vehicles and construction equipment.
Approached by Executive Producer, John Brooks, who brought McCullough to the attention of Kubota’s advertising agency, Paulsen, Scott carefully prepared a thorough bid presentation. The agency and client liked McCullough’s visual storytelling sense and execution ideas, and he was awarded the job. Excited to be a part of the team, McCullough feels the concept created by Paulsen reflects his own Midwestern values and respect for the environment. The brand film features six different types of Kubota customers in six different settings and to McCullough, "We Are Kubota, This Is What We Do” tells the story of who Kubota customers are, and exemplifies their commitment and stewardship to the land, their workmanship and respect for the soil and to each other. About the creative approach, McCullough says,
"I was attracted to the strong connection between everyday people and the job at hand, which showcased the pride they feel in their work and satisfaction gained from using Kubota equipment. From this foundation, we worked together to create scenarios and realistic slices of life with an underlying degree of visceral emotion of accomplishment."
To create emotion and give the film a cinematic feeling, McCullough used two Red cinema 4K cameras and employed drones for aerial footage and establishing beauty shots. Shot by Director of Cinematography Chad Wilson, the project was completed over an ambitious three-day shoot at six different exterior locations. Working steadily in independent film, high-end national commercials and music videos for the industry's best, McCullough is no stranger to grueling shoot schedules, exterior location challenges and working with the latest technology, saying: "Drone footage shows scale and captures establishing shots to enhance coverage. However, as with all productions, proper planning, strategic execution, and pragmatic attitudes is crucial to stay on schedule and budget. My prep and approach is filled with high creativity that's efficient. You can't approach this type of shoot like a music video - grabbing and spraying the location with footage. This is precise, controlled and specific storytelling.
That said, flexibility is key, especially at exterior locations. According to Brooks, “Scott is intensely organized and excellent at pre-production planning. He helped us choose great talent and locations we could maximize to avoid numerous and cumbersome company moves, but he really came through when rain, thunder and lightning were going off all around us. We lost four hours on the last day to weather, but we got the necessary coverage and avoided a costly weather day.”
Calm under fire, McCullough relies on his experience and expertise to accomplish the toughest task. Regarding his preparation to create compelling content, McCullough says, “To pull off shooting at two different locations per day, I visited each location to confirm shooting requirements and nail down production logistics, while we cast in the Kansas City area for people who had a natural feel and fit the right demographic. We honed our selects down to people familiar and comfortable with executing the required scenarios and I'm very happy with the talent choices.”
Coming from a cinematography background and often wearing both hats, McCullough's experience and resilient nature serves him well. About the challenges of directing a national brand film shot entirely at exterior locations and with additional, unexpected requirements, McCullough says:
“Under tight circumstances and with regard to client expectations, creative scheduling and collaboration is crucial. The shooting crew, client and agency rely on a director to not only complete a shoot with creative prowess, but to be able to shift gears for last-minute needs. Making clients happy is paramount to me.”
According to the Paulsen team, “We deeply value Scott’s vision and keen sensitivity to the client's messaging and visual objectives, and truly enjoyed working with him.” Vincent Iorio, Kubota’s Marketing Communications Manager, also spoke about working with Scott, saying, “Scott understands machinery, which worked to our advantage while shooting. He’s patient, flexible and a good leader on set. Scott kept things singing right along while getting the detailed shots we needed. We’re very happy with the result.”
S.C. McCullough works independently on film, commercials and branded content. To view Scott’s cut of the Kubota brand film, se below or visit: Kubota "We Are Kubota" Brand Film 2:00
About S.C. McCullough
S.C. McCullough was discovered by rock icon Prince. McCullough worked with Prince for three years on projects, including the “Sexy MF”, “Gett Off” and “Diamonds and Pearls” home videos, in which he was honored for his collaborations on 8 RIAA Gold certifications, and worked with George Clinton and Carmen Electra. Recent music video projects include the number one hit “What You Waiting For” with Mizz Nina featuring Colby O’Donnis (featured on Lady Gaga “Let’s Dance”).
Working on Target Department Stores for Ad agency PMH gave McCullough his commercial start, resulting in several One Show awards and Adweek “Best of” acknowledgements. McCullough works with top tier clients, including Pepsi, Ford, NASCAR, GM, Polaris, Jeep, Kumho Tires, Coors, Budweiser and many more. Among his many accolades, McCullough has been honored with numerous AICP, ADDY, EFFIE, Vision, Aurora, Cannes, and a total of 22 Telly awards.
In addition to his high-end commercial profile and independent film work, McCullough's projects include the first 70mm film for NASCAR “Thunder Dome 100%” for RJ Reynolds. McCullough has worked with numerous top NASCAR drivers and luminaries, including Paul Newman, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart, Jimmy Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip, among many others.
McCullough co-wrote the Brad Nowell Estate endorsed screenplay of famed Long Beach band, Sublime, which he will also produce. In addition, he co-wrote and will direct “Captain For Dark Mornings," a Vietnam war biopic based on the true story of founder of the National Veterans Foundation, Shad Meshad, who pioneered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) discovery and successful treatment. "Captain For Dark Mornings" will feature Martin Sheen, known for his award-winning role in “Apocalypse Now” and the award-winning film, “The Departed” and Dan Lauria from “The Wonder Years” with additional cast yet to be announced.
Past pilot and film projects include working with many notable talent from television and film, including USA star for SAG nominee “Suits," Patrick J. Adams, and “The Young and the Restless” 11-time Daytime EMMY nominated (2-time winner) actress, Michelle Stafford. McCullough has several other projects in active studio and independent development.
To keep up with Scott and view more of his work, visit www.scottmccullough.com