The Colonie’s Bob Ackerman Cuts Blue Point Brewing's Homage
July 21, 2016 by Screenmag
VSA Partners’ new media campaign for Blue Point Brewing Company taps the talents of The Colonie editor Bob Ackerman and his team for “Patchogue’s Got It All,” a comedic spot that takes a disarming approach to introducing the premium craft beer and a refreshed brand that’s both subtle and bold. Directed by Brian Billow, the commercial features a local townsperson taking viewers on a tour of common-place sights around Patchogue, N.Y. that he earnestly considers to be the highlights of the small Long Island town. While he blatantly omits any mention of the world-class brewery that put the town on the map – evidence of Blue Point’s prominent presence appears in every shot - using a portrait of the town to bring home the brand’s message.
With earnest countenance and deadpan delivery, the tour guide sites Patchogue’s most mundane “points of interest” - its phone booth, water tower, T-shirt printing shop, the ocean and a passing freight train. Although never mentioned by name, Blue Point’s logo, signage and products are omnipresent throughout the commercial. VSA’s concept establishes the synergy between the town and the product: Blue Point is integral to the fabric of the community - and the character of the craft beer brand has been shaped by its deep roots in the simple, weathered coastal town.
“The creative team at VSA Partners brought us an unconventional concept that took a fresh, off-beat approach,” says Ackerman. “From the get-go, the agency was committed to making this spot into something unique. Creative directors Tim White and Josh Witherspoon were tireless in creating just the right tone and character.”
The spot was shot on location in Patchogue over two days. Ackerman and his assistant editor, Graham Chapman, flew to New York and worked with director Brian Billow during the production to establish the right mood and tone for the commercial. They began cutting the moment footage started arriving, continuing well into the night at their hotel to ensure they’d meet the two-week deadline.
“We knew that the pacing would be critical to achieving the kind of off-beat comedic style synonymous with Blue Point that the spot demanded. However, it wasn’t until we began the editorial process that we found the right rhythm,” says Ackerman. “The cutting counterpoints the deadpan delivery of the talent with lengthy pauses and almost uncomfortable pacing that supports the dry humor and off-beat concept that make the commercial so compelling.”
Brian Billow, known for his off-kilter, bold comedic sensibilities, worked closely with Ackerman during and after the shoot. The director encouraged the editor to embrace the awkwardness created by the slow tempo and fight his instincts to tighten up the edit. The result is a comedic spot that showcases Blue Point and its Toasted Lager beer and conveys the pride the company takes in its Long Island roots.
Back in Chicago, The Colonie’s senior designer, Jennifer Moody, and VFX supervisor, Tom Dernulc worked in tandem with the editors, tackling a considerable amount of digital enhancements while the creative cut was still evolving. The company’s full-services approach to editing, visual effects and design provided an efficient, one-stop creative environment for the project, giving its team unfettered access to each other. Dernulc was able to pop into the edit sessions to discuss altering various elements with the agency and client, and everyone was able to follow the progression.
“Given the fact that the name of Blue Point’s Toasted Lager is never said out loud, the style of the spot could almost be described as the antithesis of the traditional beer commercial, which usually showcases the lager front and center,” says Ackerman. “It’s this play against expectations that makes VSA Partners’ spot so innovative, captivating, effective - and funny.”
CLIENT: Blue Point Brewing Company
TITLE: ‘Patchogue’s Got It All’
LENGTHS: 1 - :30 4 - :15
TYPE: Commercial – New Media
AGENCY: VSA Partners /Chicago
Executive Producer: Ashley Geisheker
CD: Bob Winter
CD’s: Tim White / Josh Witherspoon
PRODUCTION COMPANY: O Positive / NYC
Director: Brian Billow
DP: Jody Lee Lipes
Producer: Ami Krane
Executive Producers: Ralph Lauchella, Marc Grill
EDITORIAL, VFX, DESIGN COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago
Creative Editor: Bob Ackerman
Assistant Editor: Graham Chapman
Finishing/VFX: Tom Dernulc
Design: Jen Moody
Executive Producer: Mary Caddy
(Equipment used:Flame Premium / Avid Media Composer)
COLOR CORRECTION COMPANY: The Mill / Chicago
Colorist: Luke Morrison
AUDIO COMPANY: Airstream Audio / Chicago
Mixer: David Axelbaum
MUSIC COMPOSER: Craig Sutherland /NY