L.A.-based production company Conceptive recently debuted its first national TV commercial – a spot for client Purple Communications. Purple is a leading provider of video relay service (VRS) and interpreting services for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The spot was tailored to run during the special all-ASL episode of Switched at Birth on March 4, and was performed entirely in ASL by series star Katie Leclerc.
The ad was produced under tight budget and deadline constraints. “Once we came onboard, we had about a week and a half to conceptualize a script and get the spot delivered,” explained Conceptive partner David Wendell. “So, we came up an idea that was elegantly simple yet still visually dynamic.”
In the spot, Leclerc is signing to the camera which pulls back to reveal that she is actually on a television screen, communicating with a friend using Purple’s latest VRS (Video Relay Service) device. The effect was achieved by using a camera slider on set to film Leclerc, then matching the camera move on a second shooting day with the television. Partner Dominique Brown served as cinematographer while partner John Knowles handled postproduction duties.
“We only had three days to edit the spot, including extensive tracking work, color correction and careful subtitling,” said Knowles. “It was a tight deadline, particularly for this type of project, but we pulled it off because of our careful pre-production planning and our client’s responsiveness to evolving elements.”
The spot was filmed on a Canon DSLR with Canon lenses. Post involved a combination of Final Cut Pro for making edit selects, and Adobe After Effects for compositing, subtitling and camera tracking. Color correction was performed in Apple Color, and included altering the color of the couch Leclerc was sitting on to match Purple’s corporate colors.