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ShootersNYC Chases the Spokespig for new AICPA Campaign

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From "Chase," a new spot in the "Feed The Pig" campaign from AICPA and the Ad Council.
ShootersNYC recently partnered with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ad Council to contribute editorial, visual effects and postproduction for a national public service ad campaign, “Feed the Pig.” This financial literacy campaign aims to persuade 25- to 34-year-olds to take control of their finances and add saving to their daily lives. The humorous new spot features an epic chase scene between a man and Benjamin Bankes, the campaign’s iconic “Spokespig.”

For ShootersNYC editor Anthony Marinelli, the creative process on the “Chase” spot began early in the pre-production stage with the agency and director Matt Pittroff of Twist. The director and editor had collaborated together earlier last year on an extensive Pepsi Max project, which broke over the summer.

“Stylistically, we thought that it should feel like a Bourne film or Salt movie,” explained Marinelli. “I scoured through YouTube clips to find different chase scenes in these movies and even found the Peter Bogdonavich film, What’s up, Doc? as a reference, which has a hilarious climactic chase that relied heavily on sound design.”

According to Marinelli, it was the combination of music and sound design, which became the template to set the tone for “Chase.”

“There’s a moment where our hero does a leap-frog over a yoga class in the park, and I just kept hearing the Six Million Dollar Man in my head,” he adds. “We grabbed that sound effect and it became one of the funniest moments in the spot.”

In addition to the editorial process for the Ad Council campaign, the ShootersNYC team also provided extensive visual effects and postproduction. Although the spot appears completely live-action, almost every scene incorporates a visual effect.

“One of the challenges for Flame artist Mark Farkas was to give Benjamin, the spokespig a personality,” Marinelli explained. “Because this is an actor in a pig mask, that meant animating eye and mouth movements as well as creating facial expressions. A fair amount of clean-up and touch-up work on the mask needed to be done. For the store scene at the opening of the spot, when the lead actor receives his initial message, we also composited the different layers, adding reflections to the window and to the phone’s screen.”

“Ideally, a collaboration begins as this one did at the very start,” said ShootersNYC managing director Jeff Beckerman. “We approach each project in a big-picture way and provide the talent needed to achieve the clients’ goals. When we have everyone on the same page from the get-go, then our team can make creative decisions throughout the process, as they did on this new spot for AICPA and the Ad Council. Anthony, Mark and the entire ShootersNYC team here were so excited to work with the clients and director Matt Pittroff.”

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