Happenings|October 8, 2021


Posted by Robert Starling


In February, Winston Tobacco approached us about doing a major national promotion roll-out: their “Winston Rewards Off-Road Revival Sweepstakes,” featuring a custom 1971 Ford Bronco 4×4. 

After the initial creative call with the team, we realized this was going to be a much larger undertaking than anyone had imagined, and expectations were high. We had to deliver. 

The original idea: A multi-location video and stills shoot with driving shots and nine to twelve crew, cast, client members total. 

The finished product: Thirty days to prep, four days of shooting, 42 crew, cast, agency and clients including, a location studio, a custom 10x20ft overhead soft box, Fisher dolly, drones and the Russian Arm by Filmotechnic USA. 

How were we able to pull this off? 

The first thing we always do is hire an incredible crew of the best professionals possible. 

We didn’t have to look far. Central Florida is a haven for experienced film professionals that rival any you might find in New York or Los Angeles. Over our more than 40 years in business, we’ve developed a wide network of some of the best Central Florida has to offer, and we were thrilled to be able to work with them on such a large-scale project.

The experienced and passionate set of Central Florida-based production professionals we worked with made a huge difference in how smoothly the lead-up and shooting days went, not to mention the overall quality of the production itself. 

From a restoration mechanic’s garage in Orlando to an oak-canopied park in Volusia County, to the sandy shores of New Smyrna Beach, we had the top production professionals in Florida to help us get the best result for the Winston team. 

Director of Photography, Michael Jordan (Orlando), is as good as it gets when it comes to anything automotive. Michael brought in the amazingly talented gaffer, Martin Everett (Orlando), to build a massive 10×20 ft overhead Chimera softbox on location in an old school mechanics shop and turned it into a full-blown location automotive studio to shoot the Bronco.

Our friends Bobby Ziady of BZ Aerial (Miami area) and John Unrue (Lake Mary) handled the drone cinematography for the shoot. Michael Helms (Orlando) recorded the sound. Alexa Sheehan (New Smyrna Beach) kept the whole production running smoothly. 

Our on-screen talent (including precision drivers!) was also Central Florida-based, and Stephanie Mazzeo (Daytona) pulled out all the stops to make them look perfect with hair/makeup, props and wardrobe. And our production accountant, Alicia Murphy (Crystal River) made sure we did it all on budget.

We flew in our incredible editor of more than 15 years, Joe Campanale, from Las Vegas, and he edited the dailies in real-time on the set all week and finished up post back in Vegas with custom motion graphics, animations, GFX, SFX, color grading and branding.

Being able to pull an almost entirely Florida-based, top-notch crew gave us so much pride in what we do, and where we do it. This turn-key production resulted in some incredible :15- and :30-second spots for Winston Rewards. 

Buckle up and check it out!