PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Murder is back in season on A&E and at BIGSMACK, the full-service creative/production/design studio led by Creative Director Andy Hann, thanks to 'The Glades,' the hit crime drama that returns for season two next month. BIGSMACK was called in to build on the effective promo campaign they created and executed last year that helped make the first season premiere of The Glades the most-watched drama series premiere in network history. ''A&E loved last year's 'Orange/Sunny with a Chance of Homocide’ concept that helped introduce the series to audiences,'' Hann says. ''This time they asked us to elevate the concept to another level creatively and craft a new way to invoke the same tone that worked so well.'' BIGSMACK responded with the new tagline 'Murder is Back in Season' and a complex 4-spot teaser/promo campaign that also includes a complete toolkit featuring live action endplates for tune-in info, bumpers, lower-thirds, custom snipes and other essentials for A&E producers to use throughout the show’s 13 episode run. Bloody Oranges The three orange-themed spots each begin to the strains of the classic 1940s jazz track ''Blue Skies'' and showcase a flawlessly lit shot perfect orange bathed in sunshine. Suddenly the orange is shot with a bullet, pierced with two arrows and sliced by a flying meat cleaver. Each wound results in the human reaction of blood spurting from and pooling around the orange. The spot ends with the ''Murder is back in season'' tagline and ''The Glades'' and A&E logos. While it may seem simple at first glance, the three orange spots proved immensely complex requiring a complete motion control set up featuring a state-of-the-art Phantom Flex camera that captured the action a stunning rate of 1500 to 2500 frames-per-second. ''The turntable, the camera rig, the lights, and pneumatic armatures were all hooked up to a motion control computer system to create a controllable and repeatable take each time,'' Hann explains. ''We had to shoot many different passes of each element -- blood, smoke, reflections, etc -- and they all needed to line up exactly. All of the separate takes were then retimed and composited together in post. The complex post also required us to rotoscope out the rigs we used to stabilize the oranges on the turntable, as well as add the intense sound design.'' Poolside Homocide The fourth promo spot marks a complete dramatic shift from the orange spots. Shot on location at a Miami pool, the spot again begins with the jaunty strains of “Blue Skies,” and a shot of a sunny, palm tree-filled Florida sky. The camera quickly pans down to reveal a luxury resort and pool where a bikini clad woman floats serenely. The misdirect is revealed abruptly as a rubber-gloved CSI technician grabs the legs of the apparently dead woman and pulls her from the pool while series star Matt Passmore silently contemplates the crimescene. For this spot, the BIGSMACK crew used a 30-foot techno crane with an underwater camera housing to create a perfect tracking shot that starts with skyline, pans down to street level, into the pool and back out. Although the final features a few subtle edits, it was originally conceived and shot in one continuous take. ''Last year we did a spot with Matt that featured him talking directly to the camera and introducing himself to viewers,'' Hann explains, ''but given that the character is now fairly well established with the audience, we went with a more subtle concept with no dialogue. Matt’s performance though is very nuanced and revealing. His reaction to the body tells you a lot -- he has seen this type of crime before and he’s sick of it.'' Adds Hann, ''This second go-round with ''The Glades'' was an opportunity to showcase what makes us unique -- how we can both create compelling concepts that speak to fans of the show and achieve client goals, and also mount extremely complex productions and post. A&E again showed a lot of trust in us to pull this off important project, and I’m proud of what we accomplished.''
Client: A&E Network Project: The Glades Season Two teaser/promo campaign Agency/Production/Design/Post: BIGSMACK, Philadelphia, PA Creative Director/Director: Andy Hann Executive Producer: Heidi Erney, Kelly Dials DP: Andrew Turman, Chuck Ozeas, Jim Matlosz