They see me rollin

Oct 23, 2017 by Mike

It's no secret that I dislike a lot of film schools and what they offer aspiring filmmakers. I am a product of the Internet: everything I have learned has either been on set (whether mine or someone else's) or on the computer.  Be it Sam and Niko from Corridor Digital, the Connollys over at Film Riot, or Andrew Kramer at Video Copilot. I watched, I listened, I did, I learned, I adapted, I customized, I repeated.

Stacey is a product of Vancouver Film School. While she disagrees with me on the value of such institutions, she admits she's learned a lot more from our escapades of "let's see what happens" than she did in the classroom.  But, there's one thing that I can't argue on that film school brings you: friends and networking.

This point was hammered home when completely out of nowhere, some guy named Nik Green messages Stacey and says "What you're doing is pretty awesome, would you like to come be the main villain in a commercial I'm doing for BMW?".  Apparently, they went to school together (though they're still trying to figure out exactly HOW they know each other since they were in different classes).  How cool is that?

The Film

Remember those incredible Clive Owen BMW short films? All these crazy directors and huge named people were involved in this glorified commercials.  They were perfect, and they were before their time.  They went viral before "viral" was a thing.

Nik wanted to bring these back, but for a local dealership owned by Brian Jessel.  He had a tiny budget, and the production was actually a lot smaller than I expected.  It should be noted that I was meeting Nik for the first time and had no idea what to expect.

I loved his run and gun approach, completely different from the Brewdog commercial we did previously.  Hanging out of the back of vehicles a la Top Gear, circling the block while the camera guys run across the road for a new angle- it was great.

The Event

The thing that really made this project stand out for us, was the fact that the commercial was designed to end at an event that was happening in real life.  So the film finishes with a foot chase, and right as the video fades to black, the good guy rushes into a real party (cameras strategically placed) and Stacey stalks him slowly through the crowd.  Such a fun concept!

This gala was full of Vancouver's 1%, so clearly, we didn't belong! But we got VIP bracelets (worth $500!) and got to pretend we did... though instead of mingling, we started people watching.  Did you know socialites are a real thing and not just in the movies? I didn't!

Anyway, Stacey enters the main stage of this huge and fancy event and kicks it off by sabering a champagne bottle (which has a WHOLE story just on its own, but I'll leave that one for Stacey to tell).  It was so cool. 

Thank you Nik for such an awesome experience, and I know it won't be the last time we work together!