Food, Inc. Director Robert Kenner Joins Saville For 1st Spot Representation

07 / 11 / 2017

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Robert Kenner–a DGA Award nominee in 2010 for Food, Inc., which also earned him a Best Documentary Feature Oscar nomination–has landed his first representation as a commercialmaker, joining the directorial roster of Venice-based Saville Productions.

Food, Inc. examines corporate farming and the unhealthy agribusiness practices that plague the overall health of Americans and is harmful to the environment, employees and animals. The film scored assorted other honors including winning the Gotham Award for Best Documentary and being nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for Outstanding Documentary.

In addition to the much lauded Food, Inc., Kenner also directed and served as a producer on the “Two Days in October” episode of American Experience, which won a primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking in 2006. His other prestigious documentaries include Merchants of Doubt, When Strangers Click, and Command and Control, the latter winning him (along with Erc Schlosser, Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts) a Writers Guild Award for Best Documentary Screenplay this year. Merchants of Doubt earned Kenner a Producers Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures in 2015.

Continue reading on Shoot Online.

Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold tops the list on Wired’s Best Documentaries on Netflix UK!

07 / 07 / 2017

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Produced and edited by Werner Herzog, this 98-minute documentary from the German writer explores where the internet came from and where it’s going next. The upfront confrontations see Herzog seek out hermits who avoid the internet, those who have been trolled online, robotic footballer players and how artificial intelligence is changing everything. Oh, and there’s an interview with Elon Musk where Herzog commits to going to Mars.

Continue reading on Wired.

Saville productions: lessons in branded long and short-form film, TV and documentaries

06 / 28 / 2017

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Rupert Maconick, Martin Campbell, Jody Raida and Dan Salzman offer advice on brand sponsored entertainment and give insight into how brands can tell stories like Hollywood filmmakers.

Rupert Maconick’s suggestion for brands to make their campaigns feel less like adverts was to hire a script writer and film director who do TV and film, then you’ll be increasing the chance people will watch. If it’s a documentary, he’d advised doing research with a proper documentary research team. The subjects will be free of charge and you won’t have to pay an ad agency.
Ultimately he explained that the processes of filming documentaries, TV and film are different to creating adverts – that’s the main difference. To balance the promo with editorial in either film or documentary, Maconick said the promo has to be authentic to the story ‘some of it’s pretty obvious’ he concluded.

Saville Productions recently produced ‘Lo and Behold’ with Werner Herzog as Director, which just won two Cannes Lions. The clients for this were brave, he said. His role in the collaboration was to answer the brief and find interesting stories (it’s a documentary). Werner had the final cut with this – ‘if you hire someone like this you have to let them run with it’ Maconick said. ‘But Werner listened and was opened to suggestions’. At the beginning they had no idea they’d get Elon Musk, a hacker or those addicted to the internet, and so on. There were 30 billion impressions in the year it was released.

Talking about distribution Maconick said: ‘The best way to get a distributor behind your content is to get them to pay a lot of money. So Magnolia paid for ‘Lo and Behold’. There was no media buy – and the distributor sent all their money to recoup the original advance they made.’

HP Inc, the technology company have created a digital series called The Wolf. The second series launched 1st June. Dan Salzman explained how HP is reinventing itself and as this is an emotional message they decided to create a story about IT security, as it impacts everyone. The message was that you can hack in to a network through a printer, a very difficult message to get across, yet they connected to customers in an emotional way. It was a spin off with Christian Slater from The Robot because it’s popular with their target audience, given the topic.

Continue reading on Cannes Lions.

Lo and Behold wins 2 Gold Lions and a Silver Lion at Cannes Lion Entertainment!

06 / 23 / 2017

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Saville’s Lo and Behold directed by Werner Herzog wins 2 Gold Lions and a Silver Lion at Cannes Lion Entertainment!! Ad Agency: Periera & O’Dell.

Congrats to director Judd Ehrlich for taking home the Bronze Lion for Dick’s Sporting Good’s “Keepers of the Game”!

View the Winner’s List on Adweek.

Saville Productions Signs Director John Waters

06 / 19 / 2017

"My early films look terrible!" says filmmaker John Waters. "I didn't know what I was doing. I learned when I was doing it. I never went to film school." Waters, who is known for films such as the outlandish Pink Flamingos and Hairspray, has written a new book, Carsick.

Venice-based production company Saville Productions has signed legendary film director John Waters for commercial and branded entertainment representation. The writer/director/actor helmed such iconic cult films as Independent Spirit Awards winner Hairspray, Pecker and his debut film Pink Flamingos, the first of a series of low-budget shock films made with his Dreamland repertory company including the actor known as Divine. Waters joins Saville Productions’ roster of acclaimed filmmakers, including: Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), Paul Haggis(Crash) and many others.

Notes Saville Productions Executive Producer Rupert Maconick, “John Waters is a unique film maker and would be a great partner for brands who want a campaign that  truly stand outs.”

Adds Waters, “I love the idea of directing commercials because it is the opposite of ‘auteur’ work. My name’s not even on the finished product but if I do a good job, the viewer will still suspect I had something to do with it.”

SourceCreative

Saville Productions Acquires Rights To David Goldblatt’s Soccer History Book ‘The Ball Is Round’

06 / 12 / 2017

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Rupert Maconick’s production company, Saville Productions, has acquired the worldwide rights to sports journalist David Goldblatt’s definitive history of soccer, The Ball is Round, and its upcoming sequel The Game at the End of the World. Saville will release a documentary series based on the books next year, coinciding with the 2018 World Cup, and is currently seeking a brand partner for the series.

The Guardian calls Goldblatt’s work stunning. “Quite simply, The Ball is Round takes soccer history to a new level.” The Times Literary Supplement says, “Goldblatt writes with authority, humor and passion. There is no doubting the worth of his extraordinary book, The Ball is Round.”

The Ball is Round and The Game at the End of the World explore the history of the world through soccer. Featuring the stories of a fantastical cast of angels and devils, geniuses and journeyman, fallen giants and rising stars, the books are a chronicle of incredible triumphs, lucky escapes, impossible comebacks and stubborn stalemates. Above all, the books are a history of how soccer and the forces of money and power have interacted.

“It’s unusual–there are many great documentaries about basketball, NFL, baseball and countless other sports,” said Rupert Maconick, “but very few documentaries about soccer.”

Saville Productions has previously fused business models from the advertising and entertainment industries to fund documentary projects, including the documentary feature Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, directed by Academy Award-nominated director Werner Herzog and produced in partnership with Netscout. Maconick sees this documentary series on soccer as a unique opportunity for brands, networks and platforms looking to reach the global soccer audience with compelling storytelling that appeals to viewers.

Continue reading on Press Kitchen.

Saville at Cannes Lions Entertainment!

06 / 09 / 2017

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Get ready for The New Hollywood panel at Lions Entertainment featuring acclaimed director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), Saville’s Executive Producer Rupert Maconick, Jody Raida, founder of Lemonade, and Dan Salzman, Global Head of Media for HP.

The New Hollywood panel will explore how sponsored entertainment is transforming the advertising and entertainment landscape. Learn about the brand-fundedmodel directly from the producers, directors, and marketers bringing these projects to the screen. These leading industry pros will offer advice on conceiving, pitching, funding, producing, distributing and monetizing brand sponsored entertainment and give insights on how brands can tell stories like Hollywood filmmakers.

Thursday, June 22nd 1:00 – 1:45pm – The Terrace

Why Marketers Need to Invest in Authentic Long-Form Storytelling

06 / 02 / 2017

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*Saville’s Executive Producer Rupert Maconick discusses how socially-conscious films and documentaries can make a big impact*

Corporate responsibility is an essential part of good business. Today, all types of brands are looking for new ways to promote their socially-conscious beliefs and practices.

Two commendable examples from earlier this year come to mind. In January, when an executive order suddenly clamped down our borders, Lyft donated $1 million to the ACLU, and Airbnb offered free housing to refugees who were stuck in limbo. As a result, both companies stirred up a wealth of positive PR.

The reason why these gestures are so successful is because consumers overwhelmingly support brands that do good. This is especially true of millennials. According to a recent Brookings report, roughly 90 percent of young people favor brands that are committed to good causes.

The next step for brands like Lyft and Airbnb is to connect their mission to strong narratives. And today, film and television are the most impactful narratives we have. In fact, right now there is no format more popular and cost-effective than the social issue documentary.

However, not any old attempt at positive messaging is going to fly with consumers. Today’s audiences demand authenticity and are well-equipped to sniff out fraud. As we saw with Pepsi, brands that try to co-opt serious issues are in for a world of hurt and no small amount of ridicule.

The key to avoiding a PR disaster like the recent Pepsi ad is authentic storytelling.

Instead of paying for inauthentic digital ads, brands like Pepsi could invest the same amount of money in a feature-length documentary that authentically explores an issue of their choice, whether it’s Black Lives Matter, immigration, or the global refugee crisis. To further support their cause, brands can then donate to the ACLU or other relevant organizations.

Continue reading on Adweek.

Why we need sponsored entertainment, not branded content

05 / 17 / 2017

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Instead of making short form films and buying likes, more brands should consider investing in sponsored entertainment that people will pay to watch, writes the producer of Werner Herzog’s “Lo and Behold.”

As the advertising world moves away from traditional TV campaigns, more and more brands are turning to branded content to connect with consumers. But for all the supposed difference between branded content and traditional ads, most brands approach both in the exact same way.

Too many brands see branded content as an excuse to make long, dull advertisements. Then, stuck as they are with a boring product, brands spend substantial amounts of money on a media buy to support these long ads. Success is measured by likes and shares. But that’s not real success; the likes have simply been bought.

Supporting branded content with a media buy is a deeply flawed approach. It’s the equivalent of a movie studio buying tickets to its own film to prove box office success.

Fortunately, there is a much more effective way to engage consumers and make an impact. For brands interested in a distribution strategy that does not require a prohibitively expensive media buy, there is sponsored entertainment.

Sponsored entertainment is not new. Many of the most successful film franchises—Lego and Marvel for example—are pieces of sponsored entertainment. Their purpose is to guide consumer interest toward related toys and other merchandise. In the words of George Lucas, “all the money is in the action figures.”

The success of films like “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Logan” should have us advertisers asking a question. Why not skip the media buy altogether and put those dollars into entertainment we can sell?

Continue reading on Campaign Live.

Advertisers! Stop Making Long, Boring Ads Called Branded Content

04 / 27 / 2017

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Op-ed by Saville’s Executive Producer Rupert Maconick.

With DVRs, binge-watching, and other commercial-free viewing opportunities, consumers aren’t watching traditional ads like they used to.

In response, many brands are starting new in-house agencies to produce fresh, innovative work in the form of branded content. But for all the supposed difference between branded content and traditional ads, most brands approach both in the exact same way.

Too many brands see branded content as an excuse to make long, dull advertisements. Then, stuck as they are with a boring product, brands spend substantial amounts of money on a media buy to support these long ads. Success is measured by likes and shares. But that’s not real success; the likes have simply been bought.

Supporting branded content with a media buy is a deeply flawed approach. It’s the equivalent of a movie studio buying tickets to its own film to prove box office success.

Worse than that, branded content doesn’t even solve the issue we’ve asked it to solve. Fewer and fewer people are watching ads. So why are we spending time and money making even longer ones? The advertising world’s preoccupation with branded content is a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Fortunately, there is a much more effective way to engage consumers and make an impact. For brands interested in a distribution strategy that does not require a prohibitively expensive media buy, there is sponsored entertainment.

Continue reading on Brandstorytelling.tv.