Is Werner Herzog’s New Film the Future of Branded Entertainment?

08 / 02 / 2016

It’s been almost four years since PJ Pereira unleashed “The Beauty Inside” on the world. The years since that groundbreaking work of branded content-which Pereira & O’Dell made for Intel and Toshiba-have been a time of experimentation, Pereira says, with agencies testing formats and boundaries in the one advertising genre that truly likes to pretend it isn’t advertising at all.

“I don’t think we’re at a point of evolution [in branded content] yet. We’re still testing the waters and seeing what can be done, or can’t,” Pereira told Adweek here in Bali this week, where he’s been chairing the Branded Content & Branded Entertainment jury for the Clio Awards—sifting through hundreds of entries and picking the 2016 winners.

Around the time of “The Beauty Inside,” which won gold Clios in Film and Branded Entertainment in 2013, there was lots of long-form content, even things over an hour long. “I didn’t see anything this year like that,” Pereira said of the work he and his jury evaluated here at the lavish Ritz-Carlton resort.

VR is coming into play,” he said. “Super long-form is slowing down, but I’m not sure it should be. It’s more difficult to do. And now, it doesn’t have the novelty. It becomes less inviting. And if you’re going to do a feature-length thing, it has to be really good because it’s competing against other movies out there.”

That’s a challenge that might well put off many agencies these days, but not Pereira. In fact, he’s preparing for the theatrical release on Aug. 19 of Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World-a 98-minute documentary, which Pereira & O’Dell produced and documentary master Werner Herzog directed, about the past, present and future of the internet.

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‘Lo and Behold’ Exclusive Posters: Werner Herzog Examines The Virtual World

07 / 08 / 2016

Werner Herzog’s latest documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” chronicles the virtual world from its unlikely origins to its outermost reaches, examining the modern, malleable digital landscape with a curious, keen eye. Aided by his indelible voiceover, Herzog speaks with such tech visionaries as Bob Kahn, Elon Musk, and Sebastian Thrun to explore how the virtual has completely changed the physical, and the ways in which our lives are forever altered by our connection to the Internet. Herzog probes the philosophical questions that lie not so far beneath the surface and takes a harsh look at the benefits and pitfalls of our new world. See some exclusive posters from the film below.

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Paul Haggis wins two Cannes Gold Lion for “Out There!”

06 / 27 / 2016

Directed by Academy Award winner Paul Haggis, the short film is the first global campaign for luxury outerwear brand Canada Goose. Produced by Saville Productions.

Link to Adweek.

Saville In Conversation with Martin Campbell

06 / 23 / 2016

Netflix and other digital platforms are attracting huge audiences who wish to watching film and tv without disruptive tv commercials. As customers migrate to these platforms, it’s necessary for a brans to integrate themselves into these new programming opportunities.

Director Martin Campbell twice relaunched the Bond franchise, first with Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye, and again with ‘Casino Royal’. He also transformed his classic 1985 BBC eco-thriller ‘Edge of Darkness’ into a big-budget Hollywood movie starring Mel Gibson.

In discussion with Rupert Maconick, Martin shares his experiences of telling stories in an established fictional universe working with Bond and Zorro. Hear about the challenges involved in incorporating real life brands into the rarefied world of Bond, and how popular stories are re-purposed and updated for modern audiences.

The talk will take place at The Palais 2, Inspiration Stage on Friday June 24th at 2pm.

Saville x CANNES Entertainment Poster

The brazen Bavarian Werner Herzog is back with his latest directorial effort, ‘Salt and Fire’

06 / 22 / 2016

On the fine line separating the fearless from the reckless is where you’ll often find Werner Herzog. Again and again over his five decades in film, the German director has turned his lens on figures who walk that tightrope, frequently in exotic landscapes – the bear-obsessed loner of “Grizzly Man,” the Irish rubber baron who wanted to build an opera house in the Peruvian jungle in “Fitzcarraldo,” the oddball Antarctic poets of “Encounters at the End of the World.”

Such characters seem to be both reflections and projections of the director himself, who has become legendary for real-life episodes of derring-do in the execution of his professional duties, though Herzog recounts them almost nonchalantly.

He’s been detained during a coup attempt in Africa (“a case of mistaken identity – they were looking for a guy named Hertz,” he explains with a wave of the hand). He was shot in the crotch near Lookout Mountain in Los Angeles, not far from his home, during an interview with the BBC (“a minor wound,” he demurs, with a twinkle in his eye).

Perhaps most infamously, one of Herzog’s local crew members sawed off his own foot deep in the South American jungle to save himself from a poisonous snake bite. (“It was the right thing to do, because he survived,” Herzog intones matter-of-factly, his Bavarian accent still strong despite decades in America.)

But at 73, Herzog insists he remains firmly on the sane side of the line.

“I was always, not without fear, but from a certain point in my life, [fear] is not even in my vocabulary anymore,” said Herzog last week at the Shanghai International Film Festival, where he premiered his latest film, “Salt and Fire.” “But it’s not stupid fearlessness. There’s such a thing as heroic stupidities, and there are some sort of grotesque stupidities, and there are such a thing as stupid stupidities, and I’m not into that… none of those categories.”

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Lo and Behold: Watch Werner Herzog Ask Elon Musk to Take Him to Mars

06 / 01 / 2016

Werner Herzog’s new documentary, unsurprisingly, offers a very different perspective on the internet. Yes, the filmmaker talks to former hacker Kevin Mitnick and other early adopters of the web, but he also talks to cosmologists, families who think the internet is “evil,” and even Elon Musk, who he asks to take him to Mars. The Grizzly Man director examines smartphone usage, artificial intelligence, and tweeting monks, too. Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World is, in other words, a Werner Herzog documentary—and very much lives up to its name. Check out the new trailer for the doc, which hits theaters and VOD from Magnolia Pictures and Netscout on August 19.

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Why Judd Ehrlich’s lacrosse documentary is one of the most important films this season

05 / 31 / 2016

Emmy-winning documentarian Judd Ehrlich has mastered the craft of exposing compelling and honest stories not just centered around high school athletics, but around whole communities who find themselves misunderstood. His ability to pick apart the intricacies of race, socio-economic status, and spirituality within the confines of sports is unparalleled. It’s why his 2014 film “We Could Be King,” which followed two Philadelphia rival football teams who were forced to merge as one after a drastic budget crisis, won him an Emmy for Outstanding Sports Documentary.

Ehrlich’s same directorial finesse can be seen in “KEEPERS OF THE GAME,” his TriBeCa film that highlighted the intense gender and spiritual divide that the girls of the Akwesane lacrosse team face. Lacrosse was born in Akwesasne Mohawk Territory as a sacred game, traditionally reserved for men. But just off the reservation at Salmon River High in Fort Covington, NY an all-Native girls lacrosse hopes to bring home a Section Championship while at the same time dealing with the increasing tension in their own community. With more than just the championship on the line, the girls fight to blaze a new path for the next generation of Native women, while still honoring their people’s tradition in a changing world.

The film debuted at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival to an overwhelming positive response. As Ehrlich notes, “It’s the most important moment, to see how the people in the film respond to their portrayal, and we got overwhelmingly positive feedback that night from both the team and the audience. The girls got an extended standing ovation, which was incredibly moving to witness.”

“KEEPERS OF THE GAME” is proving to be one of the most important films to watch this season — sports fanatic or not. Ahead of the film’s premiere on ESPN2 on May 30th at 11 p.m. EST, we spoke with director Judd Ehrlich about what he learned from the project, how he immersed himself into the girls’ culture, and more!

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AFI names Werner Herzog Its 2016 Guggenheim Honoree

05 / 06 / 2016

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI DOCS will pay tribute to renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog as the festival’s 2016 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

The AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors documentary masters who have inspired audiences with their non-fiction stories of human experience. Taking place at the Newseum on June 24 at 7 p.m., the Symposium will include a conversation with Herzog along with clips from his amazing documentary oeuvre. Moderated by filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, the discussion will be followed by a screening of Herzog’s latest documentary, Lo And Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. Magnolia Pictures will open the film in select theaters in summer 2016.

“Whether exploring unseen corners of the world or contemplating technology in our lives, Werner Herzog’s cinematic voice is unmistakably evocative,” said Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI DOCS. “He wields a world-class power, using his artistry to provoke audiences into seeing their world from the most esoteric angles. We are honored to celebrate his distinguished storytelling career.”

The Academy Award-nominated filmmaker’s vast documentary credits include Into The Abyss (2011), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), the Oscar-nominated Encounters At The End Of The World (2007), Grizzly Man (2005), The White Diamond (2004), the Emmy-nominated Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1997), Bells From The Deep (1993), Fata Morgana (1971) and Land of Silence and Darkeness (1971). Throughout his career, Herzog has received top honors from the Berlinale, the Cannes Film Festival, the Directors Guild of America and many more prestigious institutions, including the German Film Academy, which presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2009. In 2013, Herzog founded the Rogue Film School, through which he hosts a series of intimate seminars with aspiring filmmakers.

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‘Keepers of the Game’ director Judd Ehrlich’s Q&A

04 / 25 / 2016

Tuesday marks the world premiere of “Keepers of the Game” as a part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film festival. The documentary, from award-winning director Judd Ehrlich, chronicles the journey of the girls’ lacrosse team at Salmon River High in Fort Covington, New York. Just before their season starts, their funding is cut. For these athletes, however, the challenges facing them are not only monetary. They are an all-Mohawk team from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. Akwesasne is where the game of lacrosse originated, but since it is traditionally considered a game for men and boys, the girls face additional challenges from family, friends and neighbors as they seek to play. Ultimately they learn to reclaim the sport for themselves.

Keepers of the Game” is the second collaboration among Ehrlich, the Tribeca Film Festival and Dick’s Sporting Goods, which funded the film through the Sports Matter campaign from its foundation. Ehrlich won a Sports Emmy Award for a previous film, “We Could Be King.”

Ehrlich sat down with espnW to talk about the film and the importance of storytelling.

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Don’t laugh at Eddie The Eagle – he is a hero

03 / 21 / 2016

A new film about the bespectacled plasterer from Gloucester is being billed as ‘an inspirational story’. And, for once, Hollywood has got it spot on.

The eccentric sports psychologist Willi Railo used to like to take interviewers to the top of the 90-metre high ski jump tower overlooking his home town of Oslo. Up there, the man who forged the sporting philosophy of Sven-Goran Eriksson among generations of Scandinavian winners, would smile at their jelly-kneed vertigo and make them stand at the very point of take-off. There he would ask them what they thought his words of advice would be to any jumper about to head down the vertiginous ramp into the gloaming far, far below.

“I would tell them if they had an ounce of sanity remaining in their tiny little brain they should turn round and go straight back down in the lift,” he would say. “But they are not listening. They are all mad. Quite insane.”

And you would have to be. As you stand at the top, the superstructure swaying alarmingly in the wind, the very thought of sliding off, attaining speeds of up to 70mph before flying from the end in the vain hope that you might land in a smooth open snow bowl so far away it appears to be in a different postcode, is enough to turn the most robust of stomachs.

That was the sight that greeted Michael “Eddie The Eagle” Edwards when he first climbed a 90m tower. But Edwards, who is now the subject of a major feature film starring Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken, did not turn around. He clipped on his skis, adjusted his glasses, pulled down his goggles, slid off and flew. And the thing was, the first time he went up a tower of that scale was not when conducting an interview with a Norwegian psychologist. It was to compete at the Olympic Games.

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