Brand Film Festival NY 2019: Officially selected films revealed

04 / 01 / 2019

Brand Film Festival poster

Johnson & Johnson and UM Studios with Saville Productions was selected for the Brand Film Festival!

View the list of films in Campaign.

Lexus made a 60,000-hour documentary (that it knows you won’t watch) Unless you have, uh, seven years to kill.

03 / 07 / 2019

From Lexus Takumi documentary

Lexus’ Takumi directed with Saville’s director Clay Jeter (Top Chef) featured in Fast Company!

Last year, Lexus made a commercial that was scripted completely with artificial intelligence. Directed by Oscar-winner Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland), the ad was designed to show how technology could use intuition to influence the creative process. The spot itself? It was just all right.

Now Lexus has swung waaaay back to the other end of the scale, embracing the idea of human master craftsmanship—specifically, what’s known in Japan as Takumi. It takes roughly 60,000 hours to reach a Takumi level of artisanal expertise, and to illustrate that commitment, the brand has made a 60,000-hour documentary that profiles four Japanese craftspeople: a carpenter, a chef, a traditional paper-cutting artist, and an automotive craftsman who works for, you guessed it, Lexus.

It’s not 60,000 hours of unique footage. It would take one crew 30 years to shoot that. But with agency The&Partnership and director Clay Jeter (Chef’s Table), the brand made short film sequences of three to five minutes following the Takumi artisans as they went about their daily business. Those sequences are looped, over and over for 20,000 hours each, making a 60,000-hour film with 54 minutes of documentary and 20 minutes of looped footage. If you hit Play on the online version, the film would run nonstop for seven years.

Read in Fast Company.


03 / 05 / 2019


Lexus’ Takumi directed with Saville’s director Clay Jeter (Top Chef) featured in Ad Age!

Lexus is emphasizing its dedication to craftsmanship with a documentary about Japanese master artisanship that’s 60,000 hours long.

Launching on Amazon Prime on March 19th, “Takumi: a 60,000 hour story of the survival of human craft” takes the idea of “slow TV” to extremes. Claimed to be the longest documentary ever produced, it is intended to immerse the viewer in the worlds of four Japanese master craftspeople who spend 60,000 hours (30 years working eight hours a day) to achieve “Takumi” or master artisan status.

The documentary was created by Lexus’s U.K. agency The&Partnership and was directed by Clay Jeter, director of “Chef’s Table.” Narrated by former British Museum director Neil Macgregor, it profiles master craftspeople Shigeo Kiuchi, 67, a master in “Miyadaiku,” an ancient form of carpentry; Michelin starred chef Hisato Nakahigashi; master paper-cutter Nahoko Kojima and finally Katsuaki Suganuma, a “Takumi” who has worked at Lexus for 32 years and carries out final inspections on the production line.

Read in Ad Age.

Saville Executive Producer Rupert Maconick in Shoot: 2019 Production Outlook

02 / 15 / 2019

Rupert Maconick

1) The most important business lesson that I’ve taken from 2018 is that fewer and fewer people are watching ads due to consumers now having a wide-range of commercial-free viewing options. Consumers can no longer be forced to watch traditional advertisements and branded content. To engage these viewers, advertisers must produce work that consumers want to watch—i.e. authentic pieces of entertainment, like films, series and documentaries.

2) In 2019, more media companies will see that pushing branded content on consumers with a media buy is a deeply flawed advertising method. Brands can’t simply buy eyeballs. There are more suitable ways for advertisers to build authentic relationships with consumers, and that is by producing projects that consumers will choose to watch.

3) At Saville, our goal for 2019 is to continue to help advertisers transition from creating ads to creating entertainment. We are also excited to develop a number of upcoming entertainment projects based upon the social and environmental initiatives of major brands.

Continue reading on Shoot Online.

Shopify launches TV and film production studio focused on entrepreneurs

01 / 28 / 2019


E-commerce company Shopify has launched Shopify Studios, a full-service television and film content development and production house that will focus on the stories of entrepreneurs.

Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), which has more than 600,000 merchants who use its services in designing and managing their businesses, said the division will be “dedicated to inspiring entrepreneurship through entertaining, thought-provoking storytelling.”

Shopify Studios will partner with production companies to develop, produce and finance an array of projects for streaming platforms and traditional networks.

The company said it already has deals with Anonymous Content, Spoke Studios (part of Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse Entertainment), and Saville Productions, the production company behind Werner Herzog’s “Lo and Behold: Reveries of a Connected World “and “From One Second to the Next,” to develop entrepreneur-focused docu-series and feature-length documentaries.

“Behind every product, system, and modern convenience that makes the world turn is an entrepreneur with an idea,” Shopify Studios head Jason Badal said in a statement. “The entrepreneurial mindset has fueled discoveries, built industries, and led to every significant innovation that’s shaped our society. We believe that spirit is inherent and present among us all, whether we realize it or not, and Shopify Studios’ content aims to inspire the next wave of creators and iconoclasts to embrace and manifest the possibilities before them.”

“Shopify is leading a path of innovation for how companies approach entertainment content, and we are very excited to partner with them to inspire entrepreneurship through storytelling,” said Saville Productions founder and Executive Producer Rupert Maconick. “Our mission has always been to create content that provides true entertainment value, and Shopify Studios’ commitment to developing narratives that are thought-provoking and entertain viewers makes it a perfect synergy.”

Continue reading on Biz Journals.

Commerce Platform Shopify Launches Film and TV Studio

01 / 23 / 2019

Jason Badal of Shopify Studios signs Saville Productions to create authentic branded storytelling to inspire entrepreneurs

The growing retail force enlists Anonymous Content, Wheelhouse Entertainment’s Spoke Studios and Saville Productions.

Popular commerce platform Shopify is taking advantage of its growing reach, venturing into content with a full-service film and TV production house — Shopify Studios.

The venture will leverage strategic partnerships with internationally known creators and production partners to develop, produce and finance projects for streaming platforms and traditional networks — setting its first deals with Anonymous Content, Wheelhouse Entertainment’s Spoke Studios and Saville Productions.

“Behind every product, system, and modern convenience that makes the world turn is an entrepreneur with an idea,” said Shopify Studios head Jason Badal. “The entrepreneurial mind-set has fueled discoveries, built industries and led to every significant innovation that’s shaped our society. We believe that spirit is inherent and present among us all, whether we realize it or not, and Shopify Studios’ content aims to inspire the next wave of creators and iconoclasts to embrace and manifest the possibilities before them.”

Content will naturally lean into entrepreneurially minded storytelling. Shopify Studios already produces short- to mid-form content, including a weekly series for its YouTube channel.

Continue reading on Hollywood Reporter.

Saville Productions Signs Oscar-Winning Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

12 / 03 / 2018

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Venice-based production company Saville Productions has signed two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for her first U.S. commercial and branded entertainment representation. She brings over 15 years of experience as a filmmaker and a robust roster of multi-award-winning films from around the world. Most recently, Sharmeen collaborated with Lebron James on the HBO Sports documentary Student Athlete to raise awareness about the exploitation of athletes in high-revenue collegiate sports. Additional films include A Girl in the River, Song of Lahore, A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers and Saving Face.

Click HERE to view a selection of Sharmeen’s work.

With today’s brands seeking to revolve a marketing strategy around authenticity and relevant social causes, branded content was a natural next step for Sharmeen, whose work often tackles complex social issues through eloquent narratives that are visually and thematically compelling. She fuses an investigative journalism background with an intimate directorial approach to create powerful work that has gone on to highlight relevant issues involving refugees, women rights and human rights.

Saville Founder and Executive Producer Rupert Maconick notes, “Sharmeen is an exceptional filmmaker with an eye for visually striking narratives that spark critical, socially-driven conversations. Her directorial aesthetic and probing storytelling approach will be a major asset for brands who are looking to become involved in social causes and do so in an authentic and compelling way.”

Continue reading on AdForum.

New Documentary, “Takumi” Features 60,000 Hours of Footage

11 / 14 / 2018


Saville Executive Producer Rupert Maconick talks to Cheddar to discuss “Takumi” film directed by Clay Jeter about the artisan craft.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field. But for the “Takumi” of Japan, they train on their craft for 60,000 hours. So how is craftsmanship of that level preserved in today’s technology-driven society? Rupert Maconick, producer of new documentary, “Takumi,” joined Cheddar to discuss his film and craftsmanship in today’s modern age.

Watch Rupert’s interview on


09 / 20 / 2018

camera lens

Rupert Maconick is the Founder and Executive Producer of award-winning production company Saville Productions. He gave us his quick take about how his company is working to level the playing field for female directors.

When in your career did you realize there was a disparity for female filmmakers?

I noticed the disparity the very first time I stepped foot on a film shoot. I was about 18 years old and I saw that nearly everyone was a white male. The only two women on set were not even part of the production crew. They were the hair stylist and the makeup artist.

Committing to diversity looks different to each company. What does it look like to Saville Productions?

We believe diversity must be reflected and supported in every area of filmmaking. In building our roster, we are always looking to recognize and promote talent of all backgrounds, ethnicities and genders. So, for us, the roster of award-winning directors from different backgrounds and perspectives is a good example of what diversity looks like at Saville.

Any unexpected challenges along the way?

We have been fortunate to work with many great, progressive partners. But, of course, there will always be people who are resistant to change and need a little extra steering in the right direction.

In your opinion, why is it important to have more females behind the camera?

It’s crucial that filmmakers are represented equally. As part of the filmmaking community, we have a responsibility to support directors who reflect the true breadth and diversity of our culture.

Continue reading on 3 Percent Movement.

Cord-Cutting Keeps Churning: U.S. Pay-TV Cancelers to Hit 33 Million in 2018 (Study)

07 / 25 / 2018

couple on couch watching television

Have you recently pulled the plug on cable or satellite TV? You’re not alone: Millions of Americans have already scrapped traditional pay-TV service, and the exodus is expected to continue apace in 2018 — even faster than previously expected.

This year, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. — consumers who have ever cancelled traditional pay-TV service and do not resubscribe — will climb 32.8%, to 33.0 million adults, according to new estimates from research firm eMarketer. That’s compared with a total of 24.9 million cord-cutters as of the end of 2017, which was up 43.6% year over year (and an upward revision from eMarketer’s previous 22 million estimate).

That said, even as the traditional pay-TV universe shrinks, the number of viewers accessing over-the-top, internet-delivered video services keeps growing. About 147.5 million people in the U.S. watch Netflix at least once per month, according to eMarketer’s July 2018 estimates. That’s followed by Amazon Prime Video (88.7 million), Hulu (55 million), HBO Now (17.1 million) and Dish’s Sling TV (6.8 million).

Other OTT services have been on the rise, too — including AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Google’s YouTube TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue — but eMarketer didn’t provide estimates for those.

Continue reading on