IKA Collective Teams With Discovery Networks On Premieres For “American Chopper” and “Deadly Affairs”
Hybrid Creative Studio Crafts Powerful Promos For Popular Shows
From the “American Chopper” (left), and “Deadly Affairs” (right) promos, both produced by IKA Collective for Discovery Networks.
NEW YORK, NY – “American Chopper,” now in its ninth season on the Discovery Channel, remains one of cable’s most popular reality shows. When the network needed to promote the much-awaited new season it turned to frequent collaborator IKA Collective, the creative strategy, production, post hybrid studio led by Ian Karr. The conceptual spot, directed by Chris Stifel, centers on the rift between father and son and the rebuilding of their relationship.
Over at sister network, Investigation Discovery, Karr himself directed the launch promo for “Deadly Affairs,” the new series hosted by Susan Lucci that tells real-life tales of love gone terribly wrong.
“Both of these projects are very different, but perfectly showcase the range of services IKA Collective brings to our clients,” Karr says. “For ‘American Chopper’ we were there to support Chris’s vision and delicately handle the real-life estrangement between Junior and Senior. Conversely, ‘Deadly Affairs’ was a project in which we were asked to pitch the creative strategy and execute it.”
Tension In Orange County:
As any “American Chopper” fan will tell you, the Teutul family is a complex one, especially since the high-profile rift that saw Junior leave his dad’s famous motorcycle shop, Orange County Choppers. Their fractured relationship was a big consideration for Karr, who served as Executive Producer on the project.
“This is a big show for Discovery and everyone wanted the new season to begin with an epic promo,” Karr says. “We found an old airport hanger at Stewart Airport in Orange County, New York, that perfectly captured the gritty look Stifel and DP Pete Konczal were after.”
Set in a dramatically lit shop, reminiscent of OCC’s humble beginnings, the spot begins with audio echoes from past arguments between Senior and Junior, as we see the two enter and walk toward the center of the garage where a motorcycle sits on a table covered by a tarp. Facing each other, Senior says, “under this is where it all started.” “And now we’re going to rebuild it,” Junior replies, laying out the story arc for this pivotal season.
The production faced numerous challenges, including shooting in a hot, leaky TSA-monitored hanger located next to a live tarmac with constant plane traffic. In order to make the day, it was necessary to create multiple sets for simultaneous shooting.
“We pre-lit the entire spot to minimize on-set time for Junior and Senior,” Karr says. “After we fired up the cameras and the guys stepped in, you could feel the electricity in the air. With such great on-camera chemistry, it’s clear why the show is such a hit.”
For “Deadly Affairs”, the new real-life soap on Investigation Discovery that looks at love triangles gone terribly wrong, IKA’s creative team pitched several concepts for the promo. “The only mandate from the network was that they wanted an ending with a twist, just like in the show itself,” Karr notes. “We had to strike a balance between dark and light, entertaining the audience without minimizing the tragic nature of these true stories.”
The winning concept from IKA Collective and Creative Director Robbie Chafitz, begins with a woman entering her home, walking past a mantle and walls full of happy family pictures as a warm female voiceover says, “He’s the love of your life, the father of your children, the man you share your bed with.” The mood then turns sinister as the wife opens the bedroom door, revealing her husband with another woman. As she raises a gun toward the fearful cheaters, the voiceover adds, “and yours is the last face he will ever see.”
The spot ends with the sound of a gunshot, smash cutting to host Susan Lucci who buttons the spot by saying “first comes love, then comes marriage…and sometimes murder.”
In addition to the live action, Karr photographed a series of family portraits — wedding photos, a fun day in the park, soccer games, etc. — that served both as props in the home and as backstories for the characters.
“This was a fun scene to create,” Karr says. It’s partly an homage to Stanley Kubrick. I’ve always loved the way he used camera placement and motion to evoke a mood.
Karr adds, “The whole spot is shot using a Steadicam. It begins with us happily following the wife around, but when we cut to the scene outside the bedroom, the camera becomes more voyeuristic and you quickly sense that something’s off. Then she enters the room and we reveal she’s the murderer, not the victim. Sometimes the best way to tell the story comes down to where you put the camera and how you move it.”
About IKA Collective:
Founded by noted brand strategist/director Ian Karr, IKA Collective is more than a production company. Rather, they’re creative collective of writers, producers, editors, directors, composers, digital artists, fashionistas, foodies and horror film fanatics who love to tell stories. Whether it’s an ad, a network promo, a digital media project, or their own original content, IKA Collective is all about communicating in a way that entertains and gets results. Our facility includes a live insert stage, five edit rooms, digital color grading, graphics, compositing and audio mixing suites, allowing us to deliver great work at budgets that make sense in every medium. Recent clients include Fox TV, Discovery Channel, Continental Airlines, Hallmark Channel and Penguin Publishing. For more information go to http://www.ikacollective.com
Client: Discovery Channel
Project: “American Chopper” promo
Agency: Discovery Channel, New York
Creative Director/Director: Chris Steifel
Production: IKA Collective, New York
Director: Chris Steifel
Executive Producer: Ian Karr
Producer: Robbie Chavitz
DP: Pete Konczal
Post: IKA Collective, New York
Client: Investigate: Discovery
Project: “Deadly Affairs” promo
Agency/Production: IKA Collective, New York
Creative Director/Director: Ian Karr
Post: IKA Collective, New York
Click here to watch the “American Chopper” promo:
Click here to watch IKA Collective’s “Deadly Affairs” promo:
Click here for more info about IKA Collective: