Celebrating this year’s Shark Week, Discovery and The Home Depot have invited a rather unusual, yet fitting guest to join in on a couple’s backyard festivities. A fully CG shark lounges poolside in this concept from Discovery Branded Entertainment executed by The A Team, a creative co(lab). Shark Week 2020 is currently airing on Discovery Channel through Sunday, August 16. Watch the brand integration HERE.
The project, which featured a live-action set completely outfitted by The Home Depot, combined a socially distanced shoot and heavy design/VFX. In executing the concept, The A Team’s biggest challenge was determining how to safely shoot the campaign elements during the pandemic.
The teams developed protocols following CDC guidelines, including N95 masks, temperature checks, individualized craft services and distributing personal safety packs. Social distancing wasn’t just for the crew. Prioritizing safety, the agency adapted the creative to keep even the actors – playing a husband and wife – 6 feet apart and still feel true to the concept. Additionally, The A Team transformed the usual in-person video village to a real-time live stream for network and brand clients spread out across the country, allowing Discovery to feel like they were right there on set.
With the shoot safely secured, the heavy lifting began to bring the concept’s surprise shark guest to life using CGI. The A Team worked tirelessly on creating a lifelike shark, despite it sunbathing poolside, and delivering authentic movements when in the water.
“As COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, we needed to find a new way to move forward taking all precautions to ensure a safe environment for cast and crew,” explained Nikki Blaszyk, Principal, Managing Director for The A Team. “Each member of our team stepped up from the pre-production and R&D all the way through post, and we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”
In all, the campaign deliverables included a custom vignette, IPM, billboard and tagged tune-in.
Discovery Branded Entertainment
VP, On-Air Creative & Branded Entertainment: Michael Eisenbaum
Sr. Production Manager: Nettie Ferrara
Writer/Producer: Kenny Brock
Account Executive: Michael Beninati
Integrated Ad Sales Marketing Manager: Jillian Zito
Integrated Ad Sales Marketing Specialist: Addie Ancona
The Home Depot
Broadcast Creative Manager: Leeanne Raker
The A Team
Principal, Creative/Editor: Ben Frank
Principal, Design/VFX: Luis Martinez, Principal
Principal, Creative: Marni Wagner, Principal
Principal, Managing Director: Nikki Blaszyk
Editor: Victor Otero
VFX/Colorist: Dmitri Zavyazkin
Audio Engineer: Cesar Haliwa
BTS Videographer: Johanser Martinez
Director: Brian Eloe
Director of Photography: Chuck Ozeas
Producer: Kevin Barerra
Producer: Chris Stoerchle
The A Team is a full-scale agency serving television networks, streamers and consumer brands. With an equal focus on creative and process, the agency taps award-winning expertise to deliver editorial, live-action and design-based promotional campaigns. They also enjoy long walks on the beach, trashy novels and bourbon…lots and lots of bourbon. To hear more about them and their work, visit notthebteam.com.