In the latest in a succession of influential multimedia campaigns promoting the annual Newport Beach Film Festival, RPA is generating excitement around the 2012 event with a new spot and print. The campaign creates a portrait of the creative spirit using Eadweard Muybridge's iconic dancer-film's first muse.
The centerpiece of the campaign is a spot, "Muse," that brings Muybridge's dancer to life for the 21st century. The spot follows her from a perfectly reproduced black-and-white stage to the full-color scene in the middle of a busy freeway, where she blithely twirls about as a succession of cars squeal and swerve to avoid her, until traffic halts and the wonderstruck drivers leave their vehicles to stare at this joyous spectacle. The spot will appear online and in theaters throughout the Festival.
A print ad features 24 sequential Muybridge photographs of his dancing muse, set against an array of color washes and subtly shadowed nautical flags that capture the spirit of the Festival's location and spell out the words "Newport Beach Film Festival." This ad will appear in the April issue of "Esquire," while a four-muse version of it will appear on 100 Los Angeles County billboards and on more than 250 bus shelters in Orange and Los Angeles counties.
"For the past few years, the Newport Beach Film Festival platform has focused this event as being the most creative week in Orange County, and this has helped the Festival to grow to an unthought-of size," noted NBFF co-founder and director of marketing, Todd Quartararo. "Now that the Festival has matured and established credibility, a new angle became appropriate, and this year's tribute to the history of film is just right. With this intriguing statement that film and creativity can endure through time, the campaign positions the Festival as being as artistic and elegant as the films that are at its core."
Tool Director Geordie Stephens shot the spot on the closed end of California's 710 Freeway. The dancer worked closely with a choreographer to make it appear as though she were confidently breezing between the skidding cars, which were actually inserted with plates and CG in post-production.
The campaign coincides with recent acclaim for "The Artist" and "Hugo" - both celebrating early filmmaking. "This is the most reverent we've been yet to the origins of film," said RPA CD Scott McDonald. "This theme fits perfectly into the current cultural landscape and artfully sweeps us into 2012 through dance, music and sheer action."
RPA has worked closely with the Festival organizers over the past several years to help the show grow from a local event to a blockbuster. "The Festival's gotten so big that there may not be a lot of room left for numerical growth," noted McDonald. "But there is always room for growth in prestige as the event becomes a core festival on the American circuit. This new, more artistic approach will, we hope, help shepherd that change."
The festival will run throughout Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, including the completely revamped theaters at Fashion Island.