Craig Orsini Directs the “We Are Welchs” Campaign
February 16, 2018
ELEMENT Productions represents my director’s reel and put me up for this project. After several calls with the client and a very involved director’s treatment, I was awarded the job.
The goal of the Welchs project was to connect with moms and have them understand the health benefits of grape juice. Welchs is a co-op made up of about 900 farms, and the agency wanted to use the real farmers to convey the health benefits of 100 percent natural Welchs grape juice. After receiving a list of farmers who were interested in being in our film, we made our first four-day trip up to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York to scout the farms and see which farmers would be best on camera.
The seven-day shoot was a fairly large production with about 30 people in the crew and another 15 from the client-side and agency.
The producer, Kayellen Moran, was the key to making all the schedules work for the farmers and getting all of the crew members in the correct places.
It takes a ton of production to make things feel and look authentic and natural. The locations and timing were critical for this project and, even with all of the planning, there are still some unpredictable factors, like the weather. One of our production days ended up being postponed because of a sudden downpour. This required plan B: building a set for a family picnic in an old barn.
I worked with a great director of photography who shot the footage on an Arri Alexa Mini with vintage anamorphic lenses. I directed the scene, interviewed the talent and shoot the stills myself. This technique has become the norm for most of my projects these days. Meeting people and gaining the trust of the farmers was the best part. I had a personal responsibility to the farmers. I had to tell their story and sell the grapes that they grow.
Oh yeah, flying a $100,000 drone and camera into a thunderstorm was a really cool part of this project too! Check out the final film to see how it all came out.