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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Atmosphere BBDO Film Festival

A long, long time ago (or what seems like it anyway), I used to work for what was the interactive arm of mega ad agency BBDO. The company was called "Atmosphere BBDO" (now called "Atmosphere Proximity"). Many, many people came and went from this place, and you'd never know who was there...if it were not for the series of films that remain in its wake. Introducing, the Atmosphere BBDO Film Festival.

A few of us creative professionals, unable to effectively unleash our powers on the agency itself, decided to take art and entertainment into our own hands. What resulted, upon reflection, is a snapshot of a fun and engaging group of people trying to make the best of things. Ready? Let's take a look!

1. Cave Rulz, shot/edited/directed by Andrew Deutsch (addition footage by Tom Dolinger)

Back in the day, before the Atmosphere offices were moved to the parent company's location, the web developers worked in a back room that became known as "The Cave". This is a series written/shot/directed by "cave dweller" Andrew Deutsch. Five original episodes, and a 6th that lead to the transition to the new office (more on that below). Here are the first and 6th episode. (see episode 5, around 4:16, to see me acting).

2. Askin' Stuff, shot/edited/directed by Charles Conyers, Jr.

When the Atmosphere office moved to the BBDO parent office, things were not so smooth. Apparently, before we got there, BBDO employees were being pushed out of their offices without much warning, leading many of them to be PISSED when us Atmosphere people showed up. There was plenty of animosity and out-right dickishness being pushed our way. Those first few months SUCKED that way. So, to help make things a little light for everyone, I had an idea to shoot a series of webisodes that everyone could be involved it, and would be a fun way to introduce people. The point was to ask 1 question a week for 15 14 weeks. The only catch was that to answer the question, you couldn't know about it ahead of time, so all answers would be spontaneous. Now, I'm not sure if it was the show, or the bar on the 7th floor (probably the bar)...but people got over it. Here are episodes 3 and 6 (episode 6 features an appearance by Atmosphere BBDO CEO Andreas Combuechen).

3. The 2K7 Atmosphere Ping Pong Cup, shot/edited/directed by Charles Conyers, Jr.

The title speaks for itself. This film premiered at Central Filing with the running time of 15 minutes, with the addition of ping-pong themed commercials (a controversial element in the cut). This version is down to a little over 13 minutes.

4. Andrew Saves the World, by Paul Whittemore

What kind of film festival would this be without animation?! From the mind of Paul Whittemore (P-Whittey from the ping pong tournament), the two-part animated series about the world saving by one Mr. Andrew Deutsch.

Overall, this was a fun group of people. Some are still there, but many have moved on. It can truly be said that there will never be another group like it.

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