SwedishAmerican wanted to do a TV spot centered around their Heart Hospital. Swedish has been very involved in the Rockford community since it was founded 100 years ago and we always try to incorporate some of the lesser known areas around town in our shooting. Our writer, George Chalekian, did some research and found out about the bicycling events that happen in the Rockford area. Andy Pearson found most of the locations along the Kishwaukee River valley and on some of the rural farming roads.
Brian Reck had the job of finding the lead talent, made some inquiries in the bicycling community, and found Gary Geiger as our principal rider. Gary is a triathlete and a photographer, and did a wonderful job for us, both in leading the riding group and with his acting. Gail Wettengel did a great job of finding the rest of the riders – who stuck with us even in the face of tornado warnings – and the production crew did an amazing job of coordinating the logistics of a cast strung out over a half a mile at times.
We shot the commercial in May, around the time of some really nasty storms. It didn’t hurt the footage too much because of the shooting Shawn Hiatt did, especially the smooth long lens shots out of a moving vehicle. Perry Perkins brought in Vinnie, EZ and the rest of the lighting gang from Milwaukee, and Jason Helgren was DIT.
I thought the hospital footage came out extremely well. Andrea Nelson and Ira Amyx did a wonderful job propping out the medical viewing room. The SwedishAmerican staff was extremely helpful though the whole shoot, and I think they all came out great in front of the camera.
Jay Evans had a big job wading through a ton of footage keeping the story moving while having it make logical, and medical sense. Mel Matsuoka did a great job of color correcting the footage, though I’m sure he would rather have done the job on his brand new DaVinci Resolve. We worked with Michael Rubin for the 1st time who did a nice job on the music.
We’ve done a number of shoots for SwedishAmerican over the last 7 or 8 years for the Rudosky Agency, and I think this particular spot was probably the hardest to shoot (definitely the most difficult to produce for Darrin) – but probably the most fun too. I hope the results show that it was worth all the effort.