Racing to finish a spot for the Indy 500

So a few weeks back I received a call from Steve Schaeffer, friend, client and creative director at Creative Dimensions. He asked me to come in to help them concept a spot that would air during the Indianapolis 500 for their client Service Central. Cool. This year is the 100th running of the Indy 500. Service Central sponsors a couple of Indy cars and wanted to highlight their involvement in motorsport and create awareness of their locations within several different tire stores across the nation. At the meeting I found out that the budget was…um… challenging, the timeline for delivery was absolutely ridiculous (I still don’t know why ABC/ESPN needed the spots 10 days before they hit the air, but that’s another blog) and the supplied footage of the Service Central vehicle was… well, let’s just say we would have shot it differently.

We landed on an idea that relied on graphic motion design and heavily effected footage. The client approved and we went to work. Sandlot Pictures’ own Phil Mastman created the sound design and did all of the motion graphics work in Sandlot’s edit room using Adobe After Effects. Creative Dimension’s Nate Cremer provided art direction (and a couple of nifty flash animations) while Steve and I provided direction (between edit room snacks). Five days later and after client approval, the spot was off to New York for trafficking. Please don’t ask how close we were to missing the ABC/ESPN mandated deadline. I don’t care to re-live the incident.

Seeing our commercial air twice during the historic race was a thrill topped only by the fact that the Service Central car driven by Graham Rahal finished in third place, after taking the lead for a few laps. It was an exciting day for the Service Central team at Indy, preceded by an exciting week at Sandlot Pictures.