Happy Accidents

I don't usually post my own work on this site. But this one comes with a point, and a good cause.

About a year ago, I began doing work for Volunteers of America. They're a 117-year-old national charity that had never advertised before.

We ended up producing print, online, outdoor, and TV for them. But my favorite spot was never scripted, never presented, never even concepted. It was just a happy accident.

While we were shooting in Los Angeles, our director wanted to get some extra footage. So he rolled down Skid Row with his camera hanging out of the van door. Then his producer ran back down the street and gave some cash to have the people he filmed sign release waivers, just in case. Some of this footage made it into our final spots.

But when we were in the editing studio we were looking at that shot, and thought it was kind of amazing. We wondered how could we share it?  So we started playing around with it. We slowed it down. Wrote some copy to serve as supers. And sampled a few demo tracks. (We ended up recording Jennifer Perryman to sing an original track.) We showed it to the client, and were lucky enough to have them approve it. Here's the finished piece:

Gold Lion at Cannes? Nah. But does it help the client get their name out there? Yep. Am I proud to have it on my reel? Absolutely.

So be open to happy accidents. Find a way to make them work. Play with them. Get them in front or your clients and champion them. And everyone will be a little better off.

(If you'd like to donate anything to Volunteers of America, please click here. They're amazing people who do amazing work.)