Pie Face Pictures’ Doug Karr and Patrick Letterii have taken home double Gold and a Silver Lion at the 2014 Cannes Lions Festival.
In collaboration with Grey New York for Dallas/TNT, “Dallas Gas Station” was directed by Karr and produced by Letterii.
“From a director’s standpoint, it was a dream come true having such an amazing crew on the project, both in terms of our own film personnel and the super talented folks at Grey, working together as a team to feed immediate turnarounds of video assets as we moved towards finishing a tight editorial deadline on the primary spot,” says Karr.
Working off of the hit TNT series, “Dallas”, the Ewing family was brought to life with the construction of a real live Ewing Energies gas station in midtown NYC. Gas prices were set at only $1.98 a gallon, a killer bargain for a product that has seen highs of almost five dollars a gallon. “We did a 24hour time-lapse session before the day even began to capture the complete transformation of the gas station from a BP station at 36th and 10th into the one-of-a-kind Ewing Energies station,” explains Letterii. The project spread like wildfire throughout a plethora of media outlets, driving the Huffington Post to describe the event as “one of the biggest stunts in TV advertising.” This activation focused on blurring the lines between reality and fiction, attracting both new and returning viewers. Says Karr, “Along with our partners at Grey, we paid a lot of attention to visual details to ensure that every aspect of this experience felt authentic for a seemingly endless line of excited New York City drivers. And we wanted to capture it in the most dynamic ways possible to create an action packed spot that would give folks at home the sense of being in the thick of the craziness.”
The spot documents every aspect of the gas station’s short existence, which literally gridlocked NYC traffic for blocks and wiped out competing stations nearby. A total of 10,000 gallons of gas were sold over a 12-hour period, and the spot captures the public’s elated responses as well as the not so happy reactions by the employees of rival stations. The video features John Ross Ewing III (played by actor Josh Henderson), a prominent member of the Ewing family business.
“I’ve never seen so many happy people; from the guy who shouted that now he was gonna get cheese on his burger after saving cash at the pump, to folks who were literally jumping up and down as we were filming 120 frames per second on a pair of EPICs, and of course we had to throw a little gas around, but luckily we succeeded in avoiding to blow the place up,” Karr remembrs.
So what does Pie Face have planned next? “Winning these awards solidifies our standing and allows us to strive even further in order to produce top quality advertising for our clients,” says Letterii. “We’ve got some amazing spots that are about to drop with innovative approaches to branding, advertising and media. I can’t get into specifics, but suffice it to say: it’s an exciting time.”