Recently Nine Mile Circle teamed up with The Big Table agency on its campaign to raise awareness of Piedmont Healthcare’s new partnership with the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The creative approach was to show the simple truth of cancer survivors: they are fighters.
The project was a reunion of sorts. Editor Kyle Kramb first worked with Director Pat Molnar and the Big Table Agency in 2012 on the Piedmont rebranding campaign. The agency brought a great concept to the table and gave everyone involved a tremendous amount of creative freedom.
"This was an important campaign for Piedmont," said agency producer Nancy Landesberg. "We worked with Kyle on the Piedmont Branding Campaign, and he brought so much to that project. He was, without question, our only choice to edit the Piedmont/MD Anderson campaign. There is complete trust involved. And lots of fun too."
The feeling was mutual. “I love these kind of spots,” Kramb said, “There is a clear vision that was expertly and beautifully shot.”
"The best thing about working with Kyle and the Nine Mile Circle Team on Piedmont was how little we had to explain – they were always a step ahead, pushing to make every second great," added Kevin McKelvey, a partner at Big Table.
Kramb's task was to shape all the dynamic elements from the shoot into coherent spots that slowly revealed the boxers as real-life cancer survivors. He was deliberate with the footage in order to find the best moments to create the most effective tone and pacing.
He started with moody shots showcasing the building, boxing, and the hard work. Then, with a punch, revealed the reality of the characters situation. The minimal score, sound design and titles all add to the sense of isolation.
“Casting was the hero,” said Molnar, “the three folks we cast all boxed, and all had their lives profoundly affected by cancer.”
In addition, Molnar added, “The location was amazing!” The campaign was shot at Decatur Boxing, owned by former-pro Xavier Biggs, and the facility had all the gritty characteristics of a place where you could expect to find boxers training hard.
Color also plays an important role in telling the stories. The overall approach to color grading was to demonstrate just how desolate it feels to be a seriously ill cancer patient.
Colorist Dave Pickett explained, "The lack of color conveys the point of view of the patient as well as the views of the public when confronted with such a sad scenario. Taking that even further, we had near silhouettes which convey a lack of humanness, just shadows.”
As the story arc develops, the faces are lit just enough during the fight scenes to add some humanity to them. Although conventional wisdom would suggest a happier ending, the spot ends on a very gritty approach to the headshots. These spots showed just how ravaging and tough the struggle can be, but without ever losing hope.
They all fought, and they all look you right in the eye even while tied to an IV.
"The editing work was outstanding, giving the drama we needed to enhance the message perfectly. The client loved the setting for the rough cut and was extremely impressed with the professionalism of the team and process,” said Big Table Partner BA Albert.
Katie Logan, Vice President of Marketing and Physician Outreach at Piedmont Healthcare agreed. “As a client, we could not be happier with the production," she said. "While the subject matter was quite serious, the environment of the shoot was very upbeat and professional.”
"These powerful spots are sensitive and thought provoking,” adds Flame Artist and Partner Andrew Pope, “It was great to contribute to such a well-known and respected local institution and brand."