Monday, June 14, 2010


I posted the most recent Cincinnati Rollergirls commercial, but I thought it'd be fun to show some of our process.

The general story for the spot was written by myself and my writing/directing partner, Brian Price. Once we came up with the story idea and the direction, I wrote a treatment.

Brian and I were originally going to direct the commercial, but due to our schedules – we had to be in New Orleans for Brian's brother's wedding – we decided it'd be the perfect time to turn a project over to another director at Plum St., Mike Potter.

Mike and I, along with our producer, Chenney, spent a few hours pouring over the story and the pacing. As director, Mike had some great ideas as to where he wanted the spot to go, and really put his stamp on the story. I created some simple storyboards along with Mike, which served as a shot list for the piece.

I don't like doing storyboards, but for the sake of time (i.e. not explaining to someone else what I knew Mike was looking for), I took my rough boards and did some quick, tighter storyboards.

(BTW, ask Brian Hagen about his excellent work on some of Plum St. Productions commercial and film projects.)

From there, my involvement with the process ended. Our editor, Joe Peak, took the boards, and cut them together into an animatic. That helped Mike, Chenney, Joe and the actors on set know what the pacing of the spot would be like.

And the result is a fantastic commercial. But then again, I'm biased.


  1. Kevin, I just read your original script, which is really really funny!
    It makes the RG's come across much tougher than they seem in the final piece. Did production costs force you to make changes when you went to storyboard?

  2. I guess you could figure in production costs – i.e., make-up. But really it was the pacing of the story, getting the right type of image that we wanted on screen, and utilizing the location and setting of a movie theater that caused the change. We wanted to see the Librarian take action against the main antagonist, and that would have been hard to accomplish by just having the Librarian beat her up. Our last two antagonists – a copy machine and a local actor named Aaron Maas – didn't mind getting hurt. (The copy machine was literally destroyed by the rollergirl, and Aaron suffered two cracked ribs.) We didn't think Amber, who we all like (and who's the director's wife) would want to be roughed up that way.

    Sure, there could be an argument for having the action take place off camera. But as we'd already built a motif by showing the action, along with a freeze-frame of the Rollergirl doing the action, this seemed like the best way to move forward.

    So there you have it.

  3. Thanks for the peek. I hope Brian shows off his storyboards too.

    I plan on going to the game Saturday-hope to see you there!

  4. Yeah I do think the ladies could have seemed tougher in the final- they all sat down when the guy returned as if they wouldn't take him too, or they didn't want him to know that they were buggin his girl (when in reality they could beat his ass too and woudn't be so concerned about it). I think you guys can push those commercials more, push the toughness of the rollergirls and use more interesting camera angles to make the hits look really hit hard (without actually breaking people's ribs)~ the thing is, even though in the office commercial the copier was broken in reality, a mundane angle was chosen so it didn't seem like it was hit that hard. If you push camera angles it will SEEM that it was being hit harder. Sorry, since you volunteered all this I am taking the opportunity to critique even though you didn't ask for it! You guys have a great opportunity to make some awesome stuff for them and I'm looking forward to seeing future ones that really make CRG look like the badasses skull crackers they are.