Producing Commercials: Production house – Hostage Films
By Michael Fickes
Production house Hostage Films uses a collaborative business model for its individual projects. Sometimes that means collaborating with other production companies, possibly competitors.
“I think of everyone as a potential collaborator,” says Melissa Beth, executive producer with Hostage Films. “At Hostage, I work with one director, Ruben Latre, who has a strong, distinctive style. If he’s right for a project, everyone will see it.”
Recently, Trademarky Films, a production company with offices in Richmond, Va.; Sanibel Island, Fla.; and Silverlake, Calif., brought a project to Latre. It was a commercial promoting Bellawood, a brand of flooring marketed by Lumber Liquidators.
“We were looking at three directors,” says Mark Meyers, Trademarky’s executive producer. “Ruben wrote a 46-page treatment and got the project.”
Meyers also directs and might have directed the Bellawood spot, but he didn’t think his style fit the piece. “My goal as a producer is to find the right producing and directing talent for each project. I tell the agencies I work with not to settle. If the creatives want this director and that producer, try to get them both, even if they work for different firms.”
It’s a philosophy similar to Melissa Beth’s collaborative style. When the production team is perfect for a spot, you get a commercial like A Bountiful Life with Bellawood. Meyers and Beth joined forces as co-executive producers, and Latre went to work.
The concept called for an all-out assault by everyday life on a Bellawood floor. A watermelon explodes, a glass falls and breaks. Kids tap dance and skateboard across the floor. Dad drops his golf bag on the floor and the club heads bounce on the floor. You get the idea.
Each scene features Latre’s signature cinematic flourish. It’s a collaborative triumph. Take a look: https://vimeo.com/106608182.