Production Company A-List 2011: Smuggler
Innovative techniques and directorial talent helped the shop strike goldPublished: Feb 08, 2012
Our 2010 Production Company of the Year Smuggler in 2011 continued to demonstrate that its talents are far-reaching with projects spanning beautifully crafted commercials, the silver screen and even the Broadway stage.
In the commercials world, Smuggler's directors employed innovative techniques across many categories. Ringan Ledwidge made Droga 5's first work for Prudential a thing of beauty, thanks to a seriously concerted feat of production. The director set up 100 cameras across the USA to track one sunrise simultaneously, creating a stunning montage. Ledwidge also gave Dwayne Wade wings in Airborne, a spot for Brand Jordan out of Wieden + Kennedy New York, in which Wade changes the course of a basketball game through sheer athleticism.
Meanwhile Adam Berg brought the XBox Gears of War Trilogy to a cinematic close with a tremendous CG spot, Dust to Dust. Created with digital production studio Digital Domain for Agency Two Fifteen, the spot takes an embedded camera point of view as it revisits key moments from previous games.
Guy Shelmerdine gave family humor a new twist with 'Fuel for Big Days', a widely-praised spot for Weetabix via BBH London which takes us on a fast paced flash forward through the impending day of a typical family of four. In a cute and unexpected ending, the baby in the high chair has the last laugh.
Pysop continued to produce outstanding, visually-enticing work, including standout spots for Fedex and yogurt brand Fage. For Fedex/BBDO New York, it created Enchanted, a beautiful animated spot to highlight the brand's sustainability practices, explaining how a shipping brand can befriend a forest. For Greek yogurt brand Fage, Pysop's spot for Mullen, Boston narrated by Willem Dafoe, managed to weave a kind of magic around the idea of white yogurt with a poem about a figurative character called Plain and a spot that turns yogurt into a sensory experience with the addition of a little fruit.2011 was also year of big accolades for Smuggler. It earned the Craft Grand Prix (for Ringan Ledwidge's work on Puma "After Hours" while also landing the coveted Palm d'Or at Cannes. Smuggler also won Production Company of the Year at the Clio Awards.
Smuggler's directors continued to shine both on the commercial and the Hollywood stages. Tom Hooper is set to direct the film version of Les Miserables after his Oscar triumph with The King's Speech, and also found time to complete campaigns for McCann, Anomaly and the Martin Agency. His spots for Captain Morgan through Anomaly humorously recreate the ribald 17th century world of the eponymous Captain, portraying him as a charismatic party animal to relaunch the brand.
Bennett Miller has returned to Smuggler from a year away on Moneyball , which has been nominated for an Academy Award. Smuggler's forthcoming films include Greetings from Tim Buckley, starring Penn Badgely and scheduled to premiere this year. Meanwhile, Smuggler's first Broadway show Seminar, written by Theresa Rhebeck and directed by Sam Gold, earned critical acclaim.