School’s Out Forever
Q4 of last year was pretty busy for the team here at ANDERSON. Not only were we scrambling to prepare for and weather the usual holiday buzz, we were also prepping for and shooting one of our team’s favorite projects to date.
You’ve probably heard the news by now. The Valley’s largest credit union (and one of the agency’s oldest clients), Desert Schools, rebranded after almost 80 years and is now Desert Financial. As a Valley institution, we knew that announcing the news to the public had to be big.
So we turned a dreamed-up idea into reality and got Alice Cooper to shoot with us. Who else was better suited to help tell the Valley that “school’s out”?!
If you didn’t happen to catch the spot during the Super Bowl, take a look here and read on for some fun and random facts about the production.
What really went on behind the scenes
- Our client was fearless. The only thing off-limits: no butt cheeks (and we all have t-shirts that say just that).
- The snake featured in the final commercial weighed more than 80 pounds and was named “Hopele” (see five of us holding her below).
- We learned that Alice Cooper and his family once had an albino snake just like our friend. His/her name was Popcorn.
- You might think we transformed a real branch into the world we see on screen, but we are masters of deception. All but the exterior shots were filmed on a set built at Sneaky Big Studios.
- For the explosion shot, the entire cast and crew had to leave the studio. It was the last shot of the day/night and we had to watch from just outside.
- The props department was on standby with alternate Desert Schools logo signs that were used to get the perfect shot for the guillotine scene. (I think it was take 4 or 5 of that setup that ended up being “the one”).
- Every member of the stage band you see on screen is a real musician who has been in the business for years.
- Alice Cooper brought every wardrobe piece that you see him wear on screen.
- Our Voodoo Fortune Teller was inspired by the character, Tia Dalma, from the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, who is later revealed to be the sea goddess, Calypso.
- The highlight of the entire shoot came when Alice Cooper told our EP and director that the set stage looked exactly like one of his own. That’s when we all knew we got it right.