'Truffaut Affair' Producer's branded content goes viral with 2.7M+ views
Before Producer/Director Lance B. Witmer signed on to help produce the feature-length New Wave Noir film The Truffaut Affair, he was integral in heading production of branded content for Samsung ... which very quickly went viral!
Check out the video Movie Effects Gone Wrong
So, what does it take to be a producer on what amounts to a 12-and-a-half-minute action film with big, studio-quality effects, and a cast and crew of several dozen—including some familiar Hollywood faces?
“In the simplest terms, I was responsible for making sure everyone had everything they needed on-set in order to make the film,” Witmer said. “The largest part of that is having a good understanding of the pre-production and production processes and—consequently—how to prioritize allocating limited resources, be it time, money, or limited personnel, to those processes, so that things get done on schedule.”
He added, “It's a lot of delegating, a lot of thinking ahead and making projections … and then keeping a pulse on those projections and adjusting when things evolve.”
Being able to see the big picture hidden within the minute detail is a vital skill for any producer, Witmer explained.
“Anyone can pick up a sandbag and bring it over to a grip. But, if that grip has to walk away from a light he was shaping and go to the truck and back, that light takes three minutes longer to set up,” said Witmer.
“Multiply that problem by, say, 18 set-ups in the day, and suddenly we've lost an hour of the shoot day," he said. "If we're renting a location for 10 hours for one day, and we need an hour to load in and load out, suddenly we lost one-eighth of our entire day walking back and forth to pick up sandbags."
A move, Witmer said, which could mean the difference between having to add a whole new day of shooting in order to finish capturing a critical scene.
“In such a highly connected ecosystem like a film set, we're all integral to success and completion,” he said. “So, another grossly underrated part of the job is taking care of the team."
According to Witmer, a big part of that is doing what's necessary to keep them energized and comfortable.
He added, "It all comes back to the concept of: what do my people need in order to do their jobs, and do them well?”
Witmer produced the short film through the YouTube channel SoKrispyMedia, founded by project Director and Director of Photography Sam Wickert.
Micah Malinics served as the project’s primary Executive Producer, handling the communication with sponsor brand Samsung.
“I had a phenomenal Co-Producer, Sean Russel Herman, who also happened to star in the film, as well as an indispensable production manager, Joe Coffee,” Witmer said. “I would unabashedly name every single person on the crew as integral but, to draw a line somewhere, I'll settle for shouting out to the department heads.”
· Dawit Adera was the project’s gaffer
· Aaron Chavez-Oyarzabal was Key grip
· Robert Harden Jr. filled the critical need of 1st AD
· Brendan Forde acted as VFX Supervisor
· Custom props by Adam Gashco
· Antonio Harper, Production Designer
· Mayrah Rosales on hair and makeup
· Tyler Albrecht did the stunt rigging
At just under two months since its debut, the video has more than 2,700,000 views.
“We are very happy with the video's performance,” Witmer said. “We exceeded 2.5 million views in one month, with a clickthrough rate above 13 percent. It was, by all metrics, a success.”
He added, “Most important of all was the feedback we received from viewers and channel subscribers. Just hundreds and hundreds of comments expressing appreciation for the craftmanship, the story, and a whole lot of comments demanding a sequel!”
Witmer also has several other projects in various stages.
“I just completed a Viking action adventure short, which I directed and co-wrote, titled Frelse, an Old Norse word meaning ‘to rescue, save, or redeem,’” he said. “That has just begun its journey in the film festival circuit, having been accepted into the Pasadena International Film Festival. So that is super exciting.”
In post-production is Sparrow, a psychological thriller Witmer shot and directed in Pennsylvania.
“Aside from that, there's an indie feature in pre-production making a big splash, called The Truffaut Affair," he said. “I'm helping to produce that with some wonderful people as well.”
For more on Witmer's projects, click here.