I’m not gonna lie… my husband is a REALLY talented guy.
His lifestyle pieces go beyond honest and thoughtful; they make you want to be there.
It probably stems from from the fact that he truly cares about his subjects (whether it’s a person, a product or a place) and will spend countless hours figuring out the best ways to tell their story (on budget and in time) in a unique way.
That’s why I was thrilled (and thought him the obvious choice) to be tapped as Director for Esquire Network’s MANMADE pieces.
Sharing other artisans’ stories… it’s obviously his passion as he’s created several award-winning shorts as personal projects. Check out his Ahrtuh-zen pieces: Dave Lefner and Jeremy Thomas where he explores the process behind their art and CZAPPA: a discussion about what it takes for one man to be an artist. In each of these pieces, like in MANMADE, the artist and their work helps dictate the story. Layering stills to show linocut in Lefner, using the deliberate pacing of the artisan and his craft in Thomas, and building stop motion segments to honor the builder in CZAPPA.
True, the MANMADE spots were different as each piece had to meet client needs as well as tell the story, but that’s also what makes them so great. To create compelling, creative stories in a quick, commercial environment, now that’s special. Ric is able to help these artisans share their craft and present them all in unique ways – just like the artists they’re portraying.
I know I’m biased. I not only get to see the beautiful end product, but also all the time, care and expertise Ric puts into each project – for the client, the subjects, and the creative team working with him.
…and maybe it’s just me, but I think it shows.
MANMADE: RISING SUN: Brought to you by Esquire Network & Samuel Adams, this sixty second on-air spot features Mike Hodis, owner and designer of Rising Sun & Co, as he discusses the importance of craftsmanship.
MANMADE: DEUS: Brought to you by Esquire Network & Samuel Adams, this sixty second on-air spot features Michael Woolaway, Design Director at Deus Ex Machina, as he discusses the importance of craftsmanship.
MANMADE: WHYRHYMER: Brought to you by Esquire Network & Samuel Adams, this sixty second on-air spot features designer & woodworker, Brandon Morrison, as he discusses the importance of craftsmanship.
Presented by Sam Adams & Esquire Network, these sixty second on-air spots features Michael Woolaway, Design Director at Deus Ex Machina, Mike Hodis, Owner and Designer at Rising Sun Denim and Brandon Morrison, Owner and Craftsman at Whyhymer Furniture, as they discuss the importance of craftsmanship.Directed by Ric SerenaCreative Director/Writer – Patrick CondoProduced by Moving Parts, Inc.Producer: Brett MarxDirector of Photography: Chuck OzeasEdited by Jack Douglas (Rising Sun & Wyhymer) & Ric Serena (Deus)Post Production Sound Mix by John KellyTitles by Chris ArensLocation Sound: Durand Trench
On a recent shoot I directed for Esquire Network and Schick, it became very clear to me during the location scout that the concept presented to our production team at Moving Parts, Inc. was one that required a highly stylized approach on a limited budget. Part of accomplishing that goal meant communicating, as clearly as possible, what we were trying to accomplish so the entire team was on board before we ever hit record on the cameras.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any money in the budget to hire a storyboard artist, so I took on the task of drawing boards and constructing an animatic of the spot to present to everyone during our tech scout.
The other big challenge was creating a specific look for the barbershop beyond what the practical location had to offer. Producer James Uribe did a wonderful job of bringing together a top notch team for the job. Hats off to Keith Mitchell and his team for dressing the space beyond recognition and to to DP Byron Shah and his team for lighting us the perfect mood. On top of that, we had to create the bathroom set in the existing barbershop, against the existing mirror, which require a few flats and a dramatic lighting shift.
Combine those elements with an excellent cast curated by Esquire creatives, Omeed Boghraty and Jedd Scher, and we were able to shoot every frame I boarded on schedule (on a hot day, in a space with no AC and all windows blacked out). Not every frame made the final cut as the script changed a bit, but the animatic process helped the shoot move efficiently.
On a side note, Generation Gap, the barbershop quartet, was a fun addition on and off camera, providing entertainment to the crew in between takes.