“I just want to say that the production values… were just absolutely fantastic. Fantastic storytelling, single camera shot, lots of great casting, beautifully timed.” – Russel Howcroft
High praise indeed from the founding panellist, and Gruen judge on this year’s “The Pitch”, on ABC’s Gruen.
We were incredibly fortunate and excited to have our creative team invited back on the 2nd most-watched entertainment programme on Australian television, to take part in Season 12, Episode 6’s The Pitch segment; this year taking on the challenge of convincing Australia to embrace Halloween; hosted by Wil Anderson, joined by the panel of Todd Sampson, Russel Howcroft, Karen Ferry and Carolyn Miller.
This year, Synergy’s Senior Creative, Erin Collett, took the hot seat representing us beautifully on the ABC.
With views divided across the country – and just as much within Synergy – on the topic of Halloween, the team embarked on the 4-week project for the ABC with every bit of passion, enthusiasm and drive to influence change as they do with everything else.
BUT HOW DID IT ALL GET STARTED?
We thought we’d share a little bit of insight into what goes into the making of a Gruen Pitch; and how our Creative People think.
Beginning by unpacking behaviour itself, thinking about convincing anyone of anything means you need to answer how it’s relevant, useful, or meaningful. Then, how do we engage, entertain, and convey a message – and create a movement to rally around.
In order to unpack this challenge, in a simplified form, you find the problem, the insight – an edge… and you get your idea. We realised that the problem is that Australians don’t connect with Halloween, and don’t find any meaning to the celebration, seeing it as largely foreign.
However, as a society, we love nothing more than having a laugh, being a little silly, getting together and enjoying ourselves – and any excuse to fire up the BBQ. We celebrate our wildlife, our culture and the fact that life in Australia can sometimes be a little scary.
So, what does Halloween then have as an edge? It’s the perfect combination of all of these things, it just needs a little taste of Australia – and we realised, there’s a lot in common already. If only there was a day of the year, that captured it all… and we could come together to celebrate it, in the most Australian way.
From there, the magic happens that begins to craft the story into a script, a vision, through to the casting, location, direction and production planning, coordinating and then bringing it all together on the day. A crew of highly talented people lent their talents, expertise and insights to build a piece that is truly a collaboration of creative minds to drive home a vision with laser focus on solving the brief.
THE END RESULT
We’re so proud of what has been pulled together and crafted by our amazing creative team, bringing together the talents and expertise of local production crews, and our own talent at the helm from start to finish – including an entirely Synergy cast of 38.
Not a trained bird, nor on a string… to achieve the exact timing of the sudden swoop of a real Aussie fright fest, our magpie was painstakingly built and animated from scratch. Over hours and hours of build, texturing and lighting design; not to mention hours of YouTube videos of Magpie swooping! All culminating in a realistic, and much-loved, magpie swoop thanks to the artistry of an incredibly talented animator.
A very big thank you on behalf of Synergy, and the Synergy creatives to the CJZ Production team who have brought Gruen together every single week, across 11 years and for bringing us along for the ride of the past two seasons, and to our own production team, cast, and creatives that made Hallos happen.
Synergy Creative Team
Creative Director: Jason Perelson
Senior Creative: Erin Collett
Designers: Corinne Steele, Carmen Lorkin, Cameron Porombka
Senior Manager: Samantha Clark
Managers: Murray Barton, Suzy Kuo, Rachel Coggan
Directors: Jason Perelson & Erin Collett
Cinematographer: Tobias Ridewood
Script: Jason Perelson, Erin Collett & Murray Barton
Grip: John Waterhouse
Editor & Animator: Liam Newton (Nimic Productions)
Sound Design & Mix: Michael Brogan (Nimic Productions)
Producer: Murray Barton
Makeup: Corinne Steele
Production Assistants: Ashley Parker, Mathew Ong, James Robertson