Being Aspirational

This year 97% of my work has been for the pharma industry.

In the previous years I had done my fair share of pharma along with corporate and general lifestyle.

Last week we shot for Bristol-Myers Squibb, I am not at liberty to say what the drug is or what it treats but just like many of my other pharma shoots, the key was that the images are aspirational.  When we get the specs or layouts on jobs like this, my first inclination as a Casting Director is finding the hero talent that will be able to emote the “symptom” shots so that the patient who will be put on this treatment can relate to them.  I always ask the Creative Director about the emotions of this patient and attempt to my best ability to capture it in the casting process.

Few years back I cast & produced a series of images for a drug called Effexor-XR, an anti depressant/anxiety drug.  This shoot was to focus on the anxiety treatment and I decided it would be best to shoot a video casting because I wanted the talent to have an “anxiety attack” on camera.  This way we could see who was believable & who wasn’t.  It was an emotionally draining casting watching folks fall apart in front of you and we found amazing hero talent.

This past job casting was key, but so was finding the right locations & props to fit the scenarios that the client requested.  We found a great house where we could achieve  7 of our 8 shots, which was ideal to spend 2 days at a great base.  The 8th shot was at a kennel, we found a beautiful one in NJ.  I applaud the advertising agency for coming up with an “adoption” scenario since I am an avid member of a dog rescue organization and my input in making the scene read “shelter” in a very beautiful location (as opposed to a “real” depressing location) was appreciated.

This job was a great example of why I love what I do, being able to collaborate with the Photographer and Creative Director to achieve beautiful aspirational images is what its all about…and oh yeah I did it within budget!

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