Imagine you’re in a movie theater, reclined and comfy in your seat, the symphony of popcorn crunches and soda-sipping a musical prelude before the big show. The house lights fall, the white noise of the surround sound speakers kick on overtaking the popcorn symphony. And we all sit up a little bit in our seats knowing what’s about to happen…the booming theater voice of the coming attractions!
The previews play out on the big screen and at the conclusion of each we look to the person next to us and immediately declare our viewing intention: “Can’t wait to see that,” or, “That looks dumb.” – In the course of a few seconds we become Siskel & Ebert. And it’s a very empowering moment!
Siskel & Ebert aren’t here to give us their opinion anymore, but at SJ we’d like to think the movie critic gods have smiled down on us favorably with our new feature film, The Mystery of Her.
“Wait, you produce full length movies too?” you ask. Why yes, we certainly do!
It’s why when some people ask, “Are you an ad & marketing agency?” we shy away from that narrow moniker. Yes, we produce kick-butt advert, we can talk KPIs and CPMs with the best of them, but at the end of the day, we’re visual storytellers, and video, whether a 30-second TV spot or a 90+ minute feature film, is how we find the strongest message and breathe life into it with every ounce of our creative energy.
That’s why we are so proud to announce the premier of our team’s recently produced feature length film, The Mystery of Her.
Released this past week on Amazon, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu, and many other platforms, it has already become an instant hit with viewers. Our team shares a passion for the arts from filmmaking to music to writing to theater. The movie, in many ways, exemplifies an intersection of these interests. The Mystery of Her reflects the creative elements that are an integral part of our identity as an organization. Each of us helped bring the project to life in some fashion during its pre-production, principal photography, and post-production.
Finding one’s authentic voice is at the core of all we do at SJ – related to both our internal goals and what we try to capture and amplify for our clients. It also is the main theme of The Mystery of Her as the film tells the story of a young woman who has lost her memory and identity due to an injury she has sustained in an auto accident. She must rediscover her past, and in determining the direction of her future, decide in her recovery if that person she was is really who she is and wants to be.
And still, filmmaking squarely aligns with the three mantras we promote in our Bossify Your Brand series. It challenges us to Be Better Storytellers. Telling the nuances of a 100 page script is done through powerful acting and visual expression, which also reflects our second mantra: Video Is Vital. And it, too, embodies our third mantra: Passion and Energy Are Tactical. Collaboration is truly one of our passions, but sometimes that also includes feeding our own souls and producing “work” outside the typical client-agency paradigm. Sometimes, our work is to harness our energies and tactically deploy our passion in such a way that we remember why we do what we do, why we love telling stories, real or fictional, and most certainly to feel all the feels of sitting with excitement in the movie theater munching on popcorn as the house lights fall and the movie begins.
Shooting a feature length film in an up-state NY autumn with the changing of the colors happening fast and the changing of the weather even faster (all four seasons in a day sometimes, or at least three of the four) brings its challenges. Throw in the worldwide pandemic, and even we will admit that our passion and energy were both tested. But in the end we knew the worth of our story, and even Siskel & Ebert would give that two-thumbs-up!
So today, we present a film that we hope is thought-provoking in regard to the struggle of finding identity rather than having it defined and prepackaged for you; one that highlights some of our own backyard in Western NY, the place that we live and love; and one that gives a shot of inspiration and hope.
Queue up your streaming devices, throw some popcorn in the microwave, put your feet up, and enjoy the show. (Imagine that last part announced to you in a booming theater voice…)