Creative in association withGear Seven

NUTRO Brand Shares Family Dog's Perspective During Quarantine

Production Company
Santa Monica, USA
BBDO NY and O Positive director Jun Diaz discusses the advert from conceptualisation to post-production

NUTRO’s new commercial 'Who Wants a Walk?' shares the story of something we can all relate to abiding Safer at Home orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. From BBDO NY and O Positive director Jun Diaz, the commercial observes a day in the life of Tuck, a dog whose whole family needs an excuse to get out during quarantine. The good-natured pup is beside himself for his first walk with mum, counts himself lucky for his second with dad and for the rest, with his human siblings, we see his enthusiasm wane until he’s clearly making an effort to be a good sport. Luckily, NUTRO’s clean recipe gives him the energy and nutrition he needs to push through.

Diaz, an award-winning commercial director who began his career editing critically acclaimed films such as 'Kid Stays In The Picture', both directed and edited, 'Who Wants a Walk?'. While shot remotely, abiding by social distancing guidelines, the spot reflects a look and feel more typical of work produced before the pandemic. Diaz shares some insights about directing and editing 'Who Wants a Walk?' remotely, with ingenuity, during the quarantine. 

Q:  Why was the idea for this spot conducive to shooting remotely?

JD:  While the idea for the spot wasn't specifically conducive to shooting remotely, there was a commitment to try to figure out how to make the work feel as visually big as possible, while telling such a personal story. 

Q:  How did you make it work?

JD:  I’m grateful to the cast and crew which was entirely the talented and gracious family of cinematographer, Colin Watkinson (along with Christopher Quesada who handled the data).

We looked at working with cinematographers who we liked who were unafraid of jumping into something this technically daunting and also have their family willing to open up their home and share their lives with us. We did reassure that we would be happy with whatever performance the dog was up for. Without a dog trained for the action and no handler that could safely participate, there was a lot of understanding from everyone involved which made the whole experience great in spite of the many challenges.

Q:  What was the timeline?

JD:  O Positive’s team did quite an incredible job putting the pieces together remotely for a couple of weeks before it was officially awarded, but once it did, it was bracingly quick. We were shooting by the end of the week.

Q:  Was it easier to direct this knowing you’d also edit?

JD:  Given how quickly the spot had to be produced, I was happy to have the opportunity to be able to work out and share ideas in the edit room. It’s always been challenging to stay on top of the edit in pre-isolation days as directors are rarely able to simply try stuff out before it has to make it through the various layers of approvals.

And personally, I just like the edit room. A friend once told me he thought it was the best job in the business as all you had to do was sit down in it and be creative. One of the best parts being that you don’t have to get up until it works, whereas on a set, as privileged as it is to work with the talented and passionate people that love the circus of set life, it’s a parade of fires to manage and a wary eye on the clock winding down on a very finite day. Away from that auction floor chaos, the edit room is a moment to figure out what you really have and give the images and performance context and meaning. It’s almost the best part of the process. 

I hope this experience might give us insight to see we how I can participate in the edit in a way that meaningfully launches the edit process.

Q:  What did you edit on? Hardware/software

JD:  I worked on a cranky 2015 iMac running High Sierra (os 10.13.6) and Avid Media Composer v8.9.1 

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