Ground Up Films was commissioned by the American Advertising Federation to create a short intro video for the 2012 ADDY Awards held at St. Petersburg’s Salvador Dali Museum.

We were given full license to expound on this year’s theme: “Are You A Freaky Genius?”

Using the Buñuel/Dalí film “Un Chien Andalou” as visual inspiration, we crafted this video—a single take showcase of history’s most famous “freaky geniuses”. From the earliest sketches of cavemen to the tortured “artiste” of Van Gogh; Houdini’s great escape to Einstein’s theory of relativity… a visual timeline was played out as cinematic tableaus, all in one long, three and a half minute take.

Utilizing found objects to create a homemade, “sweded” look and using Tampa bay’s Armature Works as a backdrop, the production (made on a shoestring budget) was designed, fabricated and constructed by the infinitely talented Ruston Head.

A cast of over 30 Bay Area actors rounded out the ensemble, along with cameo appearances by local ad agency owners and even members of the AAF, themselves.

With nothing more than a Red Epic X, Steadicam, a handful of lights and some serious elbow grease, the resulting film, set to the Pixies’ “Debaser”, travels through the cinematic wasteland of Salvador Dali’s mind and asks the question:

“Are You A Freaky Genius?”

“Les Génie Bizarre!”
Directed by: Brandon Windish
Produced by: Mike Compton
Executive Producers: Heather Christman, Barry Wallace, Jeff Zampino
Cinematography by: Jon Wolding
Production Designer: Ruston Head
Assistant Director: Eric Burgess
Steadicam Operator: Don Hoy
Additional Camera Op & DIT: Rich Roddman
Red Epic X provided by: CMR Studios
Additional Lights provided by: Curtis Graham