Meme has a couple of videos or films that are intercut with the main narrative. There is the film-within-a-film Beneath the Black Moon. There is also the Meme videotape, which the film is named after. Then, there are the beer commercials for our fake brand: Wotan Brewing. Unlike the first two these weren’t conceived with the rest of the story, but rather came out of making props for the film.
Throughout the film our main character, Jennifer, drinks quite a bit. For production reasons it was easiest to make this a bottled beer and it seemed advisable to do it with a fake brand. So, I invented Wotan Brewing Co. If you’ve watched any of my projects since 2012, you may recognize the ouroboros encircling the tree of life design, which I have slipped into a lot of projects along with references to Norse mythology.
After creating the beer bottles for the shoot it occurred to me it would be interesting to shoot a couple of commercials for the beer to intersperse throughout the film or put on TVs people are watching. The ideas for what the commercials would be like developed over the course of shooting Meme and finally in October 2015, following the end of principal photography for Meme, we shot the commercials at a bar in Brooklyn.
Among the cast for the project are fellow filmmaker Lars Fuchs whose film Honk! I recently edited, Myles Tyrer-Vassell the director of photography for Maybe Sunshine, and the very funny Jeff H. Davis as the brand’s mascot Wotan. I also slipped in Ginny Leise, the heroine of Beneath the Black Moon, just as a fun little connection between the two videos and to help cement a larger world beyond the story in Meme. It’s just a little thing, but something that makes me happy, even if no one else ever notices it.
We shot what amounts to six commercials for the beer. Two basic commercials: one involving a man at a bar being encouraged to try the superior Wotan brand and the second being essentially a “beer will make you a fun party person” commercial. For each of these two commercials we shot three versions: one in English, one in German, and one in Spanish. I won’t go into the exact reasons why we did three versions but I will say that it was a fun experiment.
Over much of the last month we’ve been teasing clips of the first of these commercials on the Meme Facebook Page. Last Friday we shared the first full commercial. We start teasing the second commercial this Friday. Like Meme on Facebook to keep up with that and other news and fun things from our project.
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