AIDS ALLIANCE New Campaign Directed by Gregg Masuak Sells Safe Sex by Shining a Light on The Ingredients of The Act Of Sex
The new AIDS Alliance video “Come Together” was directed by our Mapper Gregg Masuak. Discover it here in exclusivity! The video sells safe sex and remains visionary. Gregg Masuak has been working internationally for over 25 years from music videos, commercials, multi-media, theatre and now feature films and television. The music videos Masuak has helmed in the 80’s and 90s number in the hundreds, featuring an extraordinary range of high profile artists including Take That, Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls…basically all the biggest artists of that time.
His collaboration with photographer Joerg Brunsendorf for this Aids campaign project resulted in an creative, daring approach and it included everyone. Gregg Masuak can explain his powerful work better than anyone and Creative Mapping is delighted to share with you his view on the film.
Aids Alliance – Come Together, directed by Gregg Masuak:
“Being brave” in the commercial world tends to smack of deliberately trying to be sensational — rarely ever is it genuine. But in the case of my AIDS Alliance “Come Together” spot, bravery was the tone that hummed almost accidentally throughout the project. The result is a commercial that sells safe sex by shining a light on as many of the ingredients of the act of sex as possible, including that most guilty of pleasures: JOY. When you go into battle, you don’t go in thinking “I’m going to be brave.” You just go in with a feeling that what you are doing feels right, and so it was with my 2 creative partners on this project: TOAST (the production company that brought me in specifically for this) and Bluefrog (a kickass agency I’d never worked with until now).
When I reimagined the simple but still excellent storyboard — which portrayed a series of closeups of individuals in the throes of orgasm — into a quirkier, “edgier”, and much more nuanced vision, they simply went for it. Our collaboration — while still “ticking the boxes” required to satisfy the client’s need to sell product — was dedicated to my (and our agreed upon) creative depiction of the sex act. Not once did anyone back away from our unified vision by second-guessing client concern (the death of anything creative).
“AIDS ALLIANCE New Campaign Directed by Gregg Masuak Sells Safe Sex by Shining a Light on The Ingredients of The Act Of Sex, Including That Most Guilty of Pleasures: JOY.”
Personally, I find the whole “provocative” tag on the ad surprising. I’ve always found sex to be a helluva lot of fun — not to mention great exercise — but certainly never “naughty” or “dirty”. So, my personal attitude to sex naturally steered any scene away from being genuinely provocative, because that term (to me) means trying to push someone’s buttons, rather than being honest and real. Additionally, any rumblings regarding scenes the clients perceived of as too edgy were met with our determination to not be exclusionary. (Weirdly enough, the 2 most scrutinized scenes featured Christopher Darling, the Leigh-Bowery-esque figure dressed in garish garb, and a fox-and-hen couple who could have easily been edited into a children’s TV show using different music — incidentally, the fox was played by the TOAST Producer, while the Bluefrog Creative Director portrayed the hen.)
From the getgo, my team and I had decided that this was not going to be a campaign about gays or straights, emphasizing this duo as opposed to that one or imposing ideas on who should be doing what and how to whom. We wanted everyone to be included, and I feel we quite happily ticked our own box on that one.
Because of this determination to combine fun and honesty, creating the AIDS Alliance “Come Together” spot was one of the best commercial experiences I’ve had in quite a while. (I’ve never had a producer insist on including anal beads in a scene before!) With only 1 day to film many scenes featuring a huge cast, the entire creative team worked together to create an environment that let me do what I do best: PLAY. (And when you, as an actor, have a camera pointed at you while the director instructs you to simulate any number of things and a microphone is shoved in your face while lights are twiddled around you, an attitude of joyful playfulness is what you want to have.) What’s more, that joyful playfulness was artfully highlighted by the editing, composition and sound design that followed. (I encourage everyone who watches the AIDS Alliance spot to turn the volume up and listen to the ad with good speakers — it’s worth the added dimension!)
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