CHICAGO— STORY Director Blair Hayes explores a day-in-the-life of a McDonald’s restaurant in a new ad for Burrell Communications. My Place features a series of vignettes that portray McDonald’s as a gathering place for family and friends. They include a young couple who share a hot chocolate, teens scrolling through social media posts, a family having dinner sans cellphones, and a college student with his nose buried in a text book.
“Traditionally, McDonald’s has been more than a restaurant; it’s a member of the community,” says Hayes. “It’s a place where you go to get together with friends and loved ones, or where strangers become friends.”
Hayes sought to capture each vignette as naturally as possible. The performances are understated. In fact the scene with the family at dinner plays without dialogue. “We found terrific actors,” he recalls. “When mom catches her daughter using her cellphone, she gets her to put it away with a look. She looks at her, not in a ‘commercial’ way, but the way a real mom would.”
The sense of spontaneity and intimacy is enhanced by Hayes’ fluid camera style. He captures scenes from oblique angles and by shooting through crowds and windows to create the sense that you are witnessing what’s going on from a neighboring booth. “The idea was to keep it voyeuristic and vividly real,” he says.
Hayes’ favorite scene was the one involving the college student. As he stares at his book, the restaurant manager comes over to refill his coffee cup. The manager pats the young man on the back and walks off, while offering him an encouraging, “Keep up the good work…your honor.”
“The manager is obviously a mentor figure,” says Hayes. “We invented a back story where, years earlier, the young man worked for the manager as a fry chef or on the line.”
“The commercial ends with the young man looking back as the manager walks away,” adds Hayes. “So you get that sense of accomplishment, pride and community.”
STORY is represented on the East Coast by Ilene Silberman (212) 794-9030; in the Midwest by Amy McIntyre (312) 550-2554, in the Southeast by Miller + Associates, (954) 563-6004; in the Southwest by Gossip!, (214) 288-2813 and on the West Coast by Yvette Lubinsky, (310) 827-2626.
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TITLE: My Place
AGENCY: Burrell Communications. Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer; Shirley Portee, Executive Producer; Debra Dale, Producer; Rebecca Williams, VP/Group Creative Director; Terrence Burrell, VP/ Creative Director – Copywriter; Winston Cheung, Associate Creative Director - Art Director.
PRODUCTION: STORY. Blair Hayes, Director; Mark Androw and Cliff Grant, Executive Producers; John Pingay, Director of Photography; Marsie Wallach, Producer.
EDIT: The Colonie. Bob Ackerman, Creative Editor; Graham Chapman, Assistant Editor; Tom Dernulc, Finishing; Lyndsay McCully, Senior Designer; Mary Caddy, Executive Producer.
COLOR: Filmworkers, Michael Mazur, Colorist.
AUDIO: CRC. Ian Scott, Mixer
MUSIC: Yessian Music. Michael Yessian, Composer.