Friday, May 6, 2011

Pepsi Winners - What happens next?

One of the best parts of the Pepsi Films experience is that the overall winner then goes onto work directly with Pepsi on specially commissioned piece. But what does that entail and what's that experience like?

We caught up with Matt Snyman, the first Pepsi winner who went on to work with Pepsi directly after taking first place in the theme 'if kids ruled the world' for Barcelona 2010, with the very catchy 'No Vegetables'. Since then Matt, and his co-conspirator, musician Tom Godfrey, have been rather busy. They went back to Spain in the summer 2010 to create this TV ad with Spanish rapper Haze and created a supporting web series about their question to find the elusive rapper.

We caught up with Matt to find out more about his experience and what's he up to currently.

Matthew Snyman

London, UK

What experience do you have in films and filmmaking and how long have you been making films for:
I have been making films since I was about 6 years old. Those films were mostly about Batman and He-Man toys though. Some would say they're still my finest work. But the passion for filmmaking runs deep. I studied Film at the University of Westminster, and during my time there, tried to reopen the UK's oldest Cinema on London's Regent Street, where the Lumiere brothers showed off their Cinematograph machine for the first time in 1896. And 4 years later, that finally happened! After University I worked on my own short films and sent them to festivals wherever, and whenever I could. Through this I appeared on a global reality TV series on MTV about digital artists and filmmakers. This was where Kevin Smith described me as his worst enemy. Which was really cool. Then I started doing MOFILM competitions.

What are your hopes for your future in film and are you working on any other projects at the moment:
I hope one day to be a Writer-slash-Director, which is why Kevin Smith got angry and said I was after his job. Currently I have a feature romantic comedy script doing the rounds in LA, but the big news is that my web series is getting released today on DailyMotion! It's called The Dead Must Die, it's a comedy/horror web series set after the inevitable ‘Zombie Apocalypse’. And it's 7 episodes, which will be released every week on a friday for the next 7 weeks. Tell your friends. ;)

Why did you choose to enter for Pepsi in particular:
I've always liked the taste. Hey what's Matt want to drink? Pepsi. Really? Yes. ;) And I really liked their brief. They search for creativity over direct advertising. Which is rare.

What do you think of Pepsi Films:
I really think Pepsi gets Social Media and Digital. They've been at the forefront since the beginning, and with the relationships they're building with up-and-coming filmmakers, they're building some great futures and creating opportunity where there once was none.

Are you going to enter any Pepsi Films contests:
I have in the past, and I'm sure I will in the future. Although it will be hard to top winning in Barcelona last year, then getting to make a Pepsi Ad for Spanish TV, in Spain! I'm still not sure if any of my actors had any idea what I was talking about. They just kept smiling and nodding.

How did you come up with the idea for this particular spot:
This is actually a pretty great story... We sat down with Pepsi in London, and starting brainstorming over a conference call with the Agency BBDO in Spain. By the end of the call we had a monkey, Hollywood and a limo, and everyone was totally excited. But by the time of the actual shoot, the monkey had become famous Spanish rapper Haze, Hollywood turned into Madrid pretending to be Andalusia, and the limo became a recording studio! Ahh the joys of working with agencies.

What do you think about Pepsi as a brand and how did you try to get this across in your film:
For this spot, the core of it was trying to create awareness of the 1 Euro, 1 Pesi campaign in Spain. (Yes, I did just spell Pepsi as Pesi.) In various parts of Spain, they pronounce Pepsi differently, and Pepsi were wise to this, and made it a core part of their strategy in this area. So in our ad, set in Andalusia, we had Pesi, not Pepsi!

Pepsi really try to engage with their audience at every level, so we really tried to reflect this in the ad. A young Andalusian drinks Pepsi, and all his dreams come true!

What kind of person were you targeting with your spot, what particular reaction were you aiming for and how did you go about getting it:
I think I sort of covered this in the last question... I should really read ahead. We aimed at the young people of Spain!

What equipment did you use:
We shot on my trusty 5D mark 2, plus 2 other 5D mark 2's. Mark 2 to the power of 3!

Did you face any challenges in the process of making the film:
Well, making an Ad in Spain, when you can't speak Spanish, is going to be complicated. Luckily we had a great crew and we had an English/Spanish phrasebook. 'Uno mas' became my favorite sentence.

What advice would you give a filmmaker thinking about entering a Pepsi Films competition:
I would say, be creative, enjoy the experience, and make sure you have fun. It can lead to great things.

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