Five Questions: Chris Phoenix, EP/President, Phoenix Productions
New York creative studio Phoenix Productions claims to specialize in everything, functioning as a creative agency, a production company, a post facility, and more. The company creates everything from branding and graphic design to spots, show opens, and web series. Clients include ESPN, Comedy Central, China Central Television, Unilever, Honda, and many more in a portfolio as broad as the services Phoenix offers. We asked the company's president, Chris Phoenix, five questions about his work, what inspires him, and how he gets a camera airborne.
1. What are you working on today?
We are currently in production on the 2012 CLIO Awards. We produce and brand the event, establishing the look for the show through the video content (show open, sizzle reels, slates, and future event trailers).
Based on our previous work with them, CCTV has asked us to create another promo for a debate show called The Heat.
We’re creating a corporate reel for sports and athlete representation giant Lagardère Unlimited.
We’re also in active negotiations with a couple of networks for an irreverent College Football show we developed called 3 And Out.
2. What is the best tool or innovation that you've found in the last year?
On the production front, the newer octocopter for use with the Red is pretty impressive. We’ve been doing some pre-production legwork for a project with Porsche this summer, and being able to get beautiful sweeping roadway arial shots or playing chicken with a Boxster at 40 mph is exciting stuff. These octocopters get you very high production value at a reasonable price.
3. What project (film, television, commercial or music video) most impressed you in the last year? Why?
I’m still in awe of the Chiptole “Back to the Start” spot. Not only was it Chiptole’s first foray into the world of broadcast advertising, but it was beautifully conceived and painstakingly executed. I mean, when was the last time you felt emotional about anything that was stop-motion? Davey and Goliath?!
The Moment Factory team did a tremendous job with the projections on the field for the Super Bowl half-time show. The next day, we all gathered around and watched it a dozen times or so, studying all the nuanced elements that I think most people overlooked. Not only was it a hugh technical challenge but the motion design work was more interesting than Madonna.
The Tree of Life was visually exquisite. I’m not sure the film was wholly successful, but Malick and his team created a surfeit of evocative imagery and an idiosyncratic editing language.
In music I think it’s pretty hard to deny the impact of Rebecca Black, she single handedly re-invented the pop music genre and maintained her relevance while leaving an indelible imprint on the music industry that won't soon be zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
4. What's the best, or your favorite, project that you worked on in the past year? And why?
The CCTV “There is only we” promo for Biz Asia America. The project was a completely genuine collaboration by the team here. Together we met the CCTV team, pitched our ideas, won the business and had the freedom to create and interesting and atypical piece of work.
5. Who are the top four artists on your iPod?
Anna Netrebko, Lewis Taylor, Blind Willie McTell, Mike Errico.