Responses by Pum Lefebure, chief creative officer/cofounder, Design Army
Background: Georgetown Optician is a family-owned eyewear retailer and optician practice. Our challenge was to showcase its fashion-forward frames and achieve high brand awareness by creating a distinct personality that talks about glasses like no one else. How do you go against the big guys? And even more challenging, how the heck do you make eye exams and optometry interesting? There’s nothing sexy about an optician.
Reasoning: Our approach was to shock, entertain and go bold with creativity to help this small brand make a big impact. So, we focused the concept on how “Eyes Say More Than Words.” We’re living in a complex time with a lot of distractions that are ineffective and inefficient. We decided it’s time to silence the noise and join the silent revolution to hear more, take in more and think more before we put it out there. Speak Less. See More.
Challenges: There’s always some drama with a large shoot. On our first day filming the second scene, the Quiet Guard leaned against something and got a huge dirt spot on his sweater’s back. We had to change shot angles so you couldn’t see his back, and then get his sweater cleaned in record time for day two. Our little girl practiced blowing gum bubbles for weeks, but on film day, the bubbles just weren’t coming. We also had to change out nearly every lightbulb in the film; otherwise we’d have these weird blue looking lights. It’s all the small details that make a big impression.
Favorite details: I love that we went all the way in expressing how “eyes say more than words” with tons of kooky twists and turns. It starts from the quietest place on Earth with an evil “Quiet Guard” who won’t even let you sneeze, and leads to a silent revolution with the book geeks overthrowing the sound-sensitive tyrant. Dean Alexander had the idea for a hidden door that the Quiet Guard could escape through, so we built one to match the existing bookcases. Everything you see was handmade by our talented team, from book covers and typography to the Quiet Guard’s on-duty props, even the candy wrapper eyeball. Sound was also crucial! We shot the whole two-minute forty-second film first and then worked with Squeak E. Clean to create all the custom music and sound design. Every noise is ten times magnified like a church echo. Exaggerating all these sounds played a huge role in telling this visual story.
Visual influences: We took visual cues from high school yearbook pictures from the late ’70s with lots of plaid, bellbottom-inspired styles, big hair—and of course, big glasses. We sourced from secondhand stores, our own closets and even a few special ordered items to get the looks down. We could be as fashionable and as different as we want, and not have to rely on any particular brand.