Responses by David Lee, CCO, Squarespace
Background: With this campaign, we wanted to inspire anyone with a dream—big or small; one or many—and validate their ambitions. When you’re a kid, you dream with abandon, and the one-minute “Dream it” film with Idris Elba evokes that nostalgia and reminds people of those big dreams they had as children. But a dream is only a dream until you make it into something real. Squarespace empowers people with creative ideas to succeed, and we want them to know that they can use the tools and features on our platform to help bring their dreams to life. As someone with so many different passions—from boxing to DJ-ing to acting—Idris is the perfect embodiment of the Squarespace ethos.
Reasoning: The campaign naturally split itself into two parts—the “Dream it” film that captures the intangible nature of dreams, and then the longer “Make it” film, which is a humorous demonstration of how you can easily bring those dreams to life with a Squarespace website.
Challenges: Every shot in the film had to be perfectly timed to the song. We needed many different versions of the film, which simply could not live as cut-downs from the longer format. In the end, a different version had to be shot for each specific time format, and we did multiple shots at different speeds for each character vignette. We also had Idris lip-syncing “Que Sera, Sera” at multiple speeds so that when the film played in real-time, it achieved the slow-mo dream-like quality that we were looking for.
Favorite details: The version of “Que Sera, Sera” we used—performed by The Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf & Hearing Children—is really special. We wanted to bring this childlike wonder to life by casting a voice that was imperfect and fragile. It made for a nice juxtaposition with Idris, who’s known as a tough guy. Finally, having the ability to shoot around East London, where Idris is from, added an extra layer of sentimentality.
Time constraints: When working with talents like Idris and Spike Jonze, you have to maximize the time you have with them. We had three shoot days to cover two different films, both of which had unique shorter formats as well. Much of the hard work was put in during the pre-production: strategizing over every shot and timing things perfectly so that we could be as efficient as possible with the time we had with both talents.