HUB Network taps Daily Planet to Produce Summer Branding ID

When the Hub Network was looking to produce some promotional ads out of house, they turned to Chicago-based Daily Planet Productions.

“The Hub Network had done some really nice branding stuff with IDs and the look, on air, has been really nice,” says Jonathan Adler, who directed Daily Planet’s short branding spot for the Los Angeles-based network. “We wanted to make sure it was up to those standards of quality and production.”

Scott Marvel, president of Daily Planet, says he’s been in touch with Jordan Beck, a former Chicagoan that runs promotions at the cable TV children’s network. When they were just starting, Beck expressed a desire to work with Daily Planet. When the chance arose for the short, 10-second branding piece, Marvel says the team was thrilled.

“They have a fantastic internal design department and do a lot of work in-house,” he says. “But they were swamped and wanted to see what an outside creative shop could bring to the party.”

So Adler and the graphics department developed a treatment and, once approved by the client, started location shooting with the help of Producer Karen Kowalyshen.

“It’s a challenge casting, doing wardrobe all here in Chicago with a client in LA,” Kowalyshen says.

Their first approach was to duplicate the existing branding efforts, and that meant finding a place in the metro area that looked like LA. They picked Oakbrook Terrace Mal.

“They told us they wanted it to be more urban, more Chicago,” Adler says.

So they went back and picked a few spaces that spoke to Chicago, but would also work well as a place that a 16-year-old girl, the spot’s talent, would seem to hang out.

“The last place we went and saw was a park down in Printers’ Row,” Adler says. “With the old train station there it was like a little city and it was perfect. There was open space for sky but also nice buildings with fire escapes and other features that said Chicago.”

They worked with the Chicago Film Office for permitting for both the city and park district. In post they worked in Chicago landmarks and even the water for a fountain that wasn’t on during the shoot.

“Rich (Moskal, of the Chicago Film Office) was phenomenal,” Kowalyshen says. “He was so nice, great to work with.”

Once everything was in place, the shoot went quickly enough because Adler was handling post and effects as well and knew when he had his shots. That couldn’t stop it from being windy though.

“It was so windy, cold and miserable,” Kowalyshen says. “It between takes we had the talent waiting in the car but, in the end, the wind was something the client complimented.”

“It looks like the trees are reacting to what’s going on,” Marvel says.

The entire shoot took half a day, with Andrew Dryer shooting it.

“Jon had a tight shooting board,” Marvel says. “Andrew got everything – we went down there, looked at the location and the shooting with a 10-person crew went really well.”

The brevity of the piece contributed to the quick shoot too.

“It was ten seconds long, I knew we had what we needed,” Adler says.

Then they brought it back home to Daily Planet where the post effects and graphics were already in progress. They were working on 3D video game pixels that were going to jump off the actress’s tablet.

There was a lot of color correction involved, making a gray day look sunny, for instance, but the job ended as smoothly as it started.

“We sent the rough cuts off and they got back to us right away,” Adler says. “They were decisive. They knew what they wanted.”

Marvel says that the network was pleased it fit so well with the rest of their campaign.

“It fit exactly what they were doing with the other three spots in the campaign,” he says. “It fit that style and energy. They watched it frame by frame loved every shot.”

You expect a certain amount of viewership online, but the most surprising part of this happened when one morning, shortly after it went live, it suddenly shot up with over 6,000 views.

“We realized it had been featured on a ‘My Little Pony’ blog,” Adler says.

“There were some great comments,” Kowalyshen says. “Several people wanted to play the game she had on her tablet.”

My experience working with Daily Planet was outstanding,” says Hub’s Jordan Beck. “Scott Marvel, Karen Kowalyshen and John Adler did a terrific job with our network ID. The process was very smooth and the team really took our idea and ran with it. The final execution is flawless and the best test has been the fact that other employees of the Hub have sent me the spot asking, ‘Did we do this? Is it ours? I love it.’"

Hub Producer: Jordan Beck
Hub Design Director: Stan Lim
Associate Producer On Air Promotions: Aida Kattan
Executive Producer: Scott Marvel
DP Producer: Karen Kowalyshen
Director: Jonathan Adler
Director of Photography: Andrew Dryer
Gaffer: Lamar Bloodworth
Production Assistant: Shanead Mueller
3D Modeling and Animation: Zack Bailey
2D and 3D Animation and Compositing
Jason Rohler, Dan Moore, Tim Berthiaume, Jon Adler, Dan Tiffany
Animation Assistants: Jin Jeon, Dan Kelly