Andy Keleman, a commercial director based out of Pittsburgh, created the following commercial for the SCA as his entry in a competition sponsored by Diners Club. He answered questions for the Gazette about creating the commercial and his work.
I had worked with the SCA back in 2009 using the Pittsburgh chapter as the subject of a piece I produced for WQED, Pittsburgh’s PBS station, just documenting who they are and what they do. A lot of people see practice occurring at various points around the city, but have no idea there’s a whole organization that’s worldwide behind what they see as just people in Medieval garb fighting with swords. So we set out to really show the people behind the organization and go deeper into what the SCA does.
I picked the SCA for the video because of the closeness within the organization I witnessed that first time around filming. Everyone is like a family, has a level of camaraderie, and treats each other with such respect. Those themes are what I wanted to come across in the video, and they are ever-present when looking into the SCA.
If you’re not involved in the SCA, did you find anything particularly surprising or interesting when you were shooting it?
I’m not involved in the SCA at all, and I found people’s eagerness to be on camera not surprising at all generally, as it goes w/ the themes the SCA stands for. I’m always surprised and excited by both the age ranges and the varying real life careers of people who exist within the organization. It’s great to see anthropologists, X-ray techs, and teachers for example all coming together over a common interest. It really is the perfect definition of what an organization or club should be.
I’m all about the story that can be told in 30 – 60 seconds which is why my background and career is in commercials. As much as people hate on advertising sometimes, I think there can be a real art to it and some of the most effective and passionate ads are created with telling a story in mind, and organically selling a product as the subtext to that.
In the pipeline I’m doing some work for American Express, Highmark, and just wrapped a really great project for the PA Humanities Council about the placement of Teen Reading Lounges in various libraries around the state.