NEW YORK — The creative team at A&E called on long-time collaborators Bigsmack (www.bigsmack.tv) to help conceive, write and produce a hilarious promo campaign for the third season of the cable network’s hit, Duck Dynasty. Andy Hann and Matt Hall lead the Bigsmack team, which worked with A&E’s in-house team on the project.
Hann and Scott Whitham co-directed 21 spots in just two days, much of it shot in the deep rural bayou of Louisiana in the dead of winter.
“Duck Dynasty has literally become a phenomenon for A&E, being their highest rated show to date,” notes Hann. “It has huge fan appeal, so we were thrilled when they asked us to take a crack at what appeared to be the impossible. We jumped in with the A&E creative team and literally fleshed out and wrote a mountain of scripts over the course of a week. Kudos to the A&E marketing and creative team, who worked many weekends and late night hours to make sure this was a successful campaign.”
Duck Dynasty centers around the Robertson family, who live in Louisiana and operate a thriving business while staying true to their family values and lifestyle. After creative concepting and writing, the Bigsmack production team flew south to shoot the show’s main characters. Two crews shot simultaneously at an enormous Bayou location in Monroe, Louisiana.
“We went in with a plan of course, but due to the volume of spots, unpredictable weather and an unfamiliar location, a lot of adjustments and improv had to happen in Monroe days and hours before the shoot,” explains Bigsmack head of marketing. Andrew Kobliska. Mud soaked roads, trucks and equipment coming from hundreds of miles away, and crew arriving the night before were part of the challenges the production team was up against.
“While Andy was directing one spot, he had to think about the next two spots so we could have a crew set things up ahead of time. The crew was awesome: great hustle; great attitude. The DP's Andrew Turman and Patrick Loungway were absolutely incredible. Because of the circumstances, the DPs had to act essentially as co-directors, and they really came through. The members of the Robertson family were all good sports. They hung in there with us and they were willing to do whatever we asked, which included being submerged in freezing water! They have natural talent, and great comedic timing. They really are a wonderful, funny family, which is why they are loved by so many fans worldwide.”
Bigsmack credits include designers/animators Rick Malwitz and Jason Harmon, editor Rob Graham and sound engineer Bob Schachner. The company has locations in both New York and Philadelphia.