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Telly Awards & Upcity Excellence Award!

Bottle Rocket Media Wins Telly and UpCity Awards

Season 40 Telly Award Winners were announced this week, and we’re super excited to announce that we took home SIX! Clients include Dyson, Kenmore, Centro, The Peninsula, and The Chicago Cubs! View the winning videos below.

We also received UpCity’s 2019 Excellence Award and were named Top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Chicago – Thanks Upcity! Check out our listing here.

Thank you to all of our stellar clients for allowing us to do what we do all day long. Thanks also needs to go out to our incredible team – the BRM gang and every crew member, cast member or freelancer that continues to support these endeavors.

The Bullhorn | Meet Director Joel Kapity

Meet Bottle Rocket Media Director Joel Kapity

There is no shortage of creative talent at Bottle Rocket Media these days – emphasized by the onboarding of longtime Chicago-based director, Joel Kapity, who has been telling stories through the lens since childhood. A love for the human experience guides his creative sensibilities, while his fearless outlook helps him accomplish what others deem “impossible.” 

Here’s what Joel had to say about his rise as a successful storyteller:

What got you into directing? 

As a kid, I was always the guy with a camera. While others were hanging out, doing what kids do, I would be shooting little shorts with whomever I could wrangle on any given night.  

What about the craft moves you?

I think I’m terrible at a lot of things—directing is not one of them. There is no other job that comes more naturally or brings me more joy. One of my favorite aspects is working with professional actors to bring a story to life. As a director, I have a very specific task of pulling emotions out of others, and I love playing with framing, lighting and camera moves to help draw the audience further into the worlds of the characters.

How did you hook up with Bottle Rocket Media? What drew you to the company?

At my last studio, I was given the opportunity to direct a commercial with Bottle Rocket Media staff as my crew. It was a great experience. During the shoot, I had some solid conversations with Dan and Brett, and felt very in tune with their passion to produce great video content. It was a genuine connection. Bottle Rocket Media and I shared the same creative thoughts and direction—very refreshing. My gut feeling was that I could produce some truly incredible content with this studio.

What unique elements do you bring to the portfolio?

My most unique slash powerful element as a director is my love for people, and how that translates to my commercial work – whether it’s a tv spot, a feature film or social media content. The material I am most proud of almost always involves storylines driven by human relationships.

Also, big ideas with small budgets don’t scare me. I honestly believe I can accomplish what others deem “impossible.” 

How does your style lend itself to brand videos?

Shock and awe. I am obsessed with creating cinematic visuals to support brand awareness in new and exciting ways. For every project, I try to think about that one extra visual effect, shot or action that creates a video people will remember—one that stands out in a flooded market.

What can we look forward to from you in 2019?

So far, 2019 has been jam-packed with creating content for different brands every week and there are no signs of slowing down. I’m currently finishing my third film, I AM YOUR KEEPER, while working on several big client videos for Bottle Rocket Media.  

What industry techniques/technology/methods are you most excited about right now?

I am really excited about all the cameras and lighting tools we didn’t have 20 years ago – when I was still cutting my teeth as a director. A couple of months ago, I directed a Phantom high-speed camera commercial shoot with two of the best hockey players in the world—I was blown away by what we were able to capture. High-speed cameras can bring such an incredible value to a project that no other piece of equipment can. I’m also obsessed with the use of robotic arms in production, which is becoming extremely popular for capturing food and sports commercial imagery.   

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? Why? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

Directing and producing my second film, Dreams. It consumed my life for three years, three to six days a week, and roughly 15-20 hours a day. The movie involved a huge cast, with thousands of extras, and a limited budget. It’s a film I’d wanted to make for about 10 years and it ultimately involved flying in actors from all over the country. Considering the huge job at hand every day on set, it was definitely the most complex thing I have directed to date. 

Any words of wisdom?

Don’t listen to others who tell you what to be or what to do.

The best decisions I have made in my life were the ones that didn’t make sense to others. When you feel like being a part of something, just do it. Don’t think about the money or what you think you deserve. When you are a part of a project you love, you will perfect your craft. And that always leads to something bigger and better. Don’t wait to have what you think you need. If you are truly meant to do something, take a leap of faith and people will follow you.

Favorite movie and why:

One of my favorite movies is Crash. As far as films that tell multiple stories go, this was one of the best.  

Client Spotlight | Carol’s Cookies

Meet Carol’s Cookies

Bottle Rocket Media offers a taste of what it’s like to work with one of Chicago’s most in-demand purveyors of all-natural gourmet eats. With almost 40 years of operations under its belt, Carol’s Cookies met the production team with both a seasoned “understanding of marketing and video,” and a monster success story to share with the world. The end result is an intimate portrait of a family business – and a slightly heavier crew.

Bottle Rocket Media founder, Dan Fisher, spotlights the added value of working with a vice president that “gets” production: “Our partnership with Carol’s Cookies wouldn’t be nearly as productive without direct collaboration with Jeff Goldman – son of Carol. He is one of those rare clients that holds a true understanding of marketing and video, and how to maximize his spend. Plus, his passion for the family business keeps him engaged, which makes working with him and his team a lot of fun.”

Like many other creative adventures in video, Bottle Rocket Media’s work with Carol’s Cookies took a few twists and turns along the way “to become even more impactful than originally conceived,” adds Fisher. What initially presented itself as a company overview became more of an intimate portrait once the team arrived on site and “felt the love” for Carol and her 30-plus employees all with the same mission: to make the best cookie, by hand.

After a concept was pinpointed, a few technical hurdles remained as they almost always do in the world of video production—this is where Bottle Rocket Media’s collective shooting knowledge shines through: “We thrive on overcoming obstacles and coming away with new ideas on every project,” Fisher continues. “The big challenge on this one was shooting around a giant Cookie Monster mural that took over almost the entire background at the brand’s HQ. The interviews had to be extraordinarily coordinated. Thanks to Brett’s [Brett Singer, Co Director and Business Partner] ingenuity there’s not even a sliver of it in the final video.”

Framing aside, the experience’s overall smooth tone was set from the very beginning: “We sat down with the client and got to know more about Carol’s Cookies by asking questions and soaking up the history,” Fisher says. “Because of Jeff’s open-door attitude, our team was able to gain valuable insight into the how and why behind the brand. Once we started filming, we let the story lead the way.”

This was not the team’s first engagement with infamous Chicago cookie queen; Bottle Rocket Media has also partnered with the client on a series of videos in which Carol surprises people at work. “Both engagements were a pleasure,” Fisher adds. “Especially since Jeff allows us to be creative and always use our expertise to up the ante and upgrade the content.”

According to Goldman, the feelings are mutual: “People always say that you can have it done quickly, cost effectively, or have high quality – but, you can’t have all three. Well, Bottle Rocket proves those people wrong,” he asserts. “[Carol’s Cookies] searched for a firm that could communicate the handmade beauty of our cookies without breaking the bank—you have to sell a lot of cookies to pay for a big campaign. Bottle Rocket was able to meet a strict deadline, stay within budget and create material that is relatively timeless. They made us feel comfortable on camera – which helped it feel natural, yielding an excellent end product. We can’t wait to do another fun project like this with their team.”

“We also look forward to more projects in the future with Jeff and his team,” Fisher concludes. “The cookies are amazing, by the way. Our next challenge will be figuring out how to not gain weight during production.”

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What We’re Thankful For This Year – 2018

Here at Bottle Rocket Media, we have a lot to be thankful for, seriously, A. LOT. We’ve had an incredible year working with some of the best people and had some ridiculous new experiences. Just in this year, we have hung out of a helicopter with a 360 camera, hiked in Muir woods to get the best shot, filmed with none other than Snoop Dogg, and Ludacris, we even got a little wild with some friendly cows and sharks. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, we’ve had so much fun it is impossible to fit it all in just one blog. We are so thankful for each and every one of you and our extended Bottle Rocket Media family for making it one hell of a year. Now, we’d like to share just a few other things we are thankful for!

Amy Davila

Bridget Groves

Siobhan Summers

Dan Wulfing

Dave Sarno

Brett Singer

Dan Fisher