CHICAGO—If the new ad campaign for Knott’s Berry Farm is any indication, visitors to the park’s annual Knott’s Scary Farm event are going to get the bejesus scared out of them. Chicago hybrid production studio Vitamin Pictures produced the multi-platform package for agency Cramer-Krasselt. It consists of a series of gritty, high tension television ads and webisodes populated by sinister clowns, macabre dentists and ravenous zombies.
The creep factor is high. Clown follows a young woman through a bleak warehouse scattered with children’s toys. Turning a corner, she’s confronted by a demented clown with a tortured grin. Just as he’s about to pounce, the scene cuts to a title card reading “Whatever you’re imagining, it’s here.” Tooth Fairy reveals an even grimmer encounter between a man and a dentist who’s performing oral surgery without the benefit of anesthesia.
Vitamin creative director Danny DelPurgatorio notes that all of the spots are structured to end a split second before something nasty happens. “We’re playing on the fears viewers bring to the spots themselves,” he observes.
Vitamin’s creative team worked closely with their counterparts from Cramer-Krasselt in detailing the scenarios and visual style. “From the treatment stage we were in sync, visually and conceptually,” DelPurgatorio recalls. “We developed a trust that allowed us to push things in a direction that is pretty cool, and really scary.”
Vitamin, which handled everything from live action production through editorial and post, knows something about scary pictures. It produced the short horror film Other¸ which has won numerous awards including Best Short at Elvira’s Horror Hunt. “It was great to be hired to make these little horror films for Knott’s,” DelPurgatorio says. “There were severed heads, body parts, blood and gooey stuff all over the place. It was a dream come true.”
Or maybe a nightmare.
Vitamin is located at 232 East Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611. For more information, call 312.664.6683 or visit www.vitaminpictures.tv
Client: Knott’s Berry Farm
Agency: Cramer-Krasselt. Will Meyers, producer; Pat Hanna, creative director; David Vaca, art director; Tom Katers, writer.
Production: Vitamin. Danny DelPurgatorio, director; Larissa Berringer, executive producer; Melody Hinkley, line producer; Chris Vinopal, director of photography; David “Big” Krause, production designer; Cirque FX, prosthetic makeup; Rob Foster, art director; Danny DelPurgatorio, compositor; Michael Siegel, concept artist/3D generalist; Francis Vallejo, storyboard artist; Andrew Maggio, editor; Fred Keller, colorist; Lauryn Grimando, associate producer.