Category Archives: Commercial

Eagle Lands Commercial Client


By George Riddell Editor

Seattle, the Puget Sound and a bald eagle with impeccable timing have combined to create new Washington production fans out of an Austin advertising agency.

Seattle’s World Famous was pitching for the creation of several dozen commercial/web videos for Samsung Smart TVs. And, according to World Famous co-founder Alan Nay, the production company was a finalist, along with an L.A. production company that had a previous track record with the agency.Day_03_World_Famous_Samsung-0789

“The agency was skeptical about shooting in Seattle,” said Nay. “They weren’t sure they would have enough wardrobe, furniture and art direction options here compared to L.A., where they were more comfortable.”

Nay approached Washington Filmworks executive director Amy Lillard to see whether the project could qualify for the Washington Film Incentive under the Commercialize Seattle program. Within a few days, Lillard had consulted with the Filmworks board and confirmed that the project would indeed qualify. So World Famous was able to include the state incentive Day_03_World_Famous_Samsung-0811rebate in their final bid.

“It allowed us to add a third day of shooting, which won the bid for us,” said Nay.

According to Nay, when production started the agency team was blown away. The crew—led by Nay as director, DP Ryan Purcell and line producer Craig Stevens—gave the agency team everything they wanted.

The three-day shoot took place in a Ballard home provided by the location management team of Peter Allen and Cat Macek.

“We were up on the bluff overlooking Puget Sound on 32nd Day_02_World_Famous_Samsung-0828Avenue, so the view was amazing,” said Nay. “On the second day we went outside for our one exterior shot. The sun was shining, and this bald eagle flies over us and lands in a tree 25 feet directly above the client. They were impressed. We’ll probably get them back next year.”

Following the memorable shoot in Seattle, World Famous performed all video editing, special effects and other post-production on a total of 45 videos for the Samsung Smart TVs.

Keblas Becomes A Creature

James Keblas, former director of the Seattle Office of Film and Music has been named President of Seattle advertising agency Creature.  The announcement was made today by Matt Peterson, Creature Co-Founder and CEO at a press conference on the steps of Seattle City Hall.

(l - r) New Creature President James Keblas, with co-founder and Chief Creative Director Jim Haven  and Co-Founder and CEO Matt Peterson.

(l – r) New Creature President James Keblas, with co-founder and Chief Creative Director Jim Haven and Co-Founder and CEO Matt Peterson.


Creature president James Keblas speaking on the steps of Seattle City Hall

Creature president James Keblas speaking on the steps of Seattle City Hall

Peterson described Keblas as “a passionate troublemaker” as he introduced him to the assembled group of Creature employees, city workers and advertising industry members in attendance.  “It feels great to be a Creature!” Keblas shouted as he basked in the sunshine on the steps of city hall.

The press conference was orchestrated by Creature to thank Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, who famously ousted Keblas in February, after he had served nine successful years in his post with the Office of Film and Music.  Creature’s #ThxMayor campaign on social media called attention to their new hire – and made it clear they were the beneficiary.  Keblas himself told the audience “I want to thank Mayor Murray for giving me this amazing opportunity. Imagine what I can do in the private sector with a healthy expense account.”

He expects to bring to Creature new connectivity to arts & entertainment, as well as access to deep-seated relationships he has cultivated with business and elected officials during his time with city government.

His first venture into advertising will start with keeping Creature strong. “I wouldn’t have joined just any ad agency,” Keblas said. “I was a client of Creature.  What they did for the city’s Commercialize Seattle campaign was phenomenal. I’m excited to be part of that.”

Why Not Us?

Blue Plate Richard Sherman Shoot

Ernie Sapiro Photography

Northwest production company gets national attention

By Brian Pelzel & Doug Cooper

It’s so nice to be in the Pacific Northwest! For too long, the rest of the country has basically forgotten about the upper left-hand corner.  Sure, they know that it’s the home of Boeing and Microsoft and that it has an unparalleled obsession with coffee. But this February, like it or not, people took notice.

The Seattle Seahawks did the unimaginable. In just two short years, they stripped the team down to the second youngest in NFL history. They focused on integrity, winning one game at a time, fundamentals, competitiveness and flawless execution. They said things like, “The Separation Is in the Preparation” and “Why Not Us?”

They simply walked the walk. And they walked right into the national spotlight and completely manhandled the team that was “supposed” to win.

That kind of spirit has been alive in the Northwest for some time now, especially in the production community. And it seems like in the last few years, many from across the country have taken notice.

Almost a year ago, Blue Plate Digital was referred to a very large Chicago ad agency that handles CenturyLink. They needed a local solution to shoot Richard Sherman for their upcoming TV, outdoor and print campaign.  It was a fateful day in July when we descended upon CenturyLink Field, and we had one great shoot. Our job was to capture it all, and turn the assets over to the agency for editing back in the Windy City.

For many years, it has been our attitude that a shoot should be a positive experience for everyone involved.  We nurture a culture of positive energy, laughter and fun while providing a high level of creative and professional execution. The shoot went so well that the agency also awarded us the post-production.

It was an honor to provide this service. We offered a fair estimate to create the spots and moved full speed ahead. Of course, the editing hours in the estimate were light based on the learning curve of working with a new client, but we stuck to the original number and gave them a deal. It was fair; after all, we were not even in the running for the post work.

Then, not even two months pass when we receive a call from a different producer at the same Chicago agency. Word got around about our abilities and positive attitude on the CenturyLink project, and they wanted the same team approach for a new Boeing PR campaign. Six months later this project is wrapping up and everyone connected to the project is thrilled.

So there it is. Being nice, listening to the clients’ needs, understanding and honoring value, providing positive and flawless execution. That’s what sets us apart in the Northwest, and why the rest of the country is beginning to take notice.

Go Hawks!

Blue Plate Digital is a unique full service “hybrid” production company offering state of the art production tools with unique and affordable creative solutions. Visit for more.

Media Inc. Announces Film Production Focus, Adds Editors

Longtime Pacific Northwest publication Media Inc. has announced it will re-focus its content and increase its editorial resources to provide exclusive coverage of the region’s film and video production industry. Media Inc. has been an industry leader for thirty years, covering the Pacific Northwest creative, film production, marketing and advertising industries.  The re-formatted magazine and digital edition will now provide dedicated coverage solely to the region’s film and video production industry.

As part of the magazine’s new focus, the editorial staff has grown, with the addition of Seattle-based Executive Editor George Riddell and Portland-based Associate Editor Susan Haley.

Riddell-Haley copy

Their combined film, video and television experience spans over three decades. They join the existing Media Inc. staff to develop stories and oversee coverage of the Pacific Northwest film and video production industry. “This region is home to a vibrant filmmaking scene comprised of thousands of film professionals and businesses,” Riddell said. “Media Inc. is now their magazine. We’re going to be developing content and resources that are important to what they do.”

Haley’s specific responsibility for covering the Oregon film industry is a significant change for Media Inc. “The film and production community in Oregon has been growing for several years,” she said. “With multiple TV series and feature films in production each year, it’s an exciting place to be.”

It’s Time to Commercialize Seattle

Mayor Mike McGinn kicks off the Commercialize Seattle presentation.

Washington Filmworks (WF), in partnership with the Seattle Office of Film + Music, is pleased to have launched Commercialize Seattle, a new business development campaign designed to drive commercial film production and advertising business. This past August more than 350 people gathered at the monthly Film + Music + Interactive Happy Hour in Seattle to learn more about the new initiative and see elements of the marketing campaign; that’s a record attendance for the monthly event!

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn kicked off the presentation to a packed house of industry veterans, representing agencies, production companies, cast, and crew. Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, prime sponsor of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, was also there to support the launch of the initiative.

If you missed the event we invite you to check out the Commercialize Seattle Web site  (, a landing page for all things commercial in our region.

Would you like to be a part of Commercialize Seattle? Register today. Interested production companies in Washington can register at

Why register?
1. As a registered production company, WF will include your contact information in our Commercial Production Resource Guide, which is circulated to advertising agencies, directors and producers interested in working in Washington State.

2. Another benefit of registering is that your business is now eligible to participate in the production incentive program as part of our recently launched Commercial Business Development Plan (CBDP). The CBDP is an innovative new approach to how WF allocates funding assistance for commercial productions. The program offers lucrative financial incentives to advertising agencies that choose to use Washington-based production companies that are registered with WF.

WF is currently holding in reserve 15  percent of its annual allocation to support this new initiative. Under the new program, advertising agencies may apply for funding assistance. If an advertising agency chooses to work with an in-state production company, WF will offer a 25-percent return on their in-state spending (as compared to a 15-percent return if they choose to use a production company from out of state). An additional 5 percent of the in-state spend will be given to your business to help cover the administrative costs of the application and completion package process, which is a requirement of the program.

The CBDP Fact Sheet gives an overview of the program. For a full list of the requirements of how to qualify, please review the CBDP Guidelines and Criteria, which are available at

3. Once your business is registered, you may also submit your recent production work for possible inclusion in the “Latest Work” section at As we promote Seattle and the region as a destination for commercial production, we will point potential clients to to show off the capabilities of our creative community. This section of the Web site will be updated constantly to show the best of what we have to offer. For more information about how to submit, please send an e-mail to

If you have specific questions about the Commercial Business Development Plan, please contact WF Executive Director Amy Lillard at 206-264-0667 or e-mail

Our collective goal with Commercialize Seattle is to bring more commercial work to Seattle and the region. The Commercialize Seattle Web site and the CBDP are powerful tools that will help give our Washington-based production companies an opportunity to pitch ad agencies for business that is not currently being done in-state. We’re ready, are you?

We look forward to partnering with you on Commercializing Seattle!