Field Notes, the paper products and accessories brand best known for its stylish notepads—designed by Aaron Draplin, whom you'll remember from yesterday—attempts to convey the intensity and magic of the written word in this holiday film appearing on its website.
The moody 80-second clip began as a purely creative project "about remembrance and family," says director Matthew James Thompson, before he pitched the project via production house North of New York to Field Notes as a piece of branded content. "I shot on a 5D using only natural light over Fourth of July up in Maine," he tells AdFreak. "I wanted to keep it extremely natural, like a video diary, so I kept everything very small and non-invasive."
Quick cuts of children and grownups—running, laughing, just being themselves—are mixed with shots of stormy seas, late-night drives and fireworks to create an evocative montage. The spot's impact is greatly enhanced by poetic copy penned by Thompson's friend Adam Cote, a copywriter at Arnold, and delivered in understated, thoughtful tones by Irish-born actor Jarlath Conroy:
"Let us never forget the sprawling genius of a midnight dream, and how silly it seems in the light of day. Let us never forget the mundane and the beautiful. Let us never forget why we write. To remember what happened … what could have happened … what didn't happen. We write to find out how it ends. So let us keep writing. And let us never forget how it feels to hold life in your hand."
Some might find the emphasis on physically writing stuff down old-fashioned. But of course it's on point for Field Notes, and really resonates if one views the clip as an invitation to seek deeper meaning, instead of hastily tossing off tweets and posting images willy-nilly. Beyond its branding purpose, the director sees the film as an homage to heartfelt handwritten composition, and he hopes to inspire viewers to grab their pens and capture life's special moments before they pass by.
Happy Holidays from Field Notes Brand, Coudal Partners and the Draplin Design Company.
Executive Producer: Harrison Nalevansky
Director: Matthew James Thompson
Copywriter: Adam Cote
Voiceover: Jarlath Conroy
Editor: Matt Schaff of Whitehouse Post
Music: Justin Hori for Squeak E Clean Productions
Executive Producer for Squeak E Clean Productions: Carol Dunn
Sound Design: Josh Wilson
The Knight, Lively, Bessey and Thompson families