The first time I stepped into Thompson & Twain, I looked up and said "Oh... I have to shoot here." The 'secret bar' is located behind a nondescript burlap curtain inside Crush&Brew in Old Town Temecula, and had been open about 3 months at the time. I was instantly taken by its Disneyland-level attention to detail in the decor, the wide selection of drinks and the creative menu. I messaged them via Instagram that night, got in touch with management, and about six weeks later we were shooting. I directed the spot, with director of photography William Hellmuth, 1st AC Austin Sabado, grips Sam Saatzer and Michelle Alanis, boom op Kenny Finn, and makeup artist Leanna Halabi.
Our concept was to emphasize the mystery of the bar, with patrons telling eachother how they found it. We had a shoestring budget so we used available personal gear, and all the talent in the commercial are actually employees and friends of the bar. The plan was to load in, shoot, and load out by 6pm, which is when restaurant service started for them. This piece is a great example to clients of just how much you can achieve with tight time, budget, and people. Once we wrapped, I did the edit and color grade, and post sound was handled by Matt Russell at Gain Structure in Boston. Getting paid in bottles of Four Roses Single Barrel for each crew member wasn't too bad either!