Throwback Thursday: How We Got the Big One

We are often asked how our company got to where it is — that is, how we get paid to do what we do. One of the jobs that helped take Happy Little Guillotine Studios from a young, upstart company to where we are today was the 7-Eleven Road Trip Rally.

First, a little bit about the project:

7-Eleven and their agency, TracyLocke wanted to do something unprecedented in 2010 — they wanted to create a large scale-branded campaign. The idea was intense — two teams, starting on either coast, would drive across the country for three weeks, doing challenges at 7-Eleven’s along the way, until they finally met up at the Indy 500. Daily (that’s right daily) episodes would be released to showcase their crazy journey.

This is before the Ford Focus Rally on Hulu stole the idea, by the way.

But we digress! TracyLocke sent out an RFP (request for proposal) to various companies to get pitches. Blip got one of those pitches. We’ve had a very close relationship with Blip for many years — we put our very first series, Break a Leg, on Blip (when they were just starting up), and developed a friendship with the good folks over there. We then started shooting (and still periodically shoot)  numerous short branded commercials for them.

Just to give credit where it’s due, Evan Gotlib, Blip’s Head of Sales at the time, was the one that starting pushing Blip to create branded content and the first people he reached out to was us. So we will forever be thankful to his grumpy, Glengarry Glen Ross-ish face.

Blip needed a way to beat out the competition. And so did we — the budget for this was high, much higher than anything we’ve ever worked with, and the competition consisted of several large TV networks.

So, how did we win it? The same way we’ve won many gigs soon after that one — we took a weekend, called our usual actors, and shot a trailer for what the show would look like.

So, now, for the first time ever, we’re sharing our pitch here! Check it out…

According to the agency, after seeing that pitch they knew immediately we were the ones that they wanted to hire and then we were off on a very, very crazy and intense adventure. Needless to say, we all — agency included — became very close after that.

The shooting a pitch video thing has been something we’ve done to get other larger projects and something we highly recommend for production companies trying to get a leg up.

Now, for the hell of it, here’s the actual trailer we released for the show. We were in a rush and only had footage from the auditions, so, a lot of this is actually built out of the original pitch.

And that, our dear friends, is our little throwback for you!