Comstock's magazine 0818 - August 2018 - Page 42

n TOURISM n tourism “We are trying new things here, and that’s not a road we’ve traveled down before.” —Mike Testa, CEO, Visit Sacramento Visit Sacramento CEO Mike Testa outlines the tourism agency's vision at its annual luncheon in June. photo : charles vincent mcdonald the city within a narrative story, including local destinations “as more background characters” that would allow viewers to “get a different idea of Sacramento without it being in your face,” Testa says. The agency signed off on $20,000 in seed funding, with plans to premiere the film at its annual luncheon. Borden, a producer on the project, says the team intended to present a more authentically diverse picture of Sacramento than the one Lady Bird portrayed. Even with the cinematic halo it cast on Sacramento’s beauty, Lady Bird, about a mid- dle-class teen attending Catholic school in 2002, delivered a very narrow — and very white — portrait of the city. “That’s not the story [our team was] able to tell, but what we could tell is the story of a lot of young creative artists and awesome people that are here and have diverse friend groups,” Borden says. “It’s a very different portrait.” But the project ran into issues. There were creative dis- agreements about the plot, script and scenes, leading to multiple rewrites and edits in a short time. Visit Sacramento wanted a new kind of branding video that highlighted so- cial-media friendly destinations in the city set against the backdrop of a compelling narrative appealing to a younger generation. The producers, meanwhile, had set out to capture the personalities and relationships that make Sacramento great. While the artists did technically deliver, the plot’s effort to weave in multiple perspectives in the span of 15 minutes muddles its message. Ultimately, the characters’ relation- 42 | August 2018 ships to one another — and the city — aren't entirely clear. The subtlety of the branding means Sacramento is only said once, and immediately recognizable landmarks — the State Capitol, B Street Theatre and LowBrau — are flashes on the screen. In the end, Visit Sacramento decided not to show the film at the luncheon. The timing didn’t line up, and Testa says that while he felt the film captured the community’s diversity, the project didn’t deliver from a marketing standpoint. “I don’t want to criticize the film because the film was fun, but I think it didn’t quite have the splash that we wanted to have,” he says. “Maybe we expected Lady Bird in a short, and that’s just unrealistic." Borden and the film’s director Jessa Ciel agree that while the final product may have fallen short of its broader mission, they remain proud of the final product and say the experience was nonetheless valuable. Ciel calls it a lesson in the importance of communicating expectations and navigating the balance of client needs with artistic vision. In setting out to make a film their peers would want to see, the crew failed to fully consider w ]\HڋBX[\ۘ]H]]\]]YY[Hو\[\[][]HXY\[X\]Xܘ[Y[]YHBY[ۋ\]Xܘ[Y[H^\8'Y&]X\\[H]BH[XYH܈H^\Y[H^K8&\x&\]H\x&\H]YY[K&x'B'HY][Y\]H\][[\\\HܙX]]B[H\[\8'HH^\ˈ8'H[H\]YH\[[x&\HXH\H][[ۈܙX]HY][[ܙHB\[[]\ˈY][]8&\\^ 'BH[[]\Y[XZ]Y ]H]HوH[B\H]\Z[Y [ H[YZ\YHڙX\HܝH^\[Y[ 8'H\HZ[][\K[