Two aspiring filmmakers have changed the course of advertising in the higher learning category, in a snap.
Henry Inglis and Aaron McCann (aka Henry & Aaron), two graduates of Western Australia’s Central Institute of Technology wrote, directed and star in “It’s A Snap,” a commercial/short film promoting the school. The video commences with Aaron appearing from nowhere and then acting as a magic tour guide for Henry, able to teleport around CIT campus at a snap of his fingers. At the outset, It’s a self-consciously cheesy approach to a category known for its anodyne advertising, but one with more realistic-looking actors. And then things take an unexpected turn, and the short ends up in a place far from where college ads typically go.
Henry & Aaron attended CIT from 2001 to 2003, and the school contributed to the duo’s 2011 Henry and Aaron’s 7 Steps to Superstardom, a web series created for Movie Extra Webfest, a contest held by movie channel Movie Network Channels.
“In exchange, we told (CIT) that we would make a web video promoting the school,” says Inglis. “So, we produced it for free and all the crew who worked on the web series kindly donated their time.”
McCann and Inglis say the school didn’t balk at the unconventional approach. “They read the script, loved it, and told us to go and make it,” says McCann. “They gave us full creative freedom, which was a plus, and extremely brave of them, but it all worked in their favor.”
CIT Head of Marketing Kenley Gordon commissioned the project and allowed the duo to shoot around the campus. “It was Kenley who took a huge chance on it, and it looks like it’s paid off for him,” says Inglis. The payoff has come in the form of nearly 2 million views in the few days the short has been online.
Inglis, McCann and producer Lauren Elliott run a production company called Perfectly Adequate. The two filmmakers also write and perform comedy, and when they’re not making their own projects, Inglis specializes in post-production and McCann works as an Assistant Director. They’ve both worked on shorts, commercials, music videos, TV series, web series, and feature films in Western Australia.
Henry and Aaron’s 7 Steps to Superstardom was the pair’s first funded project as a team. The directors won the contest’s $50,000 prize to write, direct, and star in the seven-part comedy series. McCann’s zombie short film, Perished, has been selected for the SXSW Film Festival this year.