Andy and Y&R Chicago Travel to Amsterdam
A happy couple greets visitors to andyandersonphoto.com. It was shot in Amsterdam for DoubleTree by Hilton. That, of course, explains the bikes, the narrow cobblestone street, and the rows of tall, narrow buildings. It may even account for the couple’s smiling faces. But the light, the dreamy color palette, the focus, and the reflections? That’s all Andy.
I mention the beautiful palette to Andy, who tells me he prides himself on working with color. It shows. But when I speak with the Y&R Chicago creatives on the DoubleTree by Hilton campaign about Andy, they don’t mention his work—they speak of him.
“Andy is such a great personality,” says art producer Sheryl Long. “He is so open, friendly, and funny—it felt as if I’d known him forever.”
A good rapport goes a long way. Add good creative to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for success. Make it a rebrand—even better where Andy’s concerned. He finds rebrands exciting. Brands are usually in a good place, there’s a healthy amount of pressure, and when done right it’s good for everybody. When tapped for the DoubleTree by Hilton rebrand, he was excited to take this big production overseas.
“Andy is someone I have wanted to work with for awhile,” says executive creative director Jeremy Smallwood. “This project for DoubleTree by Hilton was perfect for him. Constantly being on the move, different locations, and lots of talent is usually a daunting prospect, but we knew Andy thrives in these sorts of environments.”
He thrives because he does his homework. There are plenty of challenges when you’re preparing for a library shoot half a world away. “I know what that means, what I need to have in place,” says Andy. He cites getting a crew together here, the time spent researching, putting an Amsterdam crew together—all the while navigating the time difference.
“The Europe shoot for DoubleTree by Hilton was the first chance I have had to work with Andy. And it was a great experience from start to finish,” recalls Long. “He and his rep, Heather Elder, were so accommodating and willing work with us to get the job done. We had a decent budget, but a large amount simply gets eaten up by production expenses and hard costs. Andy went above and beyond to work with us to make it happen.”
And there in lies the crux. Andy believed the creative was worth shooting. “I was willing to partner with the agency,” he says, “because I saw value in this project.” In line with his vision, he remained flexible.
Art Director Estee Mathes recognized this. “You can tell Andy is passionate about his craft. We had a lot of prep to do going into the campaign and I could sense that he couldn’t wait to get started shooting,” says Mathes, who really appreciated Andy wanting both the agency and the client to be happy. “Andy really cares…refusing to move on to the next shot until everyone felt like we had nailed it.”
“For these commercial library shoots, we need to have every shot planned out in advance, which can sometimes get to be too staged or posed,” Long admits. “Andy’s shots looked so natural and in the moment.”
Case in point, remember the happy couple riding their bikes? Long recalls, “The client was liking the street and the angles, so Andy hops on the back of a PA’s scooter. He and the talent go riding around to get other shots—mind you Andy is riding backwards on the scooter.”
Now that’s flexibility at its best.