Andrea MacArthur, Peepshow Post, London, Levi's "Doorman" BBH/london

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Peepshow Post founder Andrea MacArthur has edited everything from Levi's "Car," featuring a stud who rides his wheels like a bucking bronco, to bizarre offbeat comedy for Lee and Egg Bank and even more filmic enterprises like the Bryan Buckley-directed Orange cinema campaign and the feature-length pop culture gem Spice World. Recently, MacArthur, who was one of the founding partners of The Whitehouse, helped to bring Levi's back to the real world in the latest campaign from BBH/London. European advertising for the jeans label in the last few years has become widely known for its effects-laden otherworld fantasies from Michel Gondry and Jonathan Glazer, but the new campaign for the 501 Jeans Anti-Fit line, directed by Omaha's Speck and Gordon, finds its groove on the pavement via street-life vignettes. In "Doorman," seen here, a smart-talkin' chatterbox performs a syncopated spoken word dis to a club's poker-faced doorman, swerving his body and pumping out witty lines in song-like flow. Some of the pacing emerged naturally from the actor's performance, notes MacArthur. "I kept thinking it was kind of like a little street poem," she says. "His manner of delivery was very much like that and I think everybody wanted to keep that nice rhythm-his little breaks, then little rushes and then a break." Although the spots were scripted, there was also an abundance of improvised dialog that in this case, comprised about 50 percent of the spot. "Because it was so ad lib, the lead actor would go off on a completely different tack, so it was almost like writing a script in the editing room, getting a rhythm and a flow and something that kind of made sense," Macarthur explains. "That proved to be tricky because it was difficult to intersperse the ad lib material with the scripted. In that sense, it was the big jigsaw puzzle that editing often is. I'd go through and pick lots of pieces, rhythmically stick them next to each other and see when it started to sound right, when it started to make sense, and tried to bridge any gaps that were achingly horrible. It was a combination of audio and video, listening to everything, making it feel right." Random soundbites courtesy of the actor helped fill in any sonic gaps while maintaining a smooth visual flow. At one point, "I had two pieces from the same shot and the sound for each was great, but I didn't really want to create a jump cut," she notes. "Every now and then the actor would have these little catch phrases. He kept saying things like, 'You know what I'm saying?' So I would take those and slip them in, and it worked quite nicely with the overall rhythm."
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