When Dana May was getting her BFA in Electronic Media at the University of Cincinnati, she interned at Guiding Light, which sounds like as good a place as any to prepare for a career as an agency producer. "Much respect to all of the people who work in soap operas," May says. "They work their asses off." Following that experience, May, 30, entered the agency world in 2001 when she signed up with JWT, where she worked in the in-house postproduction department, before moving to Ogilvy & Mather in 2003. "My first job was for Huggies, dealing with babies in bathtubs," she recalls. "That was my very first, hands-on, all-on-my-own job, which I'm very proud of to this day, but what a way to get your feet wet." Um, literally.
At Ogilvy, May also produced spots for Time Warner?including a surreal number by Francois Vogel in which internet surfers' faces are deformed by the speed of their connections?and the memorable "Unbeermanlike Conduct" campaign for Miller. Now as a producer at Droga5 for just about a year?she joined in Febuary of 2008?she appears to be fitting right in. Thus far, her credits include two virals for the YouTube crowd. One, for challenger cell company Net10, appears to be a run-of-the-mill prank?as we see a guy put his cell phone in the microwave?until a demon (representing the "evil" of the telecom giants) emerges, courtesy of the monster makers at Stan Winston. In another, "Bike Hero"?essentially a three-minute music video for "Prisoner of Society" by The Living End, produced for Activision?we see what it would be like if Guitar Hero's familiar system of guides were laid out in the physical world. "It was a mathematical feat," May says. "Everything was timed perfectly, from miles-per-hour to seconds of the song to frames-per-second to get every beat in sync, and then it was built with the effects team at Method to make all of those things seem as real and seamless as possible." As for moving to a boutique operation like Droga5, May couldn't be happier. "We're very small and we're very nimble," she says. "We love the changes that are happening in advertising and embrace the changes in production and all of that. That's something that we get excited about. We love the challenge."