Josh Duhamel and his Dakota Media have been within the lab with the Los Angeles Rams.
The result’s a brand new undertaking titled “Change the Equation,” and it finds the Rams (and some movie star associates) “heading again to the lab” per se to formulate the 2023 workforce within the SoFi Draft Lab, which serves because the headquarters for the group throughout the upcoming NFL Draft. It stars Breaking Dangerous Emmy-winning pair Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul (Dos Hombres Mezcal co-founders), celebrity DJ Diplo and comedy icon Cheech Marin as they help the Rams to find the proper method for this yr’s draft. Diplo additionally contributed music for the 90-second clip.
The spot is the newest installment in a inventive collection that the Rams kicked off in 2021 as a solution to highlight the workforce’s NFL Draft actions. The primary one starred Insurgent Wilson and a number of visitor stars (together with Rams gamers) and was set at a luxurious Malibu dwelling for director Justin Polk. Final yr’s branded quick got here from director Paul Hunter and proved to be a high-octane providing that featured the abilities of Josh Holloway, Scott Eastwood, Tyrese Gibson and Dennis Quaid.
“Change the Equation” is a coup for Duhamel’s Dakota Media, a inventive company that makes a speciality of talent-driven initiatives, model storytelling, manufacturing and media. The actor, filmmaker and producer is companions within the endeavor with Joshua Algra and Mick and Will Kelleher. The foursome has labored for such corporations because the PGA, 3M, Open Desk, AT&T, Hyundai, Bobcat and others.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Duhamel to speak about collaborating with the Rams group on the spot, how his workforce splits inventive duties and why it was so necessary to function Rams followers within the undertaking. The dialog comes simply weeks forward of Duhamel’s subsequent big-screen outing in Buddy Video games 2. Out Could 19, the sequel is a part of the movie franchise that’s primarily based on his personal thought and impressed by real-life experiences, and in addition served because the inspiration for a brand new CBS actuality competitors collection.
However first extra about “Change the Equation”: The video pays homage to stars the Rams drafted through the years like Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Jordan Fuller, Van Jefferson and Ernest Jones, the household and associates of gamers who have a good time that second, and the followers who make up the “Ramily.” It debuts on the L.A. Rams’ digital and social channels and is timed to this week’s NFL Draft for which the Rams can be posted up on the SoFi Draft Lab for all three days of the NFL Draft from April 27–29.
How did this undertaking come to you and Dakota Media?
We began this digital media firm just a few years in the past and have slowly constructed up a pleasant little resume of labor, and we’re having a blast. To date, it’s principally branded storytelling for numerous corporations. We’ve been associates with [Rams vp brand strategy] Lexi Vonderlieth over on the Rams, and we went and pitched them on some concepts, principally smaller stuff. We’ve stayed in contact with them and so they requested us to pitch an thought for the draft home that they do yearly. I used to be an enormous fan of what they’ve been doing, and once they requested us to give you [a concept], I used to be like, “Oof, right here we go. This can be a huge one.”
Final yr’s video was a couple of heist, stealing the draft after having no picks as a result of they gained the Tremendous Bowl, and it was actually enjoyable. They didn’t have such an awesome yr final yr so this grew to become about going again to the drafting board or going again to the lab in all its numerous metaphors for what meaning to totally different individuals. We received Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, Diplo and Cheech Marin and others who helped drive this factor and narrate us via. To me, one of the crucial necessary components of it was the followers. I actually wished the followers to be part of this as a result of oftentimes we get so caught up within the Hollywood glitz and glam as a result of it’s Los Angeles.
Why was that so necessary to you?
In the case of this metropolis and this workforce, it’s as a lot concerning the individuals and the followers as it’s about the rest. And that basically comes via right here as a result of this group has a extremely deep historical past. They have been in L.A. after which they have been in St. Louis and now they’re again. So, it’s been a little bit troublesome, I believe, for the fan base to comply with them after they left and got here again and I wished to supply a reminder of that historical past, how necessary it’s, how good this workforce actually is and the way nice their management is. I received an opportunity to take a seat with [general manager] Les Snead, [head coach] Sean McVey and [defensive coordinator] Raheem Morris, and so they’re simply unimaginable dudes, captains of trade of their subject. That’s what actually impresses me, how good they’re, how achieved and cozy they’re, particularly at such a younger age. Sean was 30 when he received that job. I imply, 30. I might barely stability my checkbook at 30, and he’s operating the Rams.
What have been the collaborations like with the Rams group?
That’s all the time the enjoyable for me on this. Dakota began like a aspect hustle for me, one thing enjoyable to do as a solution to do extra directing, modifying and be concerned in inventive improvement. I like developing with concepts and considering exterior the field; discovering methods to be positively disruptive. That’s what our firm is about, discovering new methods for individuals to see what they all the time thought one thing could possibly be. We wished to inform enjoyable tales that might penetrate all of the noise. That’s what we’ve carried out for corporations like 3M, Bobcat and a bunch of others that we’ve labored with.
That’s why working with the Rams on this has been so enjoyable as a result of they’ve the identical concepts and so they wished to do one thing totally different. The concept of creating a little bit film, a 90-second spot across the draft? No one else does that — not less than not at this degree. The chance to work with Lexi, [Rams vp and general manager, Rams Studios] Marissa Daly and [Rams chief marketing officer] Kathryn Kai-ling Frederick has been so extremely collaborative. Generally corporations are extra open and generally they aren’t however the Rams have been a lot enjoyable. It’s been a dream. They’ve allow us to go off and give you some actually enjoyable stuff as a result of they trusted us. I believe persons are going to be actually hype about this. If you happen to’re a fan of soccer, and particularly in case you’re a fan of the Rams, you’re gonna watch this and go, “Fuck yeah, I’m pumped for the 2023 soccer season.”
The credit that I learn stated that your organization Dakota directed and produced this spot. How do you break up duties? Who directed and who produced?
Ollie [Stokes] is the official director however I directed elements of it and he directed elements of it. We type of simply break up the duties. We don’t actually have ego in relation to that. We simply actually wish to ship the absolute best undertaking. What I dropped at it was this tailgate concept that got here to life. It wasn’t part of the unique pitch, so I took that half over. It’s been a full, all-hands-on-deck method. All of us simply do no matter we have to do to make it as nice as potential.
I’d think about that touchdown an enormous undertaking like this evokes what you wish to do subsequent for Dakota?
Yeah. It truly is an enormous deal for our firm. I actually really feel like we’re making strides and doing actually cool stuff. We wish to preserve working with actually cool corporations, telling actually cool tales. I wish to do a Tremendous Bowl industrial subsequent yr. That’s what I would like. I would like individuals to say, “Rattling, these guys might ship an incredible industrial for our model.” I imagine we are able to do it. That is going to be the proof that we are able to.
For me personally, it’s simply an opportunity to maintain my chops up as a creator. I like appearing and it’s the place I make my dwelling, however I actually love the inventive and collaborative course of, the making of the sausage. I like developing with intelligent concepts, placing them down on paper, placing collectively the bodily manufacturing, capturing it, modifying it, sound designing it, like all of the issues that go into it. It’s generally far more work than it’s price. However on the finish of the day, it’s what I like to do. And I simply wish to get higher and higher.
Does this imply you’ll be at extra Rams video games subsequent season, and if that’s the case, who will inform the one you love Vikings?
That’s the factor, I’m in all probability going to take lots of crap from my associates. Anyone that is aware of me, is aware of I like my Vikings, however that doesn’t imply that I can’t ship an incredible product for the Rams. I’ve actually discovered to actually love this workforce, this unimaginable group and the entire individuals who lead it — everybody from the coaches to the GM to the advertising workforce. They’ve all been actually enjoyable to work with and so they gave us an enormous shot. How can we not take it? I’ll all the time and eternally be a Viking fan however that doesn’t imply I can’t root for the Rams as effectively.