“There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.” - Frank Capra

When we talk about making awesome, this is exactly what we mean. We worked integrally with Charlie Warner of MGE to craft unique, impactful short stories that would uniquely reach a millennial audience.

Charlie Warner – Residential Services Manager

The Goal

He wanted to transform his customers’ perception of their power company, which is traditionally only thought of as a bill every month, into an engaging and interesting brand voice. Specifically targeting millennials was the challenge and the opportunity. This was a challenge because this target demographic is known to be very skeptical. They can tell when you’re being unauthentic from a mile away, and it immediately turns them off. This was an opportunity because it was an untapped market. This demographic hasn’t traditionally been marketed to in a significant way. So the question is, how do you create something to make your power company… interesting?

This is a jib shot from the massive dance number at the end of EV Land. It includes six ballet dancers, a hip-hop crew, and a load of EV owners. For this shot, we shut down a portion of a road in Madison.

The Components

We created a series of videos that can be seen on the genre2030 website.

1. Fresh Cuts

This film follows Lue, who lives in Madison and likes Muhammad Ali, basketball, and jazz. It explores his daily craft experience and the impact that electricity has on it.

Film Influences: Taxi Driver (1976), Wizard of Oz (1939), Mo’ Better Blues (1990)

2. Electric City

In this film, we explore the experience of Raddish, a DJ by night and a graphic designer by… later night. See how electricity plays into his story.

Film Influences: Mr. Robot (2015-2019), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

3. Meter Things (a play on Stranger Things)

Bria is a storyteller, filmmaker, and creator of videos that make you laugh and feel included in this world. This film dramatizes the horror of phantom power draws in your house.

Film Influences: Stranger Things (2016-2025)

4. Juicy Joules

Saints Madison Juice Company was founded by Joanna Um and Joyce Cullen, two Madison women on a lifelong journey to optimize our health and have fun doing it.

Film Influences: Every HGTV/Netflix food show ever

5. EV Land (our series capstone)

See the description below.

Our lead practices her ballet on the roof of her apartment overlooking the capital at the beginning of EV Land.

The Process

The first page of storyboards for EV Land. See if you can match the shots in the boards with these in the video.

The best part about this project was working with Charlie. He is the ultimate cinephile. He puts it this way:

“a lot of movies are based on a true story, but my story is based on a lot of movies.”
– Charlie Warner

Charlie’s love of cinema brought a unique perspective to the creative process. He came to the creative meeting with an idea of each film’s goal, his film influences, and an openness to collaborate with our creatives. We talked about each film’s subject and their stories and considered various films as examples of cinematic and storytelling themes.

We watched movies and movie clips to develop our creative vision for each film. This helped us create mood boards and storyboards that clearly communicated the vision with Charlie and our crew.

Ryan holds a ‘Sunday Best’ feature about the production of EV Land

The Production

Most of these productions were a small crew (internal to Backflip with the addition of one of our favorite DPs, Jordan Post). But our crew has been working together for years so that we can accomplish great things with fewer resources. 

This project represents the perfect mix of collaborative vision and deliberate execution. Many things came up on set that could not have been planned for, but when you go through the exercise of thinking of everything you can and working with experts, you’re ready to handle any challenge.

Each film was shot in just one day, with the editing and color grading to follow after.

EV Land – A Special Capstone

The capstone film in this series, EV Land, was something special. For the final film in this series, we produced our own take on La La Land but with electric vehicles. Charlie’s prompt was to create something that combined the features of electric vehicles with the style of La La Land. Oh, and to make it a musical as well. This was to coincide with a big promotional EV event and grant.

Again, we sat down and watched the source material, La La Land, with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone to develop our creative direction. Since this was a musical, we connected with the composer Joshua Stromer.  We previously worked with him on our documentary, ‘ Power in My Hands.’ We provided him with the story we had come up with and the creative behind the piece, and he wrote a pass of the lyrics and music. We workshopped the lyrics and came up with what we think was an instant hit:

Custom Pop Song – Electricity

Fun fact: Several of us actually got to perform as background on the track. Listen closely and see if you can tell 😉

Check out the video here:

BTS Photos