Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is a Houston based non-profit company dedicated to enriching the arts community with quality musical theatre. No, their shows are not outside, except for the one free show they do each year at Miller Outdoor Theatre. They do have an incredible moving galaxy in their ceiling at Hobby Center, downtown in the Museum district. It even has shooting stars! We don’t just love the work they do, but also the amazing people behind the work. We have been creating commercials for them for over 3 years. We have always found it interesting, the hoops they must jump through to make a commercial.
When a show is being produced by TUTS, many times they have no existing footage to work with, and we have to create something from nothing. Sometimes we use the poster art and simply animate it and use kinetic typography (animated words) to describe it. Other times, as with the show “Annie,” we wrote a script and created a set with actors to appear as if it is a :15 scene from the show.
Each production has a series of commercials that need to be produced. For the first Annie commercial, we set up shop at Claire Applegate’s studio and worked with Shay, the director of Humphries School to film the orphans, Annie and the dog, and a beautiful little piece of Annie and the littlest orphan, Molly. For the scene of the orphans scrubbing the floors, we made a custom rolling camera dolly which was just 4 inches off the floor so we could get a bug’s eye view. It was hard to cut it down to :15 because there was so much great footage!
Then, 2 weeks later, we filmed dress rehearsal to swap out the footage and create a 2nd :30 commercial.
For us, there is an additional benefit to working with TUTS. We know they are non-profit and we want to promote the arts in Houston. TUTS is truly a Houston treasure. Working with them in commercial development has been a treat of creativity and culture.
We would love for you or your company to help TUTS by sponsoring or volunteering.
These are the links:
Theatre Under The Stars is located downtown in the Hobby Center. From the front of the TUTS Theatre, Sarofim Hall, there is a great view of downtown Houston.