I met Dani Cone as part of our Seattle Original campaign for Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union (see “The 5-9: Seattle Original” TV commercials I wrote and directed featuring Gathigi Gishuru). SMCU has had a close relationship with Seattle’s culture and community since its inception in 1933, and for this project we wanted to highlight fellow Seattle Originals who shape our city with their drive, passion and ingenuity. Dani’s presence in the community as an owner of several beloved small businesses, and the unique route she took to creating Hi-Five Pie specifically, made her a perfect candidate.
When I spoke with Dani for the first time, over coffee and pie of course, I was immediately struck by her easy warmth and passion. As she told me her story, I began to get a picture of someone with boundless energy and the patience to see her work through its inevitable highs and the lows. Very few people possess the will power to spend 7 days a week in the kitchen making pies over the course of several years. Considering Dani worked as a barista before starting her first business, Fuel Coffee, I wasn’t surprised to find out that she modestly attributes a lot of her drive to a steady stream of caffeine, but beyond coffee consumption, Dani’s success is tied to possessing the steady persistence to work at something day after day until it’s done right.
The shoot took place at Hi-Five Pie in Capitol Hill and everything looked and smelled as tasty as you would expect. The creative for the piece centered on using motion, both of the camera and in front of it, and a breakneck editing pace, to convey Dani’s unique energy. We had to be very tactical with the schedule given the tight space we were working in and the size of the shot list, but everybody came together to make it a remarkably stress free day. An added challenge was that unlike some shoots where you can capture a variety of angles and have options in the edit, we were using practically every shot we recorded because each visual tied directly to specific lines in Dani’s voiceover.
To make the shots and audio match up correctly, we recorded Dani’s story several weeks before filming began and timed the shots out to their corresponding pieces of dialogue. Through detailed storyboarding and some tough editing decisions, we found a way to begin our story with the economic recession and end years later with the opening of Dani’s third business, Cone and Steiner. That’s a lot of story in thirty seconds, and as a result some great moments got left on the cutting room floor.
My favorite detail that didn’t make the final cut was Dani revealing where her pie recipe comes from. She describes growing up obsessed with her Grandma Molly’s double blackberry pie, and then ultimately using that family recipe to create Hi-Five Pie’s signature crust.
Getting to tell Dani’s story was an awesome experience, and I can’t wait to share the next spot in our Seattle Original campaign for Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union.
About Spin Creative
Spin Creative is a creative agency specializing in brand storytelling to engage, inspire and activate audiences. We design each project to engage viewers, increase audience reach and ultimately help power the success of a campaign, idea or brand.
If you need high impact advertising, digital and social brand storytelling to propel audience engagement, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 206.686.6278 (Seattle) or 415.767.3645 (San Francisco). Our offices are in Seattle and San Francisco but we travel all over the world for our clients.