The Gabby Petito Story.
We recently created this tease trailer for A+E’s Gabby Petito story. Our aim was to complement the film with a spot that was cinematically powerful while also being deeply sensitive to the subject matter. You’ll see here that we handled this material with a delicate touch, honoring Gabby’s humanity by never showing direct violence towards her and never showing her in a state of distress. Rather than being salacious, ours is a poetic approach that uses hauntingly beautiful abstract imagery to evoke the emotional states of our characters.
with a delicate hand.
Gabby’s story is well known by now, which we thought is all the more reason to be delicate about what we showed. People have no doubt conjured up their own images of what happened to Gabby, so we didn’t need be exploitative by dwelling on the violence of the story—nor did we have to “inform” our viewers by spelling out the facts of the case. With title cards providing the necessary exposition, we were freed up to embrace a more subtle approach. So with that in mind, we created something that allowed the viewer to connect the dots themselves. By using a combination of layered images to tell our story, we were revealing something about our characters’ inner worlds.
We presented 4 directions all similar in their approach but all slightly different in their aesthetic. We felt for such an important story, we needed to explore changes in the smallest of details. Below are the 4 directions we presented in our pitch.
Mood + Tone.
Though our imagery is beautiful, there is an aura of menace that puts the viewer in the mindset of characters on the brink. Thematically, we also wanted to show the difference between the life our characters portrayed to the world via social media and the harsh reality of their relationship, which only grew more fraught as they traveled from landmark to landmark. To illustrate this idea, we mixed stock imagery with show footage and publicity stills.