Robert Crenson did not always know he wanted to become a film producer. Instead, his first career path was that of a freestyle skier. In doing this, he was often in front of the camera performing tricks and stunts, and found himself enjoying the planning and preparation of the shoots, getting more involved in the behind-the-scenes action. The more he dove into filmmaking, the more his passion grew until he realized that is what he was meant to be doing
Now a celebrated producer awarded with some of the industry’s greatest honors, such as a Cannes Lion nomination for his work on an upcoming commercial for Corona Extra, Crenson knows he has found his true calling. He has worked with internationally-recognized brands such as Subaru, Volvo, and countless others, and with every project he takes on, audiences everywhere see his love for producing.
“I like being a producer as it gives me a sense of purpose and necessity with the project or production I am working on. The producer is the entrepreneur, the fire starter and the firefighter. You wear so many different hats through the scope of a production, that you never really get bored and you get to experience lots of different life situations,” he said.
Crenson often gets to explore his interest in extreme sports through his craft. Shot in Northern Quebec last Summer, the “Subaru Ready From Factory” is a commercial that showcases the true racing roots of Subaru’s STI car line, through the eyes of 10 time Canadian champion, Antoine L’Estage. The commercial highlights how a stock Subaru car from the dealership can be put to the test just like the factory race cars during the competitive performance rally races.
“Coincidentally, I owned a Subaru for 5 years and couldn’t say better things about the brand and product. They make solid quality cars at a relatively affordable price. The goal of this commercial was to showcase that the regular customers are getting the same vehicle essentially that the professional rally car drivers are. This campaign was really for the core driving enthusiast, which car companies often tend to forget about,” said Crenson, “Plus, shooting with helicopters and high-performance race cars is basically every young boy’s dream.”
Crenson was approached by Director Nicholas Taylor to produce this commercial. Taylor had worked with Crenson before and knew he had the talent and work ethic to bring this commercial to life.
Once on board, Crenson strategically assembled some of the most experienced production and aviation crew members for this shoot, including hiring the top cinema helicopter pilot in Canada, Patrice Bellerose, and cineflex camera operator Mike Darby. They were both trained by the award-winning Hollywood stunt pilot Frederic North. Assembling such a high-caliber team was pivotal to the success of the shoot, as it is immensely challenging to capture high-speeds and air-to-ground cinematography.
“I really enjoyed working on this project largely due to the autonomy the client and brand gave us. They put a lot of trust into our team to make this high-risk creative come to life, which is often rare in the corporate world. Our team took every opportunity to ensure that we delivered on the creative and were safe doing it,” Crenson described.
The creative and images that were captured for the “Subaru Ready From Factory” were a great success with some of the most experienced and scrutinizing rally enthusiasts in the industry. The shorter version of this commercial ran on TV for eight weeks in Canada and across the world on web and social media. The YouTube version alone has almost 80,000 views on the SubaruCanada channel, and Crenson could not be happier with what they achieved.
“It feels great knowing we successfully delivered on the creative and within our budget. The biggest factor on this shoot was ultimately safety as well. With taking calculated risks, with no injuries, damage, or worse case scenarios, that’s a success,” he said.
Undoubtedly, Crenson knows how to engage an audience, even within the short timespan that is a commercial. He has no plans on slowing down either, with a lineup of commercial projects coming up this year for Oakley and Destination Canada, to name a few. Be sure to keep an eye out for his upcoming work.
Photo by Jordan Lenssen: Director Nicholas Taylor, Producer Rob Crenson, and Director of Photography Paul Reid on set of ‘Subaru Ready From Factory’