'Zoolights 2013' from Gyroscope Pictures

If I Made a Zoo

For the first time in decades, the Oregon Zoo’s signature winter festival – Zoolights – would open its doors without the attraction that for many Portlanders virtually defined the event: the Zoolights Train, offline because of an extensive remodel of the Zoo grounds.

So the Zoo faced a daunting challenge (to put it mildly): how do you get people to come to an event without that event’s signature draw? To us, the solution was getting people to rediscover what makes the event amazing in the first place: sharing a stroll through a stunning universe of light with friends and family during the holidays. And maybe letting your imagination run a little wild… as the star of our spot does in “If I Made a Zoo.”

We concepted, scripted, produced, directed and cut this :30 spot, shooting it after hours in the small window between when the lights were installed and when the event went live a week or so later. We were lucky: winter means rain in Portland, but on shoot night, we roamed the Zoo under a clear sky with only sleepy animals for company.

Kind of a childhood dream, really. If it was one of yours, too, I think you’ll especially enjoy this.


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