"TV Got Better," Netflix x WIRED
Article by Grant McCracken. Copy directed and edited by Cristina Cala and art directed by Nam Le. Video directed by Cristina Cala.
The viral WIRED and Netflix branded content campaign garnered 16,000+ social impressions, 19,000+ display impressions and 95,000+ press impressions including AdAge’s comparison of our long-form experience as a rival to The New York Times’ “Snowfall” execution. TV Got Better was a multimedia, first-to-market immersive story featuring real-time data, infographics, video, social and audio. And the longer format paid off: readers engaged with the experience 96% above the average interaction time.
How TV Is Changing, with Mitch Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development
I directed Mitch Hurwitz and copy directed and edited the viral long-form for Netflix and WIRED’s viral "TV Got Better” campaign. The campaign’s :15 and :30 videos like this spoof teaser of Hurwitz’s next project captured WIRED readers on social and drove to the long-form branded content experience on WIRED.com, where viewers could watch Hurwitz’s full-length interview and read the article written by anthropologist Grant McCracken (edited by me) about the evolution of streaming thanks to game-changers like Netflix.
Press coverage of Netflix x WIRED, "TV Got Better"
"TV Got Better" by WIRED x Netflix Goes Viral
The viral results: shared and engaged with at record numbers.
Intel Plans on Changing the Way You Interact With Computers
Story by Linda Brendish. Creative directed, copy directed and edited by Cristina Cala. Art directed by Nam Le. Designed by Rob Flemming.
WIRED Insider sends our writer West to demo Intel’s innovations in augmented reality.
#MakeTechHuman, an Ask Me Anything with Tim Berners-Lee with Nokia x WIRED
Copy direction for the WIRED campaign #MakeTechHuman and a Reddit Ask Me Anything with Sir Tim Berners-Lee on his concerns about the Internet.
Age of Exploration, the epic adventures of Netflix's "Marco Polo" in partnership with WIRED
Creative direction by Nam Le and Cristina Cala. Copy directed and edited with reporting by Cristina Cala. Designed by Way-Fan Chang.
Age of Exploration, the epic adventures of Netflix's "Marco Polo" in partnership with WIRED.
What Ancient Egypt & Silicon Valley Have in Common
Originally published on WIRED.
By Cristina Cala
In SPIKE’s new limited series “Tut,” Egypt’s youngest pharaoh is crowned king at 11, falls in love with a commoner and ascends the throne in the course of three great nights of television. Premiering July 19, the epic series explores the theme of sabotage during a rise to power. And while the scripted drama is a period piece, Avan Jogia, who stars as the famed king, brings the show up to speed by pointing out that the war between the old and the new in ancient Egypt is the same struggle we face now. For the 23-year-old actor, there will always be young people in positions of power who threaten the stability of the generation before them. From Ancient Egypt to Silicon Valley, it’s remained true, a cyclical fact.
If you watch closely, “Tut” offers up a subtle parallel between ancient Egypt and the threat and promise of new technology in our modern world. Whether it’s the great pyramids or the next smartphone, the show reminds us that there will always be a turning point between being innovative—and becoming history.
ON THE TWO WORLDS
It’s like clockwork: “The older generation fears someone new and young who has bright new ideas and who inhabits a world that they don’t understand,” Jogia says. The fact of life comes into play for the actor as the young pharaoh in “Tut,” where his elders and advisory council see him as a threat to their personal agendas. With their leaders threatened by new power, and their cultural focus set on achieving immortality, the people of Egypt remained in stasis.
“Egypt is a culture that survived for 3,000 years without changing at all. They built the greatest empire in the world through insane innovation, but then they just sat on it,” Jogia remarks. “That was the problem.”
The show’s motif of “the next big thing” coming to dethrone the reigning principals is a theme audiences will recognize off-screen. Just look at the marketplace struggle between corporations and startups. “[We] have these young, capable business-tech giants [run by] these young 20-year-olds. It’s kind of scary to the older ladder system,” Jogia points out.
“I don’t think our world has been the same for seven days in a row for the last 50 years. I don’t want to talk about what direction that’s moving in, whether that’s bad or good,” he admits. But, he adds, “We’ve all seen old companies that are run by kind of, like, out-of-touch people. They’re insanely out of touch.”
“Every moment that I get older,” the 20-something says in austere clarity, “there’s someone younger than me ... who the world belongs to.”
ON THE CAST
Whenever he’s starting a new project, Jogia’s first objective is discovering what he calls the conversational “shorthand” with his co-stars. “We interact and ... just try to figure out what the cadences between us are and what works.”
Though, with cast mate Bunbury, who plays his love interest, Suhan, in “Tut,” Jogia had a head start. The two actors started working together in 2013 on ABC Family drama “Twisted,” where their relationship became, let’s say, fraternal. Says Bunbury of the matter: “We talk to each other like two bros.”
Jogia says he and Bunbury are good friends outside of work, and also counts actor Iddo Goldberg, who plays Tut’s best dude friend on the show, as a colleague-turned-pal.
As for discovering that shorthand between Jogia and his childhood idol, Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley? The two connected more on screen than between takes. Kingsley, who plays Vizier Ay, a political adviser to the king, says he seldom socializes with other actors while he’s working, and finds that a scene is more effective if he’s interacting with another actor for the first time during that scene. Jogia’s not mad about it—he’s just as content preserving his energy, adding that for dramatic pieces (like “Tut”), he’s more inclined to keep to himself to find his focus.
ON THE SHOW
What the period piece offers in context of our modern world is a series of timeless motifs of political, socioeconomic and coming-of-age narratives.
About the show’s primary plotline, Jogia says, “You have all these different special interest groups who want certain things that are going to benefit them. And what Tut tries to bring to light is that the people get forgotten in serving the needs of a select few.” Coming up on an election year, this theme of a government serving its people, we think, won’t go unnoticed.
Among the political power struggles between characters, the young pharaoh undergoes a rite of passage as he comes into his own, which Jogia explains as “the process of owning yourself, your beliefs, having a cause, having a purpose, standing behind it, and allowing yourself to be the person that you want to be.”
Over the course of the three-night event, audiences can expect to see the young pharaoh work through the treacherous court, until he finally peaks. “There’s this scene where Tut has solidified his control of his court,” says Jogia. “The prince of the nation [that he is at war with] comes to the court offering peace terms. It’s the moment where Tut becomes a man, the pharaoh—the calm, collected, authoritative figure that he’s wanted to be.”
GoldGetters, P&G x Glamour Olympic campaign with Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn
Digital and print copy by Cristina Cala. Copy direction by Kathy Casey. Interviews with Olympian Lindsey Vonn by Cristina Cala and Kathy Casey.
Condé Nast’s P&G Olympic campaign GoldGetters ran on Glamour.com for web and mobile and as the print advertorial “A Force of Fierce” in the pages of Glamour magazine.