Schwarzenegger's Ladder Calls on Sugar Studios LA

Leading production/post-production powerhouse Sugar Studios LA has wrapped a recent social media sensation for Ladder supplement startup, garnering 10 million views in the first seven days. Starring celebrity founders Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, DJ Khaled, Cindy Crawford and Lindsey Vonn, the playful ad campaign focuses on social media, foregoing the usual TV commercial push, and pitches their protein powder direct-to-consumer. 

Pictured (L-R) are editor Nico Alba and Sugar Studios LA founder/Creative Director Jijo Reed. Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured (L-R) are editor Nico Alba and Sugar Studios LA founder/Creative Director Jijo Reed. Photo by David Goggin.

For starters, the ad pumps up the action in a gym with Arnold annoyed by a noisy dude on the phone, prompting him to turn up his workout soundtrack. Next up, DJ Khaled is scratching encouragement for LeBron and Arnold drowns them out with his own personal live oompah band:

Produced and directed by longtime Schwarzenegger collaborator Peter Grigsby, Sugar Studios' ace editor Nico Alba (Chevrolet, Ferrari, Morongo Casino, Mattel) brought his usual finesse. When asked about the random spot lengths, as opposed to traditional :15s, :30s, and :60's, Alba explained, "Because it's social media, we're not always bound to those segments of time anymore. Basically, it's 'find the story,' and because there are no rules, it makes the storytelling more fun. It's a process of honing everything down without losing the rhythm or the message, and maintaining a nice flow."                                                 

Sugar Studios LA, the brainchild of founder/creative director Jijo Reed, has redefined and streamlined the post-production experience for premium content producers, ad agencies, and filmmakers. Housed on three floors of the historic Wiltern Theater Tower in the center of Los Angeles, the facility includes 10 edit bays, 12 VFX workstations, 2 color suites, 2 audio suites including a 4K, 25-seat Atmos theater for color and sound mixing, all connected through a state-of-the-art network-storage workflow.                                

"Peter Grigsby requested a skilled big-brand commercial editor on this campaign," says Jijo Reed. "Nico was the perfect fit to create that rhythm and flow that only a seasoned commercial editor could bring to the table."

Two clips from the Ladder "Dueling Playlists" commercial spot.

Two clips from the Ladder "Dueling Playlists" commercial spot.

"We needed a heavy-weight gym ambience to set the stage," says Alba, who worked closely with sound design/mixers Bret Mazur and Troy Ambroff to complement his editing. "It's starts out with a barrage of noisy talking and sounds that really irritate Arnold, setting up the dueling music playlists and the sonic payoff."

The Sugar team also created a striking cinematic look to the spots, thanks to colorist Bruce Bolden. "He's a veteran feature film colorist," says Reed, "so he often brings that sensibility to advertising spots as well, meaning, rich blacks and nice even color palettes."

Sugar's staff team of award winning editors, producers, audio mixers/sound designers, VFX artists, and colorists has been together for the last seven years, collaborating on major commercial campaigns and numerous feature films. Clients include Netflix, Amazon, Sony, QC Entertainment, Warner Bros, Marvel, Machinima, Lionsgate, Anonymous Content and AMC.                                                                                                                                           

"We do everything in-house with our amazing staff talent," says Reed, "and many of our Director/Producer clients will bring in their own people from time to time, as well. We are all about collaboration, creative expression, and perfection. If we are gonna tell your story, it better freakin' rock!"