TBT to 2006 and Project Inspiration

Stealing From Yourself

By Randy Murray

Here we are only a week away from Christmas Eve and with just two weeks left in 2015! Wow, did this year go by quickly. For that matter, so did the twenty years we have worked with United Way. And now, with 2016 almost here, we are about to celebrate 25 years of doing business! Not only is this a wonderful time to be looking back at the twenty years of working with United way and the twenty-five years of owning our own business, it is an amazing time to be looking forward.

Kids Playing - Without Letterbox


The Art of Art

The whole time we’ve been in business and have been helping United Way, we have been in the inspiration business. Our task from week to week, from year to year, is to combine technology and creativity with entertainment, education and persuasion. We bring inspiration to the communication challenges our clients bring us. Boy, has it been fun and rewarding.

One of the things that has been consistent since we started our business is our commitment to originality. While the work of those who came before us, and those who we admire, can provide a path to inspiration, we strive to be original in our creativity with every project. Ours is a journey of our own voice, vision and creativity. Every person on the RMP and Postal teams strives to create with originality. Whether it is the PA on set who strives to create a stress-free environment for the creative team or one of our directors who strives to find that perfect nuance or pause that moves a viewer to a new perspective, we have nurtured a culture of creativity and creative teamwork.

Trilese and Son Looking at Turtle - WIthout Letterbox

Call The Cops

But once in a while, a creative tool that already exists – a technique that has been employed – offers the perfect approach to a storytelling challenge. It is not uncommon for a client, whether it is a high-powered creative team or a first time advertiser, to come to us with a popular commercial or video in hand and say, “Can you make something just like this for us?”

That was the case in 2006 when United Way wanted a visual way to powerfully and visually communicate how the many results they are delivering to our community are building lasting solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our day. But they did not have to go far for their example. In fact, we had just sent them the video they wanted to steal the effect from. It was a video we had just finished for Free Arts for Abused Children (a United Way agency).


Free Arts had come to us looking for a way to communicate the enormity of the child abuse challenge we faced in Arizona. They had a fundraising event coming up and needed a video that would bring on the tears and bring out the wallets. Once we had the script close, I tapped the shoulder of our friend Bobb Cooper at Valley Youth Theatre. With his support and the support of the parents at the theatre, I showed up at a rehearsal and recorded the voices of about forty kids reading the headlines of news stories about child abuse in Arizona. Working with Abbott Miller at AMP Studios, we created a powerful soundtrack of layered children’s voices, a soundtrack that editor Kirby Koppes used to enhance a powerful visual story with layered newspaper clippings. The result really drove home the point and was very effective at the breakfast. Here is a clip from the Free Arts video.

While I am always hesitant to reuse a creative idea, particularly someone else’s, from time to time it makes sense to ‘not reinvent the wheel.’ So in 2006, we ‘stole’ a creative idea from ourselves to help United Way do more good in our community. Somehow, I don’t feel guilty. I encourage you to watch the full 2006 United Way video, but here you can see the effect we borrowed from ourselves.

One Shot Again

Okay, I must admit that from time to time we are hired to use a creative concept or technique that has been proven effective. And while I hate, and I mean hate, using someone else’s creative, sometimes it is a smart move to accept a little inspirational gift. One recent example was when the creative team from University of Phoenix came to us pointing to the TD Ameritrade single shot campaign as a great way to make the point that a University of Phoenix education could help someone in the hospitality industry move up their career path.

Again, while I love the challenge of coming up with inspirational and original creative concepts, I was intrigued by the challenge of creating four scenes in one shot. We turned to the amazing art director Peter Van Vliet to build a set that could be converted from a hotel exterior to a hotel lobby, to a concierge desk and then to a hotel boardroom. And casting, of course, is always the secret to great directing; watch this incredible team of actors jump through costume changes and marks. I think you will agree, this spot is effective regardless of the inspiration. You can watch it on our Vimeo page.

Inspired To Be Here

So as we get ready for the holidays, we are grateful for having the opportunity to assist United Way for twenty years and we are thrilled to have made a living creating art under the RMP banner for nearly twenty-five years, but we are most honored to be able to bring originality and inspiration to both the caring community and the creative community here in our desert home.

You can watch the full 2006 United Way Campaign Video on Vimeo or YouTube.


Kids at School - Without Letterbox

Randy is an award-winning director and producer with a passion for helping others through the power of storytelling. He’s also a political junkie, loves college football, and enjoys performing random magic tricks for children he meets in the street.