David S. Rielly
MICROSOFT // Case Study

ROLE: Associate Creative Director

It’s not every day that one’s entrusted with a billion dollar secret. As part of the core agency team tasked with finally telling the story of one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the 21st century, I felt a bit like a spy on a top-secret and very high-stakes mission. After securing a top director in Morgan Neville (2014 Oscar winner for “20 Feet From Stardom”) and selling our creative approach into Microsoft leadership, the team rolled up its sleeves on pre-production.

My role shifted to writing “mock scripts” for the documentary pieces, an unusual assignment considering that the interview subjects would never be fed lines of dialogue, but a pivotal one nonetheless as both Microsoft and partner JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories) needed assurances that the finished pieces would tell a story of a very specific flavor and tone. I also assisted Neville at the JPL/Onsight shoot to ensure that the key beats were being uncovered in our interviews - quite a thrill for a writer to be working so closely with a talent of that caliber.

Once shooting had wrapped, my role shifted to creation of “paper cuts” of the videos, culling through transcripts and searching for the perfect distillation of dozens of hours of dialogue into 2 to 3 minutes of content. When launch day came, we eagerly watched the Microsoft Windows 10 live stream and celebrated as the five year secret was finally unveiled and Microsoft HoloLens quickly became the number one trending topic in the world.

Microsoft HoloLens “Possibilities”

Microsoft HoloLens and NASA “OnSight”