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MITO SUSHI

Lights, Camera, Sushi! The Making of MITO's TV Commercial



When MITO Sushi's Marketing team reached out to Marrone Films to create a series of TV commercials, it wasn't just about rolling sushi; it was about rolling the perfect shots. The marketing team, led by Lucie Benveniste, Director, Nicolas Lazin, Manager, and Sarah Kaboré, Coordinator, had a clear mission: to enhance awareness of the MITO brand and underscore their partnership with the IGA banner. What better way to achieve this objective than with the power of video. 


Established in 2004, the MITO Group celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Based in Québec, MITO has become a go-to destination for sushi and Poke bowl enthusiasts. With a presence in over 300 sushi counters and 600 points of sale in major food chains in Québec, Ontario, and New Brunswick, they have earned their place among "The 25 largest food processing companies in Québec", as recognized by Les Affaires magazine. Being a proud member of Les Aliments Du Québec, MITO solidified their position as one of Quebec’s most trusted brands.




For Tanya Rembacz, Producer at Marrone Films, working with Nicolas was a welcome reunion. "We had a fantastic prior experience collaborating with Nicolas on a similar project several years ago for Ben & Florentine, which allowed us to establish a solid working relationship," Tanya reminisced. That production not only built trust but also showcased our ability to capture the essence of a brand on film. It was this cinematic collaboration that prompted Nicolas to entrust Marrone once again, this time with the task of bringing the unique story of MITO Sushi to life on the screen.



The project kicked off with several pre-production meetings to develop the concept for the commercials. "During the initial stages, Riccardo & Tanya quickly understood our needs and adapted to our budget and the realities of our project." Sarah remarked. At its core, the idea revolved around a woman and her experience savoring MITO sushi, from her grocery store visit at IGA, to enjoying it at work, on the go, and with friends. The concept was well-defined, leaving the Marrone team the thrilling task of bringing it to life.


Pre-production began by transforming MITO's initial storyboards and script into a film-centric, hand-drawn storyboard with detailed scene descriptions. Storyboards are essential for the cast and crew, offering a visual guide of the story complete with scene breakdowns and camera movements. 


Storyboard showing the sequence for 3 alternate versions

Next, Tanya curated a mood board, carefully selecting wardrobe looks and set props that aligned with the commercial concept. Tanya emphasized “We collaborated closely with the client to ensure that every element matched their brand and vision for the commercial.”


Subsequently, two major tasks unfolded in tandem: casting actors and scouting locations. Riccardo initiated a casting call and selected Karine Lefebvre for the lead role, whom he had previously worked with for a commercial for Globex Courier.  Additionally, we cast several other talented actors for various roles and scenes featured in these commercials including Jean Marc Conan, Ayla Tse, Jonathan Beaton, and Song Wang.  






Our search for the perfect location led to an unexpected find - a rental unit in the heart of Montreal on St-Laurent Street. This adaptable space played the role of three distinct locations (workplace, home, and yoga studio). The second filming location was an IGA grocery store located in Mascouche, a 20-minute drive north of Montreal. Given the need for a closed, controlled set, we scheduled the shoot after store hours from 10 PM to 12 AM, facing a unique challenge that demanded efficient time management due to the limited shooting window.



To ensure an efficient filming strategy, we opted for portable and versatile equipment. As the Director of Photography, Riccardo filmed with the Sony A7S3 for ProRes RAW recording on the Atomos Ninja V+, a rig highly regarded not only in commercial productions but also widely embraced in numerous feature films. With so much natural light in the loft, we set up minimal lighting for accents and fills, which was advantageous given the limited space available.



Following the completion of the shoot, it was time to transition to the post-production phase. In addition to serving as the Director of Photography, Riccardo also assumed the role of editor. The deliverables included three 15-second versions, along with alternate versions tailored for sponsored segments.


MITO on the go


MITO at work


MITO with friends


Riccardo emphasized, “We’re very hands-on and take pride in overseeing the entire post-production process.” From editing and graphics to soundtrack, voice casting, color correction, and closed captions, Marrone Films works closely with every client to ensure that each project meets and exceeds expectations. "When collaborating with brands, we essentially become an extension of their team, investing ourselves fully into the project as partners," he noted. “It was evident that the Marrone team cared deeply about this project, just like we did,” Sarah stated. She continued, “They were dedicated and delivered exactly what we wanted and more.”



Upon completion, the commercials graced the screens of several local TV stations across Quebec throughout the summer of 2023. “At Marrone Films, we firmly believe that any brand or company can produce high-quality, creative, and effective TV commercials, regardless of their budget” Riccardo confirmed. He continued, “With a collaborative and strategic approach our objective is to create cinematic ad campaigns that are attainable and sustainable.” It's common to think that TV advertising is exclusive to big corporations with hefty advertising budgets. However, the reality is that TV advertising is a dynamic tool that can benefit brands of all sizes, whether they're national giants or small  local businesses.  Click below to find out why.


5 benefits of TV ads


As a Quebec business owner, Tanya Rembacz expresses profound satisfaction at witnessing their work on television, stating, "It's an incredible feeling to see that the commercials we produced are reaching a vast audience, creating brand awareness for Quebec based companies like MITO Sushi." Tanya recounted, "Thanks to the collaboration of the entire team and their unwavering dedication, we achieved this success." 


Ready to take your brand to the next level with compelling TV advertising? Contact Marrone Films today, and let's bring your vision to life on screen. 


 

Thanks to everyone who made this production possible


Riccardo Marrone, Director of Photography

Tanya Rembacz, Producer

Alvaro Diaz, Production Assistant

Masa Suzuki,  Production Assistant

John Rembacz,  Production Assistant

Ayla Tse, Actor

Song Wang, Actor

Lise Bonald, Actor

Scarlett Moussa Benveniste, Actor

Nicolas Lazin, Marketing Manager, MITO Sushi

Sarah Kaboré, Marketing Coordinator, MITO Sushi

Lucie Benveniste, Executive Director & Marketing, MITO Sushi

Lan Tuyet Trieu, Chef, MITO Sushi

Daniel Chen, Food Stylist

Melanie Brideau, Makeup Artist

Erica Licon, property manager

IGA Mascouche, Management team


Discover MITO Sushi


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