The team behind RuckSackNY branches out
By Randi Altman
One of the big reasons I love this industry and couldn’t imagine working at anything else is the people. Not only are they nice on the whole, but creativity oozes out of them in ways that go beyond their day job.
Many I’ve interviewed over the years relax by playing music, writing, drawing… even making wine. They can’t help but to create. That brings one pro to mind immediately. Fred Ruckel, creative director at NYC’s RuckSackNY, has a thriving business servicing some major brands with creative and post, but his mind just keeps on creating even after the workday is done.
Most recently, after watching his cat have a ton of fun with a piece of extra carpet in their home — scratching it, clawing it, climbing under it and on it — Fred and his wife Natasha (co-owner in RucksackNY and pictured with Fred in our main story image) thought “what a great toy for cats, and there is nothing on the market like it.”
Now, this is where the majority of people who have a great idea would say “if only,” and I’m pointing a giant finger firmly at my face at the moment. Unlike the majority of people, the Ruckels actually followed through in a big way.
They immediately thought how they could make this “piece of carpet” even more fun for their Yoda and other cats like her. They cut a variety of holes, of all different sizes, into the carpet and watched the cat engage even more with their invention. But that was just the beginning. They filed a patent, they bought sewing machines and they designed an interactive play toy that any cat would love. They found a distributor here in the United States and pledged to only use recycled materials for what is now the Ripple Rug. They designed the packaging, and their message, and in typical production and post pro fashion, they created a commercial.
Fred shot the piece with a Canon 5D using multiple lenses and Fiilex LED lighting packages with temperature controls. This allowed them to dial the color temps to make it look natural. For product shots they employed a slider rig and a motorized variable speed turntable. For audio a wireless Sennheiser boom setup to feed a TASCAM field recorder got the nod.
Next up was the post side of things. The video was edited with Adobe Premiere. In addition to Premiere, Fred also called on the entire Adobe Creative Suite — Audition and SpeedGrade in particular.
While Fred was working on the post, Natasha was creating the branding assets for the website, the video and the Kickstarter campaign. That’s right, this past Monday they launched their Kickstarter campaign.
“People do not realize how much goes into a brand launch,” reports Natasha. “When I worked at Autodesk, I handled the release marketing for Flame, Smoke, and 3ds Max, so I was able to call upon my past experiences to develop a solid marketing plan for our product while preparing all the collateral that must support it.”
So check out their Kickstarter campaign, and their Website RippleRug.com. Your cat might just love you for it.