This week we are unveiling the launch of a new spot for SPIKE TV called, “The Duffy Twins”. Surrounding a pair of conjoined twin brothers, we follow the life and strife of Dan and Ethan Duffy. A modern day take on Goofus and Gallant, Dan is a superstar at life because he watches SPIKE TV whereas his (non SPIKE TV watching) brother Ethan is working as a professional slacker. At his parents house.
Believe it or not the shoot wasn’t really that difficult. The twins were super cool and easy to work with. They were open to do anything we wanted. Or at least try. The hardest thing to shoot was the Slip and Slide scene. There wasn’t enough room for the guys to get a real running start and it was actually dangerous because Dan would run and jump and land right on Ethan’s back. HARD. I think it knocked the wind out of him the fist take. So we rigged a bungie and laid them down. Then pulled them across until they had enough momentum to let go. Oh, and we also had a nip slip.
Can you tell me a little bit about the whole writing process and how you guys came up with the script?
It was very collaborative between Dave, Frances and I. We would each brainstorm ideas and then talk them out on conference calls. The idea came from us wanting to show the contrast between someone that was exposed to SPIKE TV and someone that wasn’t – so conjoined twins that were facing separate directions made perfect sense.
How did you guys prep for the job?
I prepped for the job by watching some documentaries on actual conjoined twins and seeing how they interact and move with each other. There’s an unlimited amount of comedy that can come from being stuck to someone, so once we applied that idea to the new line up of SPIKE TV shows the scenarios came pretty easily.
What was your favorite part about being on set?
My favorite part about being on set was watching our ideas come to be a reality. All of the actors did an amazing job of squeezing every bit of humor our of the situations.
Did SPIKE TV give you guys free reign to come up with a spot or was the premise already there?
SPIKE TV gave us a totally blank canvas. They asked us to incorporate new and existing SPIKE TV programming. That was pretty much it. Dave, Justin and I collaborated on several ideas we pitched to them. They sparked to the TWINS idea and we developed a script from there. We looked for ways to make one conjoined Twin better and more productive through watching SPIKE TV. We maximized every idea around our location and tattoo + accounting was born in that writing process. The creative writing was really a tri-collaboration between Justin, Dave and I and then when we had our cast we knew we’d be able to get a lot with improv. So Dave designed a really supportive set for the actors and let cameras roll to capture really long takes of the family dynamic.
What did you use as inspiration for the look and feel of the spot?
The look and feel of the spot were always rooted in a fictional version of anywhere-middle America. We chose “Michigan” and designed the parents characters with that kind of wholesome repression. The SPIKE TV execs who came to the shoot were very supportive and totally allowed Dave free reign. It was an awesome process.