C-90 Self Promotion

Why It Needed To Burn: The story behind C-90’s short film “What a Lovely Way to Burn”

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C-90 Press Release — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Why It Needed To Burn: The story behind C-90's short film "What a Lovely Way to Burn"
March 2, 2021

The year brought terrible losses — the loss of life, the loss of leadership, and the loss of civility. The foibles of human nature were on full display, and while all this was happening, we were missing many of the things that make life meaningful. We weren’t able to hang out with friends, go to games or concerts, travel, or visit our favorite coffee shop or bar. Even hugs and handshakes became a rarity.

“At C-90, we realized we needed to find a creative response for our team to begin healing from such a turbulent year,” says Emmit Jones, Co-Founder/Creative Director of the Cincinnati-based creative agency.

MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Process Photography

“That’s what we do,” added Chris Ritter, also a Co-Founder/Creative Director at C-90. “We seek to creatively reimagine opportunities, and sometimes, we take an iconoclastic approach.

VIDEO

The act of burning would be a cathartic, unifying, and symbolic act for the creatives at C-90. But what to burn?

MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Process Photography
MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Process Photography

The team at C-90 chatted, conspired, and eventually decided on a direction. “The only thing to do was just burn the whole thing down,” says C-90’s Head of Strategy, Theo Erasmus.

MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Process Photography
MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Process Photography
MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Illustrations

C-90’s love of all things Tarkovsky and Kubrick (especially 2001: A Space Odyssey) led them to settle on building a monolith 6 foot wide and 13½ feet tall, with the letters MMXX etched into it. Interestingly, this process began before the mysterious appearance of the famed internet monolith in southeast Utah.

With a shoestring budget, the team at C-90 got to work constructing the monolith and hauling it awkwardly to a remote hill. They made collages that interpreted key topics from from the year, including kids in cages, George Floyd, and poked at the power of billionaire Jeff Bezos. Costumes were stitched together and music was scored, all by the team at C-90 — dogs, kids, partners, and friends included.

“We filmed from every angle, edited and debated, then added music and words until it was glorious enough to share.” added Erasmus.

MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn Cast

“The greater question here is… what is important to us as a community? What do we value? What new things will rise from the ashes?” says Ritter.

“We feel better already,” says Jones. “Dealing with challenges, in creative and interesting ways, is vital to our team. It’s how we see the world, it’s where peoples’ attention goes, and where most businesses fear to tread.”

MMXX What a Lovely Way to Burn - Process Phototgraphy
Directed and Produced by: C-90
Director of Photography: Rudy Harris
Additional Video Editing: Griffin Christensen
Costume Design: Emily Hines
Special Thanks: Adam Miller/Adam Miller Homes, Eli Williams, Western Hills Photo & Hobby