Wild Card Creative Group's Long Journey Inside Dune's Mythology

Crafting an editorial campaign in the middle of a pandemic

Who knew a pandemic would be the backdrop to one of Wild Card's most meaningful projects of the past decade—the campaign for Warner Bros. and Legendary's Dune.

We actually started working on Dune in 2019, anticipating a 2020 release. With the launch delayed by Covid, our Warner Bros. and Legendary clients presented us with the opportunity to take a step back and really think through the mythology of the story.

Having had the good fortune to work on other Denis Villeneuve films, we had a familiarity with the expansiveness of his filmmaking and so we tapped our Insights Group to help give our internal team a greater perspective on the specifics of the Dune mythology at the core of the trilogy. They also helped give us a better understanding of how to speak to a more mainstream audience while still exciting the passionate core fans.

Dune Official Trailer

Our clients felt strongly that it was important to anchor the campaign in emotion and storytelling and not just showcase the amazing visual effects without context. We wholeheartedly agreed, but the process wasn't without its challenges. With only limited footage to work with for the teaser, we focused on a sequence of Paul Atreidis and his ultimate test of endurance, relying heavily on impactful cuts and audio. Ultimately this focused the launch of the campaign on what makes the film so special—its ability to tell intimate, character-driven stories on a grand scale.

Dune | Official Main Trailer

In addition to working so closely with our clients, one of the many highlights of the experience was working with award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who gave us a master class in the importance of using sound and music organically to express the nuance of the Dune world.

Another highlight was bringing together the cast and Dune superfan Stephen Colbert for the trailer launch through an editorial package that debuted on Twitter and further intensified anticipation for the film.

The decade has gone by very quickly and lots of things have changed. The level of work among our peers continues to rise, pushing us to be more inventive. Our own team has not only grown in size but in skill, so we are better partners to our clients and their increased volume of content. But what hasn't changed is our rigor in which we expect a certain level of creative output from ourselves and the desire to take creative risks. We're excited for the next 10 years.

This content is presented by Wild Card Creative Group, supporting partner of the Clio Entertainment 50th Anniversary Celebration, happening Dec. 14 in Los Angeles. Tickets to the event are on sale now.

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Nick Temple
Nick Temple is founder and chief creative officer of Wild Card Creative Group.

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