Storytelling With Impact: Plan A Production’s Cultural And Commercial Success | Vietcetera
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Nov 08, 2023

Storytelling With Impact: Plan A Production’s Cultural And Commercial Success

Founders Lorenc Hoxha and Angel Uyen give us an inside look at Plan A Production’s world of commercial storytelling.
Storytelling With Impact: Plan A Production’s Cultural And Commercial Success

Angel Uyen and Lorenc Hoxha know how to turn ideas into visual magic. | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

Have you ever wondered about the creative masterminds behind those captivating TV Commercials (TVCs), viral videos, and top-notch motion pictures? In this article, we’re taking you on a tour of Plan A Production, the creative force behind some of the most memorable moments. Lorenc Hoxha and Angel Uyen, the minds behind this leading production house, know how to turn ideas into visual magic.

Founded seven years ago by Lorenc and Angel, Plan A Production is a hub of creativity in Vietnam. Their mission? Crafting compelling content that doesn’t just capture attention but also converts it into millions of views.

At Plan A, it’s all about staying ahead of the curve. They use the latest filming techniques, top-of-the-line equipment, and collaborate with the industry’s finest directors and suppliers to ensure each project meets international standards. But what truly sets them apart is their ability to tailor their work to your specific needs, making every project making every project distinctive.

“Every project is unique, and our professionalism and extensive experience are the keys to meeting your demands at the highest possible quality,” their website reads. “As further proof: all advertising agencies achieve a 100% return rate after working with us just once.”

Here, Lorenc and Angel share their journey, their approach to making videos that resonate with a global audience, and the impact they’ve had on the industry — giving us an inside look at Plan A Production’s world of storytelling.

When did you realize that blending Western film education with Vietnamese culture would be the core idea behind Plan A Production?

Angel Uyen Nguyen and I, both film enthusiasts, met in Los Angeles and shared a passion for storytelling. We didn’t initially plan to land in Vietnam, but after market research, we saw opportunities in the local film industry. Our vision was to enhance commercial production in Vietnam while preserving its cultural richness. This meant combining Western film expertise with Vietnamese traditions, creating a unique blend of local stories with global influences.

Collaborating with Vietnamese creators, known for their humor and storytelling skills, became crucial. Together, we bring a distinct and culturally rooted perspective to our projects. Vietnam, while eager to embrace industry trends, is still evolving technologically. Plan A Production aims to bridge this gap by pushing the boundaries of technology and utilizing the local market’s flexibility to create fresh, high-quality commercials. This innovative approach has enabled us to thrive in the Vietnamese film industry and contribute to its growth.

Lorenc Hoxha | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

How have you integrated international best practices into your workflow, and how do these blend with Vietnamese storytelling traditions?

Plan A Production’s success in Vietnam is a result of our commitment to excellence, innovation, global collaboration, and a deep respect for the cultural traditions that make our work unique and compelling. Here are some key points to highlight:

  1. Dedicated Team: At Plan A Production, our strength lies in our small, specialized team. Most of us have a background in media production and a strong sense of aesthetics. We’re dedicated to delivering high-quality projects with meticulous attention to detail. Many of us, including Angel, have experience working at advertising agencies, which helps us understand and visualize the client’s vision. We consistently meet and often exceed agency and client expectations.
  2. Innovative Approach: Our innovative approach seamlessly combines international practices, including cutting-edge cinematography, post-production techniques, and distribution strategies, with traditional Vietnamese storytelling. This fusion allows us to create content that resonates nationally and internationally.
  3. Modern Production Processes: To achieve this fusion, Plan A Production updated its production processes to meet industry standards from film hubs like California and Europe. Maintaining creative integrity is essential to our success.
  4. Global Collaboration: We actively collaborate with directors and Directors of Photography (DOPs) from diverse backgrounds worldwide. This global perspective expands our industry connections and brings fresh ideas to our projects.
  5. Adapting to Challenges: Our ability to adapt to challenges has been crucial in our journey. For example, during the COVID lockdown, we introduced Qtake visual assists, significantly improving our production process and enabling us to work with clients and post-production globally.
  6. Balancing Modern Techniques and Local Stories: We strike a harmonious balance between modern filmmaking techniques and local narratives. This approach preserves the cultural essence while crafting content that appeals to national and international audiences.
  7. Creative Support: Plan A Production goes beyond execution; we provide creative support. We ensure foreign directors align their creativity with the cultural concept, bridging potential gaps and understanding their specific needs and desires.

Tell us about one of your culturally important projects. What impact did you intend, and how did the audience react?

Plan A Production has a remarkable track record of creating unique Tet (Lunar New Year) projects each year, never repeating themselves. These projects span various genres, from storytelling like “ĐI ĐỂ TRỞ VỀ 4” for Bitis to musical productions such as “LANG LIÊU HẬU TRUYỆN” for Vinasoy, showcasing our ability to adapt and innovate with each new year.

One standout project, “MIRINDA x Trúc Nhân, AIII CHUYỆN CŨ BÁN HÔNG?” is a cultural gem celebrating Tet. This music video immerses viewers in Vietnam’s rich culture, emphasizing the tradition of letting go of past burdens for a hopeful new year. With over a hundred million views, it has rekindled the younger generation’s connection to their roots, evoking nostalgia and appreciation for Vietnamese traditions.

This project serves as a cultural bridge, reconnecting the younger generation with their cultural roots and sparking renewed interest in Vietnamese history and traditions. With its online success, it has effectively revitalized cultural appreciation and preservation of traditions. This project reflects Plan A Production’s commitment to promoting Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage, made possible with Pepsi’s support and Redder’s creativity.

Angel Uyen | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

What’s your take on the current state of the Vietnamese commercial production industry, and how has Plan A Production made a difference?

The Vietnamese commercial production industry is growing and changing rapidly as the country’s economy and consumer market expand. There’s a growing demand for high-quality commercials that connect with consumers, but the industry is still adapting to international standards and working to create content that can compete globally.

Plan A Production has been a key player in this transformation. We’ve raised the bar for quality and creativity by embracing international best practices and advanced techniques. Our unique blend of Western film education and Vietnamese culture has allowed us to create commercials with a distinctive cultural appeal, both locally and internationally. We’ve introduced cutting-edge technologies, collaborated with talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, and learned from top professionals worldwide. These efforts have contributed to the development of commercial production standards in Vietnam.

Plan A Production has also gained recognition for its work on regional projects in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Korea, Japan, and New Zealand. We’re actively contributing to placing Vietnamese commercials on the regional stage, a position traditionally held by Thailand. While there’s more to achieve, we’re confident that greater success lies ahead.

How do you measure the success of a commercial project beyond numbers? Are there other metrics you look at, such as cultural impact or international reach?

We measure success through cultural impact, employee well-being, and global reach. We aim to create productions that enlighten and deeply connect with the audience. When our work resonates internationally, it becomes a cultural ambassador, bridging cultures worldwide.

Our commitment to our employees’ well-being is unwavering. At Plan A Production, we’re all about creating a welcoming and open work atmosphere. It’s a place where our team can chat and exchange ideas with our managers without any formalities. We’re more like a big, close-knit family than just colleagues. We enjoy hanging out together, whether going to Dalat, catching concerts, or planning company getaways to awesome spots like Bali and Taiwan. These experiences bring us closer and make our sense of community even stronger.

Furthermore, we nurture a mentorship culture within our company, where seasoned professionals guide and support newer and younger team members. This mentorship provides invaluable guidance for navigating the fast-paced industry, offering career advice, and fostering personal and professional growth.

We are also humbled by the trust placed in us by clients worldwide who possess the expertise to judge our products. They have chosen to collaborate with us to bring their visions to life, a testament to the quality and impact of our work.

How do the diverse backgrounds and skills of your team contribute to the overall creativity and success of Plan A Production?

The diversity within our team at Plan A Production plays a vital role in fostering creativity and contributing to our success. Our team includes people from different backgrounds and skills, creating a rich mix of perspectives and talents. For example, one of our founders, Lorenc Hoxha, is from Europe and brings an international perspective to our projects. We also have team members who studied abroad, broadening our global outlook.

It’s important to note that many of our leaders are women, promoting gender diversity and a balanced, inclusive work environment. At Plan A, we ensure that every voice is not only heard but valued, encouraging innovation and creativity. We’re committed to diversity and inclusion, with around 20% of our team identifying as LGBTQ, reflecting our welcoming and accepting atmosphere.

Our diversity is more than just appearances; it’s about creating a workplace where different viewpoints are encouraged and celebrated. The blend of these varied backgrounds and perspectives enhances our problem-solving and creativity, contributing to Plan A Production’s overall success. We firmly believe that diversity drives our innovation and excellence in the industry.

Lorenc Hoxha and Angel Uyen | Source: Bobby Vu for Vietcetera

What kinds of collaborations or partnerships would greatly enhance the Vietnamese commercial industry?

Indeed, several specific types of collaborations and partnerships could significantly benefit the Vietnamese commercial industry and, by extension, Plan A Production. These include:

  1. International Collaborations: Partnering with international production houses, crews, and creative agencies brings expertise and diverse perspectives, elevating the quality of work and sharing global best practices.
  2. Local Filmmakers and Creatives: Joining forces with local talent leads to fresh and innovative storytelling. It’s a win-win, offering emerging artists a platform to showcase their skills and inject new energy into the industry.
  3. Educational Collaborations: We highly value educational partnerships. Working with schools, industry associations, and fellow production companies, we promote knowledge sharing, mentorship programs, and internships to nurture skilled professionals and support industry growth. We’re committed to initiatives like Vietnam Young Lions to encourage young creatives.
  4. Technological Innovators: Collaborations with tech companies keep us up-to-date with industry trends, enabling us to deliver cutting-edge content.
  5. Community Engagement: We engage in social awareness projects, supporting animal rights, and creating an animal-friendly workspace. We’re also eager to provide advertising expertise to NGOs, NPOs, and charitable organizations to make a positive impact on society.

By nurturing these partnerships, Plan A Production continues to drive innovation and excellence in the Vietnamese commercial industry, building a solid network of stakeholders and resources.

Can you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects or initiatives that aim to elevate the advertising industry in Vietnam?

We’re excited about upcoming projects that will revolutionize Vietnam’s advertising industry. While we can’t share specifics yet, we’re actively partnering with emerging talents and industry experts to push the boundaries of storytelling, technology, and creativity. We’re particularly enthusiastic about our potential collaborators and the cutting-edge technology we plan to use. Plus, we’re proud to have directors like Jonathan Gurvit and Jorvadi, internationally renowned and award-winning talents, on board. These partnerships and resources will elevate our advertising efforts to new heights.