The three-way partnership entails the upcoming launch of a comedy-inspired short film slated to premiere during the beginning of next year

Renaissance Hotels and Marriott’s Content Studio have partnered with Substance Over Hype to produce a new comedy short film titled, Business Unusual.  It will see a global multi-platform release in early 2016, including a limited theatrical release, YouTube posting, and additional digital-platform rollout.

The 12-minute production, shot throughout Chicago, and on location at the newly transformed Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, boasts an impressive cast including Yoshua Sudarso, Jason Gerhardt, Grant Bowler, Tia Carrere, and Brian Poli-Dixon (artist, actor, and former NFL receiver).

Featured cameos from Chicago natives include Ozzie Guillen (former White Sox player), The O’My’s (band), and Substance Over Hype parkour athletes and dancers. A custom soundtrack that features local artistes including the aforementioned music group will accompany the film.

After French Kiss and Two Bellmen, Business Unusual, written and directed by Daniel Malakai Cabrera and Caine Sinclair, is the third original short film produced by the Marriott Content Studio. The outfit has in the past also produced two original YouTube Series for Marriott International, Hot Shoppe and Do Not Disturb.

In addition, Renaissance is launching the second season of its Navigator Live series on 21 October 2015 with AXS TV. The show follows touring musicians and modern business travellers like Awolnation, A-Track, and The Lone, as they discover Dallas, Long Beach and Washington, D.C. during their in-house hotels stays.

“Brands must stop interrupting what consumers are interested in and become what they are interested in, and short films driven by storytelling versus advertising are just one of the many ways we are engaging with next generation travellers,” said David Beebe, VP, Global Creative and Content Marketing of Marriott International.

“Not only do the short films and other projects from the Marriott Content Studio engage an audience, they inspire them to travel and drive revenue for our hotels. We’ve found the right recipe for mixing art and commerce together to win the hearts, minds, and wallets of travellers globally.”

The new film centres around two ad executives and former colleagues who’ve just arrived in Chicago to compete in a pitch. A pompous character, Chip, delivers the first pitch and receives extremely positive feedback from the clients. As David nervously begins his next, the client is called away on an emergency.

He is asked to finish the next day and agrees. As he prepares to revamp his pitch, the Navigator (Renaissance Hotels’ local concierge) persuades him to join other guests for an evening of discovery through beverage, food and local music in the hotel’s bar.

Here, he has a chance platonic encounter with a kind, wise, and successful woman named Ella. David is inspired to create a fun and clever campaign focused on the use of a Rube Goldberg machine (designed by America’s Got Talent quarter-finalist Steve Price), which that ultimately lands him the account.

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