40-minute documentary celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the most iconic guitar body in the world – the Martin Dreadnought
Bethlehem, Pa. (May 16, 2016) – World-renowned American guitar manufacturer C. F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) and advertising agency Lehigh Mining & Navigation have released The Ballad of the Dreadnought, a 40-minute documentary short celebrating the 100th anniversary of the iconic Martin Dreadnought guitar body.
The film is narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor and Martin Guitar enthusiast Jeff Daniels, and includes interviews with some of the most important musicians in the industry: David Crosby, Steve Miller, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, Stephen Stills, Seth Avett, Roger McGuinn, Graham Nash, Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson. These legendary musicians shared personal testimonies of how the Martin Dreadnought inspired and shaped their careers.
Lehigh Mining & Navigation and Martin Guitar collaborated on the script, then directed and produced the film to share a unique story with the brand’s passionate base of guitar enthusiasts. It’s a story that only Martin Guitar can tell.
The Ballad of the Dreadnought has already received 2016 Official Selection honors from the Newport Beach Film Festival, Canada International Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival, International Short Film Competition – USA Film Festival, SouthSide Film Festival and the 49th Annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.
“The Martin Guitar Dreadnought story is critical to the music industry,” said Joe Iacovella, Director of Account Services at Lehigh Mining & Navigation. “It’s the instrument that changed it all. Most people know it’s a body style, but don’t know it was created by Martin Guitar or the important role it played in shaping the musical landscape we know and love. It changed the shape of music when it was created 100 years ago, and will continue to do so for 100 more years.”
The Dreadnought is the iconic acoustic guitar body shape developed by Martin Guitar in 1916. Compared to guitars of the era, it had a wider waist, deeper base and more volume. At the time of its inception, the word “Dreadnought” referred to a large, big gun modern battleship, named HMS Dreadnought, which entered into service for the Royal Navy in 1906. The distinctive marks of a Dreadnought guitar are square shoulders and bottom. The neck is usually attached to the body at the 14th fret. The Martin Dreadnought style has since been copied by other guitar manufactures and is now the most popular style of acoustic guitar.
“Before The Ballad of the Dreadnought, the guitar’s history had never been recorded,” said Denis Aumiller, Managing Partner/Creative at Lehigh Mining & Navigation. “With Amani Duncan’s (VP Brand Marketing at C. F. Martin & Co.) direction for the brand, we collaborated to document the legendary guitar and focus on the 100th anniversary as the core marketing theme for 2016.”
To piece together the film, Lehigh Mining & Navigation combed through Martin Guitar’s collection of more than 200,000 archived items, including photographs and journal entries that are more than a century old. These archived photographs and interviews bring the story to life by providing accurate visuals of the guitar’s evolution and personal accounts of how the guitar shaped American music.
“The 100 years of the Martin Dreadnought is filled with iconic imagery, and we felt that media, such as magazines and books, couldn’t do the story justice,” said Iacovella. “The best way to illustrate the passion for the instrument and the meaning of the Dreadnought was on the big screen.”
In addition to interviews with music legends, The Ballad of the Dreadnought features historical insight from C. F. Martin & Co. Chairman & CEO Chris Martin IV, Musical Instruments Historian Greig Hutton, C. F. Martin & Co. Archivist Dick Boak and Music Historian and Educator Jerry Zolten.
“Originally, we intended the film to be between five and 10 minutes, but the interviews proved too valuable to edit down,” said Scott Byers, Managing Partner/Creative at Lehigh Mining & Navigation. “Forty minutes gave us enough time to do the story justice without leaving essential material on the cutting room floor.”
About Lehigh Mining & Navigation
Lehigh Mining & Navigation is a full-service advertising agency with expertise in digital marketing, public relations and media. The agency’s award-winning creative is grounded in well-developed and thoughtful strategy.
Lehigh Mining & Navigation is actively seeking new clients that share the company’s creative philosophy. Interested companies can contact Donna Reynolds at (484) 821-0920 x 717 or [email protected].