I’ve just finished working on a project with a multi talented superstar. He’s got turned out feet and turned out toes and a poisonous wart on the end of his nose!
No, it’s not my copywriter, it’s the Gruffalo!
Axel Scheffler, creator of the Gruffalo, kindly donate the illustrations from his best selling book to help with our campaign to inspire more people to give a National Book Token as a gift this Christmas.
Our creative challenge was to bring the magic of the book to life on cinema screens around the country, whilst being loyal to Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s book.
We weren’t allowed to animate the characters, so our approach was to create the feeling of motion though camera movement, motion graphic techniques, music and sound.
As Axel Scheffler donated his brilliant creation I thought I’d repay the compliment by volunteering one of mine, my 7 year old daughter, who starred in the 30 second cinema ad.
On the day of the shoot there were a few nerves, from Dad and daughter, (not dissimilar to watching your little angel perform in the school play only multiplied by about 100)
The nerves eventually subsided (hers and mine) and despite the intimidating cameras, lights, production crew, and having to take direction from Dad, she took it all in her stride and performed brilliantly.
After a long days shoot, I took a very tired little girl home. Job done, or so I thought.
Soho, we have a problem.
Two days later we arrive at a Soho edit suite to review our film and we are greeted with these words. “We have a problem with our footage!”
It transpires that our camera, the very latest in cinematic video equipment, (the Arri Alexa) had a corrupted mother board. The result was strange vertical lines running through all of our footage making it unusable.
The camera supplier accepted responsibility, assured us it was a one in a thousand chance that this could happen, and their insurance would cover the cost of a re-shoot.
Our focus on the day had been on getting the performance out of my 7 year old. It had not once occurred to us that the technology in which we trust entirely would be the one to fluff its lines.
What followed was a difficult conversation, apologising to our client and informing them of the problem. And lots of negotiation around how we could re-shoot and deliver the finished film as quickly as possible.
The show (or in this case the cinema ad) must go on.
Two weeks later and with a strange sense of deja vu, we were doing it all again. Same location, same crew, my daughter put in another perfect performance, the Gruffalo was a true professional and at the second time of asking the technology didn’t let us down either.
Keep an eye out for the ad in a cinema near you this Christmas or take a peek here.
Goodfellas (the film not the pizzas)