03 Aug Crocodile TV Advert 2018 Behind The Scenes
We were very happy to be asked once again, to produce a new series of of TV adverts for the Crocodile range of products. Crocodile are market leads in automatic garage doors and beautifully made glass room structures – which they brand as Glass Verandas and Winter Gardens. (the Winter Gardens include sliding glass doors allowing use in winter as well as when the weather is good.
Top Production Values
These TV adverts would be different to their predecessors (which we also produced) in that they would move away from the celebrity focused enforcement (Anna Ryder Richardson and Tommy Walsh in previous campaigns) to focus on a more luxurious feel featuring models. In keeping with that we signed up Nick Sneeth, a highly capable director who is focused on the quality of the image, using high end cameras, lots of lighting and post production magic to really make the images pop.
For these series of adverts our brief required us to show the passing of time with our stars enjoying the Crocodile products at different stages of the day and night. Our client David wanted to show people effortless appearing and disappearing from screen whilst the camera moved on a dolly and the camera titled. For this we needed the serrvices of Justin, a motion capture expert who has worked on a raft of TV commercials as well as films like Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs. A humble but technically brilliant chap – he had built most of the motion capture equipment himself at his farm. Fundamentally the kit is computer controlled and allows for multiple passes of movement wiht the camera to allow us to have the actors “mixing” in and out of the action during the advert. Very clever stuff
The Great British Summer
As is standard procedure when shooting exteriors in the UK, we had the usual sense of dread as our first set of shoot days approached. Checking the weather reports on various apps isn’t the dream when you have so much other stuff to prepare in pre-production for a significant TV advert production. As it came to pass we managed to shoot one day in early June in Woking for the Garage Doors, but had to delay our Veranda and Winter Garden shoot to the end of June – as the days we originally chose inevitably turned into huge thunderstorms.
For the Woking Garage Door shoot we once again had the very capable Gavin “Onions” O’Malley as production manager and Steve Weiser as Director Of Photography. Steve is a remarkable DoP who can seem to work constantly throughout the day without rest or food! Steve’s contribution was vital for the look of the shoot, bringing along a recently repaired Red Camera, which he’d damaged a few weeks previously at Justin’s farm – doing a pre-production test for the shoot! Rather get the bad luck out of the way before the shoot than on the day! Sorry Steve!
For the Glass Veranda and Winter Garden shoots we were back at a familiar location in the middle of the beautiful countryside near Newbury in Berkshire. (We had previously shot the same products there with Tommy Walsh in 2016) This shoot was divided into 2 days due to how complicated the Winter Garden shoot would be. (this would need to shoot during the day and at proper night)
I was a little nervous about the fact we had a cast of 10 (including 4 kids) who had to find their way to a pretty remote location in the middle of the countryside. Fortunately all the cast and crew had their heads switched on and this wasn’t an issue.
Another challenge we faced was the wild life of Berkshire that have clearly been enjoying the wonderful heatwave that started towards the end of June. The Veranda had quite a lot of horse flies in it (this is the first time inevitably the owner’s of the property had experienced this) so we had a runner hovering them out of the roof space so they weren’t seen in the TV adverts! I was also surprised to see the Crocodile technicians jump onto the roof of the veranda to give it a wash before we started shooting. Two big guys on the glass roof – no problem – a really well made product!
With a cast of 12, a large crew and the great British summer to contend with, this project was quite a undertaking, but ultimately we’re very pleased with the results. The Garage Door and Veranda adverts will be on your screens in the next few weeks, with the Winter Garden coming later in the year.