Officers Club advert

I worked on it with my creative partner, Eugene Petrusenko.

This idea was inspired by a Russian standup.

The main idea is that: Which part of you really is you? You have genetically inherited most things from your parents. You can look into the mirror and get used to what you see, but that face is not yours by choice. So what you really are largely depends on how you think, how you live, and how you look

This is our first time working on a TV advert. I never knew it was this difficult to come up with an idea for television. I think I was so used to coming up with ideas for print that I had to change my mindset a little bit. It took a while though.

At first, I was really stressed out because we didn’t seem to be able to come up with a decent idea. We had ideas, but just those that didn’t work. I think most of our ideas were just us trying to say that Officers Club is a cool brand. But I remember Luke Sullivan suggesting in Hey Whipple, Squeeze This that we shouldn’t tell, but show. I think that the final idea that we picked is what he was talking about.

We had a lot of talks about the brand. We weren’t that impressed after visits at their stores. We also didn’t really like the t-shirts they sell (those with nasty quotes on them) because even though they are only 20-30% of all the things they offer but they are enough to destroy the brand image. So we try to focus on the ‘cool’ factors of the brand.

After we had the idea we both liked, things started to get better.

At first, Richard, the “music producer” took back his offer to help because we didn’t contact him back (but that was only because we didn’t have any idea). But I wrote a long and nice email to him apologizing and asking for his help, we received a positive reply. However, after sending him our storyboard and script, he disappeared for around a week. We tried emailing him, but only around three days before the due date, he replied that he was working on the music but couldn’t guarantee that it would be done on time. In the end, it turned out that the music he made for us was not what we wanted at all, we tried to explain to him what kind of music we were looking for and even gave him sample tracks, but he still couldn’t achieve our goal. So we only kept his voice as the voiceover, which was professionally recorded in a studio, and I decided to mix the music myself. I mixed tracks from the movie Requiem for a Dream together with The Prodigy’s Omen, and it turned out really satisfying. I used the program Garageband, which I have never used much before. Mostly, I learned it through experimenting and Googling up tutorials. And now I am quite a pro!

We went to the photography department in Mandella to borrow a tripod, but encountered some difficulties. They wouldn’t lend us anything unless we got a signature from our tutor. That was the week that we were off from class, so we weren’t sure where Neil and Kay would be. We tried emailing Neil (our tutor) but the email couldn’t be sent. So I decided to run to Blandford Square to check if anyone was in. And Kay (our other tutor) was, so we got the signature we needed and got the tripod, only to find out that the tripod Eugene had ordered earlier was just delivered in the mail.

We also went to Dance City to ask if we could film some of their dancers and one lady at the reception said that would be no problem and told me to contact the manager of Dance City. I did and she was a massive help but due to the bad timing, things didn’t work out as I had hoped. We had to sign some forms in order to film on their property, but the manager said that the forms would be ready on Monday the 15th, which we thought would be too late. So we went in to Dance City anyway and planned to ask whether the dancers could meet us outside for us to film. We met a really nice dance crew who agreed to be filmed, but they lived far away so it wouldn’t be convenient for us to meet outside of Dance City some other day. We couldn’t film outside on that day we met them because it was already getting dark. So we decided to film them inside of Dance City anyway because we didn’t see any “office people” around. Everything turned out well. All the dancers were really eager to please the camera. Even one young dancer’s father joined in.

We had been trying to contact the parkour society in Newcastle but never received a reply. Luckily, one “bboy” at Dance City knew one of them, so he told us where and when they usually train. We went there and found them pretty easily. They agreed to help without hesitation and were very helpful.

In the beginning, we had one person in mind to do Kung Fu for us, but he quit the class he used to go to with Eugene before we could talk to him. So we asked someone else to do it for us. His style might not be as cool as the first guy but he was good nonetheless. He was a student at Newcastle College as well, and was terribly nice about everything.

For the clubbing scene, Eugene was afraid it might be difficult to ask someone at the club to dance for the camera but I thought it was worth a try. Eugene was sick that night so I went without him. It turned out that people loved cameras. The only problem I had was that there wasn’t enough light (in the room where there was enough light there wasn’t enough people).

At first we planned to use iMovie but it turned out that iMovie didn’t have the features/techniques we wanted in our video. So we decided to use Adobe Premiere Pro instead. The program is amazing, even though it’s much more difficult to use than iMovie, but the features it provides are worth it.

I think I have had the most fun with this project because of the production process. I have learned how to get what I want simply by being nice and asking people for it; to communicate and keep relationships with “useful” people.

The video editing is one of the most stressful parts of the whole process. There are some disagreements on what we wanted. Also, it was difficult to match the music, voiceover and video together. The results are pretty satisfying though.

The presentation went really well (even though I stuttered a little) but the clients loved the advert, which is what’s most important!

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One comment

  1. Herr Direktor · November 18, 2010

    Great to read how much goes into your work. It looks effortless. A little like theatre, eh? Well, this is a brave new world, mon Oeil. I am sure you’re on a great journey. Take a deep breath and jump, jump, jump.

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