Ad Forum | Shooting From A Distance

Despite the fact that most of them are in lockdown, many production companies are continuing to make great work. We find out how. One thing we can be sure of judging by the experiences of the past few weeks: you can’t keep creativity down. Despite an almost global lockdown, brands are still communicating and production companies are still making films.
Press April 23, 2020


A guy who seems to be having a lot of fun filming himself at home is Reda, the star of Ogilvy UK’s chirpy spot for telecom brand Voxi, produced by The Mill.

Director Jocelyn Anquetil oversaw the spot remotely using Zoom, while Reda filmed himself on Samsung S20-series phones. He live-streamed the camera feed over a mobile data network while Jocelyn framed the shots and directed him from her living room.

“It was about 11 days in total from creative sign off to delivery,” she says. “All the briefings, casting, set design, rehearsals and so on happened over maybe five days via group video chats. It’s quite mad that I never actually met Reda or the two creatives. We’ve had many the Zoom chat though.”

There were moments of frustration, of course. “Some days, especially on a crazy turnaround, there’s only so much of ‘ten people on a call all chatting at once’ that your brain can take. Everything was done in double time and at the same time, so the process became one big party that everyone was involved in, rather than having the separation and steps you’d usually have in a production.”

As for Reda, he was both actor and sole crew member, having to deal with the “pernickety changes”, as Jocelyn puts its, that regular crew are used to. “He was great though – I think he had a laugh.”

Oddly enough, the day of the shoot was relatively stress free. “Because we were each in very chilled environments, our experience of the shoot day, although weird, was more relaxed and fun while still productive.”

Stephen Venning, executive director at The Mill, found the project inspiring. “Within a week the agency were able to rewrite the script and our Mill Direction team were able to build a production pipeline that enabled them to shoot the talent in various locations over two days, to create a very in the moment TVC. At the heart of this project was the fact that creativity or production always finds a way of ‘making’.”

Read the full article on Ad Forum.