Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Commercial shoot in Cape Town

Opportunities come every now and then and its up to us if we want to take it or not. This commercial shoot was one of those. A case of throwing yourself in at the deep end, take on the challenge and fill the production with high-risk manoeuvers.

The biggest problem is that you set goals for yourself and when you reach them naturally you want to go bigger and better when the next project comes your way. Well, maybe not everybody is like that, but I know the Walsers are certainly built in this manner. With this job it was no different, but to achieve it I had to convince the client that if he wants to raise the bar further he has to increase the budget. I am not a particular great sales person, but this time round I knew that it was the only way to go forward, especially after the Parlotones blending film. In some ways you shoot yourself in the foot since this particular client might take longer to commission me again. The thing is the additional cost will go purely towards the hiring of better equipment to add production value and not more money in my pocket. The flip side of spending the money on the gear and stay humble is a mind-blowing end product that is not going to stand back for anything. If we want to take on the big guns and play in the 30 sec commercial space we better start pulling out a few more stops. This will however mean that I cannot blame the equipment anymore. If the commercial is not good now, then its just me who is not good enough.

I planed the ad pretty well, but with all the country hopping misunderstandings kept on crawling in. So much that 3 days before the shoot the only thing that we had left was the Cape Grace’s Bascule bar and their yacht. We hung on to our false hopes and my brother Pieter, the client and I held an urgent Skype call meeting. The question was should we terminate the project and delay it for a later stay. Walking away from it now was a crazy sinking thought. We came so far and now stopping? This kind of talk just inspired me more that we can make this thing work. Getting so close and then ending up not doing it was not what I wanted to hear and in my eyes no option.

Miracle after miracle started rolling in and we solved the problems one by one. I had to alter the script slightly, but mostly for the better. Just as we had thought we dealt with all the issues and found solutions for the problems the Cape Grace told us that there has been a misunderstanding and we cannot have the bar and the boat for the shoot anymore. It was the only two things that we actually had and the reason why we were committed not to abandoning the commercial. Loosing this would mean in theory we have nothing.

With a great deal of praying and Gods Grace over the Cape Grace we went in full blown on Thursday morning for the 2 day shoot. Things just fell in place like it was always going to be and so much better than we originally planned. I never had any doubt that it was going to work out, but when we lost the yacht and bar I was pretty disappointed about the entire affair. To cut a very long wonderful story short it was a big success and I am looking forward to dig into the editing. There are a lot of people worth mentioning that without them this ad would have been nothing at all. Thanks so much guys for sticking with us through the experience and help making it happen.

Steve Straker – (Hands on Wine). Siskha Brand – (Hands on Wine). Pieter Walser – (BLANKbottle) Planning, Actor, Assistant. Wilhelm Walser – Sound, Runner, Gaffer. Aneen Walser – Fill in actor, Make-up. Juan Slabbert – Fill in Actor, Runner. Allan Mullins (Woolworths) –, Actor. Ivan Oertle (Woolworths) – Actor. Okkie Slabbert – Actor. Johan Slabbert – Actor. Rob Kellerman – Band. Fred May – (Shofar) Band, Matthew May – Band, Ira van der Merwe – Shofar. Johan – Bodyguard. Calab Heymann– (Red One Africa) Camera Technician. Mario – Kaapseklopse. Andrew Rosettenstein – (Cape Grace). Eldine – Make-up artist. Christian and Alana Walser – Transport, Catering, Manfred Thieroff – Navy mission. Beba Hauptfleisch – Support, and finally the big master in the heavens, God for making the impossible happen. Ooh boy we would have been lost without Him.

Editing will probably start in the next few weeks. Just need a little bit of sleep first.