South Africa

“The Reader” Give That Man A Bell’s.

Over the weekend I came across a long format commercial for South African whiskey distiller “Bells”. The two videos below show the full length commercial and the behind the scenes documentary that was produced to show the strategic thinking behind the spot. The commercial itself, is a touching and heartwarming look at a man’s growth to literacy.

The product and the tag line don’t even make it into the spot until the last 5 seconds of the 2 minute commercial. It doesn’t matter, this is not a hard sell commercial. It is however extremely effective, having hooked the viewer, and pulled you all the way through the story.If you are a content producer, videographer, story teller, or anyone that works with dynamic media, the second video is well worth watching for the  King James insight about the thinking that went into this piece.

“The Reader” was developed South African agency King James. The team consisted of;

  • Chief Creative Officer Alistair King,
  • Executive Creative Directors Devin Kennedy and Matt Ross,
  • Creative Director Mike Wilson,
  • Art director Cameron Watson,
  • Agency Producer Caz Friedman
  • Bell’s Whisky Brand Manager Thandeka Mgqumeya
  • Marketing Manager Thami Silwana.
  • Director Greg Gray for Velocity Films with Producer Helena Woodfine
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“In Saturn’s Rings” Stephen van Vuuren’s 4K Journey Into Space.

South African filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren is working on an IMAX film titled  In Saturn’s Rings. The film is being created by stitching, processing, and animating over one million images. The result is a spectacular immersive journey from the view point of Cassini-Huygens mission using Saturn and 25 additional sources.

Vuuren’s  film has been in development for a few years now, and its slated for release in IMAX at 6K resolution early next year. The visual process, which compiles still photographs into a moving images, is a proprietary  system by Van Vurren himself and if the trailer shows that this is going to be one beautiful film. The trailer is below, but if you click through to YouTube you can watch in 4K resolution which looks fantastic.

“The goal is to use large screen imagery, synchronized to powerful but moving music, to create an experience for those who see it, hear it and feel it.”

Summer Rosé,

The first day of summer is tomorrow, so keeping up with this weeks build up to summer theme I have created a poster of 10 rosés that you can drink now. None of them will break the bank and all of them are good choices for a hot summer afternoon. The list of wines is from Guyot’s rosé picks for 2013.

Prices range from 10 bucks to around 28. The rating scale from Guyot is pretty simple. 13-14/20 is a Good wine, 15-16/20 is a very good wine, 17-18/20 is excellent, anything above is outstanding.

In years past rosés have gotten a bad wrap, especially in the United States. These 10 will change any perception you have about the quality of rosé wines, and hopefully get you drinking rosés if you haven’t started already.

Summer-rose

Storytelling in 60 Seconds.

The art of editing film takes time to learn and perfect. The subtleties and finesse required to help finish the story through editing is truly a craft that must be mastered through years of trial and error as you perfect your skills. Editing a 60 second short can be even more challenging because you have compress the entire story in such a short time frame.

South African film editor Johan Walters had the opportunity to Bauke Brouwer’s film “The Fallen”  for International One Minute Film Festival in 2011. Below is the short that he edited, and an interview with him discussing his technique, the decisions he made, and the final result. The two YouTube videos are the interview first followed by the final film. Pretty Interesting stuff.

Ponte Tower, by Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom has released a new short documentary on Vimeo. The film focuses on Ponte Tower in Johannesburg, South Africa, and captures the feeling of the haunting structure, with beautiful cinematography and editing. The film was shot on the new Black Magic cinema camera with time lapse sequences being shot on a Canon 5D Mk II.

For more info on shooting the film and some of the challenges Bloom faced, click here.

Ponte Tower from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

I Want to Amarok Your World.

I want to hand it to Ogilvey’s Cape Town South Africa offices for turning out a smart and engaging spot for the VW Amarok (sadly a vehicle that will never make it to the USA). The production quality of this spot shines, with really great cinematography, editing, staging, casting and soundtrack.

Produced by Velocity Films the ad features the Amarok rolling through a museum designed to look like the Smithsonian built on a sound stage at Cape Town Film Studios. Velocity created five dioramas using over 130 tons of sand and 26 tons of rock depicting everything from cavemen to the lunar landings. As the truck rolls through the museum an unsuspecting janitor polishes the floors while listening to a funky version of “It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing”.

The shoot and post work took more than two months to complete including the build out of the sets, and it shows. The final piece has a highly credible museum look and feel.

“The final result provides an unexpected, striking and amusing way of highlighting the technological innovation and smart, tough capabilities of the Amarok”. Jacques Massardo

BEV The Sampling Robot and Beverage Dispenser.

Here is a nice little marketing tool that utilizes Twitter. BOS Tea has developed a vending machine that allows customers to tweet for a free drink. Simply tweet the unique hashtag #BOSTWEET4T when standing in front of the machine, and you get an ice cold BOS Ice Tea on the house. It’s a pretty simple idea, but one that I can see more and more marketers adopting. It has a low cost to develop and the potential to go viral in the areas the machines are located. The concept was developed by South African marketing agency Cow Africa and New Zealand’s ThingKing.

ThingKing extended the concept for Cow Africa by developing a soundtrack that was triggered whenever a drink was dispensed. The sounds were based on the inherent sounds and visuals within the machine and were designed to amplify the machine both in terms of the sounds that its makes and the partially unseen things that take place internally.

Cameras were placed in areas of mass movement as were contact microphones in places with interesting sound. We played a bit with the audio visual mix of these elements and arrived at an overall machine feeling. Sounds such as the motors moving, the drink being knocked around and coins clinking were all amplified through 2 speakers placed on-top of the dispenser. Two monitors abreast of these speakers played real time footage of the goings on inside the machine.

The BOS vending machine made her debut appearance at the 2012 Design Indaba, and can now be seen handing out free beverages for tweets at Wembley Square, Cape Town