For our MDA 1400 (Production Thoery and Practice) module, we were required to produce a 30 second advert for a product of our choice. We were put into producer and director pairs; I was paired with Jhenelle White, who took the role of producer, so I took the role of director. We both sat down and began formulating ideas. We thought about some of our favourite adverts, a lot of which happened to have comedic styles, which led us to the conclusion that comedy is an effective way to make an advert memorable. With comedy in mind, we began thinking of a suitable product. We wanted to use a product that didn’t already have too much of an advertisement campaign under it’s belt, so our audience wouldn’t already associate the product with a pre-existing slogan or advertising ‘gimmick’. We also didn’t want a product that had been portrayed in a ‘serious’ manner in previous adverts, as our comedic advert would be inconsistent with the product’s reputation. We decided to use ‘Halls’ cough sweets as our product, as there is no current advertisement campaign for it, and the majority of previous Halls adverts have been comical.
We began coming up with an idea for the advert. As the advert had to be 30 seconds, we wanted to make something simplistic, yet effective. We decided that we wanted to portray the effect that Halls cough sweets gives the consumer, in a visual manner. Here is the script:
Once we had the story, we began hiring crew and actors for production. After hiring a DOP and an actor, Jhenelle began finding props and locations, and I began storyboard the film. We booked room G321 in the Grove building at Middlesex University as our main location, planning to dress the set to make it look like an office. We thought that this room would be perfect with it’s white walls and table. Our second location we needed was a green frield; for this we chose Hendon Park, as it is close to the university and it fits the plot of the film. Once we had the locations, and the props in place, we wrote a 2 day shooting schedule, and we were ready to shoot the film.
The shoot went smoothly, and there were no problems. We shot in the field first, as there was only one day in the week with nice weather. During the ‘office scene’ shoot, we dressed the set to make it look like an office. To do this, we placed a desk by the window in the room and put an Arri light on the outside, to give the impression that the office could be located in a high rise building. We then added props to the desk, such as a computer, a keyboard, papers, a coffee cup, sticky notes and picture frames/pictures to give the impression of a real, working office desk. We also added a large piece of white cardboard to the side of the desk to make it look like a divided office ‘booth’. Jhenelle also added make-up to the actor to make him look as if he had a nasty cold. There were no problems with the shoot, everything went to plan. Overall I believe that the final product is successfully and fits the brief. Here is the film: