You have to see all three ads in this 1st For Women insurance campaign – just press that Related Content button. We were fixated on Top Gun because it’s such a good production and quizzed Anton Visser about making the film, and then we saw Mentos…
The production of Top Gun looks HUGE, was it?
It was pulled together with a relatively modest budget, so I’m very chuffed with where we ended up. We only had three shoot days so we worked from a pre-cut animatic to save time. It was nerve wracking to shoot only the shots that the animatic demands because you’re limited in the edit, but it allowed us to get in and out and get a wide variety of scenes.
We built a replica cockpit that moved on a gimbal, so the pilots would be affected by the motion. The CG aspect was a challenge as it can just look wrong if the planes don’t move in the right way or if they feel like they don’t have “weight”. And even though the commercial is a bit slapstick, if the CG looks hammed up or silly then the whole thing falls apart. Black Ginger in Cape Town did the VFX for us and I’m very happy with what they managed to achieve, especially with regards to the small adjustments and movements that jets make in mid-air.
The narrative is hilarious, did the original script from the agency differ much from the final result?
I did change the script a bit – initially the idea was that the pilots tried to out do each other in the sky by doing loop-de-loops and tricks etc. And then one of them crashes. I just loved the human truth about men – that we’ll always find a way to race and compete, so that felt like a more dramatic expression of the idea. We changed the script from being almost a “dance-off” in the sky to being a flat-out foot race that inconveniences a lot of other people on the ground.
The music is so spot on, was that specially created?
My editor, Ricky Boyd at Deliverance, hit on the song and it just worked from the start. It is very literal with the lyrics and all, but it adds a wierd, camp, silly vibe to what the pilots are doing, while they think they’re super cool. We re-recorded the Village People song in Joburg and took it in a slightly new direction.