The creative out of DDB is spot on. What was the brief like?
The script was very short. Written by the lovely and brilliant Mike and Rob at DDB, they’d nailed a lovely and unused observed truth, that many more people do the dreaded walk of shame in the festive season. I’ve worked with them before, which always helps, and on my reel are a couple of other similarly observed spots – it’s one of may favorite ways to work.
The mannerisms, the body language, and the quirky details of the extras make it feel very authentic. What were the casting sessions like?
It was a nightmare. An endless stream of beautiful girls in short dresses. Haha. I love, always love, casting, but this one was particularly good fun. It felt right that we should do the casting outside in the street rather than in a confined space, so we had the poor girls waiting in a drafty corridor at Outsider and then let them do a walk of shame for real.
Did it take many takes to get such natural performances?
No, partly because the girls were great, and partly because we didn’t have time. It was a single day shoot, with a load of girls and several different locations. None of it was storyboarded – it’s the best way to get spontaneous natural performances. We just turned up in a few carefully selected spots and set the girls loose. They each had their back story and understood who they were. Every one of them did themselves proud.
It looks as if it was an easy shoot, which probably means it was difficult. Did everything go according to plan?
The time was our biggest challenge. We were shooting when the days were at their shortest, and we had so much to get done. For our final shot of the spot, where the Harvey Nics girl enters her mansion block, we’d chosen the location on the basis that the sun would set right into camera which would look amazing. Setting one’s shoot around the appearance of the sun in London in mid-November is always going to be a risk, but it appeared on cue at 3.30 pm just as we were setting up the shot. We were very lucky indeed.
Director : James Rouse
Production Company: Outsider
Producer : Benji Howell @ Outsider
Agency : DDB UK
Creative Director : Jeremy Craigen
Creative team : Mike Crowe & Rob Messeter
Account Director : Paul Billingsley
Account Manager : Charlotte Evans