• Loading...
5th August 2013
Bumper spot
Title of film: Skoda, Not Your Everyday Car directed by Keith Scholfield
!.4 talks with Caviar Prague's exec producer Petra Ondrejkova on making the super size gadgets for director Keith Schofield's latest commercial. See Related Content and 1.4 FB page for storyboard and work-in-progress stills

What was the method for designing the mega-sized vehicles and gadgets?

The souped-up gadgets were designed after Fallon and director Keith Schofield discussed the best possible combination of theory and detail, and which would make the most instant impact on our audience when viewing the spot for the first time. They were then created by our production designer, Henry Boraros, who is originally Hungarian but he lives and works in Prague. Henry created the actual shape and structure of each object taking into consideration the reasoning and story behind each one.
 
There was a permanent dialogue between all involved – production design, director, agency and client – because we had to be careful to strike the right balance, not to go too far or over the top with the look, to stop them from looking too fussy and to not loose the joke of the oversized-souped up shape and function.

Henry started the design process by sourcing references of which objects and details could be combined to create a surreal ‘super object’. Then he visualised them, making several drawings and sketches for approvals. After that he created 3D renders to show their scale, because we found out that the key to our project is to compare different scales in the same framing or vignette..

Finally after a few weeks, we worked on this for almost a month, we started to build the  actual gadgets based on Henry’s scale drawings and blueprints (see in Related Content).

Where were they constructed and by who?
 
The gadgets were constructed by the model-makers under Henry and Martin Pec’s supervision (Martin is a sculptor and director of a top model-making company in Prague).

There were  five to six teams working  individually  on each  gadget, most of them built by hand. The BBQ base, for instance, was created and beaten into shape by hand over a series of days from a patterned metal sheet, which is very rare these days. Some parts of the gadgets were prepared by laser cut, for some we made some special forms and some of them we built from existing elements to look real in the end, so it was a real mixed bag!
 
To retain believability and instant recognition, most of the gadgets were built using the original materials that they would normally be made from if they were the everyday (standard sized) object. We had to fake some parts, simply because of the sheer weight. It was very detailed work combining several professions and different people to achieve the best result. We are very proud of the work!
 
Did Keith draw up a detailed storyboard?
 
Yes he did and actually he did it in the very, very early stages, right after the job was awarded to us. The storyboard was the key point of the whole production.  To be able to agree with the agency creatives and the client which gadgets we would need for the story and  to start designing them we had to have the story line ready from the early days to make sure we had enough time to make them.

What is really amazing is the storyboard barely changed from the first draft. Keith had a pretty clear and strong vision from the beginning on how to tell the story and how to achieve the ideas to make them work with the limited time we had for each featured object. That’s one of the great things about him which makes him a real pleasure to work with, and one of the best technical directors around. 
 
Was it shot on location in Prague – was the production straight forward?

Skoda Auto is based in Czech republic so they really like to shoot key productions on their home turf and to keep the business/production in the country if  possible. Therefore Prague was of course an option early on in the bidding process but we were also looking into several different options to have more creative options for presenting the story.
 
The aim here  was to find a location, a small village neighborhood where people live, who could hang outside their property and easily interact with the car driving by. We were looking into a place with a visual unity and also we were looking for a place which had front lots or gardens so as to avoid any fencing in the space between the car and the actors (which would obscure the action).

This is not an easy task to find in Prague as we don’t really have an American style of living here like in LA. People have built fences around their lots since the communists were present, as residents don’t want to have anybody approaching or being on their properties… luckily a few years ago an American  neighborhood was built and it’s where all the expats live. The aesthetic of the location combined with the expat way of living that is very different from the Czech way, made it the perfect place for us to shoot this film.

Credits

Skoda

Agency : Fallon
Agency Producer : Tracy Stokes
Group Account director: James Easterbrook
Agency Account director: Katy Cuff
Creative Director: Sam Hibbard, Dan Watts
Creative : Sam McCluskey / Becca Pottinger
Director : Keith Schofield
Production Company : Caviar Prague
Executive Producer : Petra Ondrejkova/Anna Smith
Producer : Petra Ondrejkova
DOP: Damian Acevedo
Production Designer : Henry Boraros
Editorial Company: Marshall Street Editors
Editor: Tim Thornton-Allan
Post Production Company: UPP Prague
Music : Eclectic