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Making an advert - Need a little help with story


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#1 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:42 PM

Basically I plan to make a few short adverts, because I always go way over the top even with shorts.

Advert goes:

A 20 year old, university type student sitting in a cafe eating a bacon sandwich/doughnut or something.

Pretty stunning girls walk past the resturaunt, looking in at him. They smile, some show a little giggle as they walk past.

The 20 year old thinks he is getting all the attention from the girls, and then the cafe owner looks at him and points down at his top from a distance.

Camera points down to see jam or sauce all down his top, then back up to his dissapointed face.

Problem is:

What's the advert going to be about. I was guessing maybe a clothes advert, it's related in a way.

So far, got a location in mind, got a DP with an XL1s, and a few friends that would probably want to act in it.

Any ideas as to what the advert could be about, would be greatly appreciated, considering I think I have the enthusiasm to actually make this one.

Tnx,

Dan.
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:02 PM

Basically I plan to make a few short adverts, because I always go way over the top even with shorts.

Advert goes:

A 20 year old, university type student sitting in a cafe eating a bacon sandwich/doughnut or something.

Pretty stunning girls walk past the resturaunt, looking in at him. They smile, some show a little giggle as they walk past.

The 20 year old thinks he is getting all the attention from the girls, and then the cafe owner looks at him and points down at his top from a distance.

Camera points down to see jam or sauce all down his top, then back up to his dissapointed face.

Problem is:

What's the advert going to be about. I was guessing maybe a clothes advert, it's related in a way.

So far, got a location in mind, got a DP with an XL1s, and a few friends that would probably want to act in it.

Any ideas as to what the advert could be about, would be greatly appreciated, considering I think I have the enthusiasm to actually make this one.

Tnx,

Dan.




I'd make it be about the color of the jam, see, he wasn't properly acessorized. The color of the jam did not properly accessorize with his clothing. Once he figures out the right color of jam that matches his outfit, the final shot would be of the same girls licking the jam off of him and smiling approvingly.

The voiceover could be representing a clothing store that promises to give you the look that sucks, er something like that.
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#3 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:18 PM

Not a bad idea actually, tnx for that. Although, since I made the thread, I come up with washing powder which could work.

Just wondering, when the ladies are walking past, I was thinking of putting a man walking past a smiling at him, for a joke. Although, would gay people take that a bit offensively do you reckon?
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#4 Gordon Highland

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:44 PM

How about a total non-sequitir? Leave it exactly as it is, then out of the blue the last six seconds cut to title card product shot completely unrelated. "Panasonic. Ideas for life." or "Michelin, because so much is riding on your tires." Or just have that giant creepy Burger King head appear outta nowhere, as is almost expected these days.

Or, something that actually makes sense, like "the new breakfast pita sandwich from Burger Shack. Keeping food in your mouth where it belongs." It could be a lottery commercial; he struck it rich and he (or they) doesn't care what he looks like in public anymore.
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#5 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 09:55 PM

Or, something that actually makes sense, like "the new breakfast pita sandwich from Burger Shack. Keeping food in your mouth where it belongs."


Ok, now that I might actually consider.. tnx, gotta discuss this over with the DP on Saturday (provided he hasn't gone off sick due to smoking of large amounts of weed..)

One challenge is going to be getting quite a few girls that look like models, and not having to pay them. I know a few, although I really wanted them to be about 21, whereas they are more 17/18.

Edited by Daniel J. Ashley-Smith, 05 January 2006 - 09:57 PM.

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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 10:04 PM

That reminds me about that commercial that probably had a $20 budget where they say they don't have enough money for a decent commercial and they just throw the URL up on the screen for 30 seconds.

Regards.

Karl
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#7 Sean Azze

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 10:37 PM

This topic reminds me of an ad I designed for a class back in college a couple of years ago that I won a people's choice award for (meaning it was the best one out of a class of 30 - just to show I'm not bragging). This is what It looked like -

The camera tracks right across a timeline. A date scrolled on the timeline comes into frame reading "1800's". A bunny rabbit is sitting just underneath. An announcer's V.O. comes on - "Over a century ago, the Easter bunny chose us as his preferred treat. I bet you've never heard of kids going on a hunt for Easter carrots".

We dissolve further down the timeline. The camera tracks right to the date "1950's". The Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham pops into frame. The announcer continues - "Then we made our first book cover when we starred alongside ham in Dr. Seuss's blockbuster novel Green Eggs and Ham."

We dissolve again. Now the camera tracks to the date "1987". We see a cooking pan. A hand enters screen right and cracks an egg into the pan. The announcer reads "We even gave life lessons when we showed you what your brain looks like on drugs."

We dissolve to a WS of the entire timeline. A column with an egg sitting atop rises from behind the timeline. We dissolve to a CU of the egg. The announcer finishes by saying "We're eggs. And we've been doing this for a long time."

I sent the egg committee a few emails to see if they'd be interested in doing the ad, but the gentleman who responded to my mails kept telling me they already had a campaign in full swing and that they had no way of incorporating an ad that fell outside their strategy (let alone accepting something from a kid who didn't work for an ad agency). Always was kind of bitter I couldn't use it for anything. Well, at least I hope I was able to regale a few people on this board. B)
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#8 Gordon Highland

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 10:41 PM

That reminds me about that commercial that probably had a $20 budget where they say they don't have enough money for a decent commercial and they just throw the URL up on the screen for 30 seconds.

Didn't they actually run that during the Superbowl? Or something else like it where they compared the cost of the airtime to the cost of production?

As for the models, long hair + a big fan + slow motion can go a long way towards implying glamor. A good makeup artist can do wonders. You could run an ad; if you make them look really good, many would do it for free. The trouble is convincing them of this in advance. Got a portfolio? If they're too young, you could cast the male lead's age down as well.
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#9 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 10:55 PM

As for the models, long hair + a big fan + slow motion can go a long way towards implying glamor.


Hey this is England we don't need fans we have wind. Works just as well... just a bit unpredictable that's all.

But yeh I was thinking slow motion. Probably along the lines of shooting 50i/125th shutter speed and then separate the fields in post. Could give it a test see how it comes out. I mean this entire ad is only supposed to last about 30 seconds, so the chances are we'l probably have plenty of time to shoot whatever we want. (I'm dragging about 15 people down to a coffee shop on orpington highstreet for a 30 second ad.. they're gonna love it)

Gonna need to get some gels aswell, since as the only lighting equipment I currently own are two 150watt garden flood lights... (tungsten, need daylight)

Well it's a very simple idea this whole ad thing, but I've seen films that are long but terrible. My plan is to make this ad look asthough it could actually go on TV, like it was shot but some top notch film crew.

Yeh, slight wobble on the camera to make it look realistic, slightly long lens for the man, subjective long shot from the man for the ladies. I've got it all planned out in my head. If it came out how I imagine it then yeh it would easily meet TV standards, but.. will it turn out that way.... I have a feeling the colours on the XL1s are going to let me down. The way I'm imagining it, it would probably need to be shot on HD or 35mm. (And yeh that's waaayyy out of the question, even 16mm)

Edited by Daniel J. Ashley-Smith, 05 January 2006 - 10:56 PM.

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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 11:39 PM

Yeh, slight wobble on the camera to make it look realistic, slightly long lens for the man, subjective long shot from the man for the ladies. I've got it all planned out in my head. If it came out how I imagine it then yeh it would easily meet TV standards, but.. will it turn out that way.... I have a feeling the colours on the XL1s are going to let me down. The way I'm imagining it, it would probably need to be shot on HD or 35mm. (And yeh that's waaayyy out of the question, even 16mm)



I really think a slicker, more refined camera style would fit what you've described more. I know a lot of commercials have been going with the 'slightly tipsy camera op' angle lately, but I think slick and stylish would fit better.

As for the colors on the XL1s, they are probably going to be a bit disappointing out of the camera but in post, you can give it a nice color-correction job quite easily. A bit more saturation, maybe a tidbit warm on the women, et cetera.
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#11 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 05:43 AM

A 20 year old, university type student sitting in a cafe eating a bacon sandwich/doughnut or something.

Pretty stunning girls walk past the resturaunt, looking in at him. They smile, some show a little giggle as they walk past.

The 20 year old thinks he is getting all the attention from the girls, and then the cafe owner looks at him and points down at his top from a distance.

Camera points down to see jam or sauce all down his top, then back up to his dissapointed face.

Then

CAFE OWNER
Too much jam?

The guy nods. The cafe owner whips out a

100GB IPOD NANO

and hands it to him. Small, sleek and begging to be used.

Over snippets of ipod footage:

VOICE OVER
With over 100 gigabytes of internal
memory, wireless surfing and video
playback, you'll have all the jam you'll
every need. Under complete control.

The guy's happy. Not thrilled, but it's a good start. Now where
were those ladies heading too?

Edited by TSM, 06 January 2006 - 05:52 AM.

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#12 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 07:42 AM

Any ideas as to what the advert could be about, would be greatly appreciated, considering I think I have the enthusiasm to actually make this one.

Tnx,

Dan.



Hi,

The Navy?

Stephen
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#13 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 09:03 AM

I worked a lot with Canon DV cameras (mostly XM2 and XL1). The thing is to treat the camera like a film camera.

Your DP should try using a tungsten white balance on the camera, giving the whole picture a blue-ish tone (a bit like using tungsten film outside uncorrected). Then using Tungsten Work-lights (500w-1000w) with a bit of CTO and diffusion on it on your talents, so the skintone are correct and even a bit warm. If you don't have CTO, just use a gold reflector and bounce the worklights into it.

By doing this, you'll have a better color separation between background and talents. On DV, it's always easier to nicely warm up the picture (remove a bit of blue or adding a bit of green) than making it colder.

Those ads are a lot about framing and look, try zoom close-ups to get a shallow DOF (use ND to shoot almost wide-open) on the talents faces (long lenses do help make people look good most of the time).

Shooting 50i or 60i should give nice slow-mos.

Best luck with your project!

Olivier
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#14 Marc Alucard

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 08:43 PM

Hi,

The Navy?

Stephen



Thank you Stephen!! Best laugh I had today.

Cheers,
Marc
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#15 Greg Gross

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 08:33 AM

Seems like a perfect set-up for a laundry detergent commercial. You have a enough critical
events listed to make a good story. You could cut-away from the cafe scene(where he looks
embarrassed,you know the stains,he figures out what the babes are giggling about) to him
walking down the street with one of the babes who peered into the window. Of course wearing
the same shirt,sweater,jacket etc. that had been previously stained and now de-void of all stains.
"Flub" gets all the stains out...all the time. Personally I would make strong use of color. I've done
commercial stills but have never done a commercial with HD or film. I'm wondering how brevity
plays into this. How long would the commercial be? How much dialogue Vs. action?

Greg Gross
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#16 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

It could be a lottery commercial; he struck it rich and he (or they) doesn't care what he looks like in public anymore.


This could be really funny.

It would free you up from having to do a "live" shot by shot sequence in which too much energy gets put into matching action and not enough gets put into the actual humor and message of the commercial.

This type of idea also allows for the actor to "Jim Carrey" it up a bit.

One shot he's got a fry in his ear, the next shot the fry is under his nose as a frystache, next shot he's got a really long straw that goes around his collar, etc...

Over these type of staccato shots would be a voice over that sings the praises of being goofy and not caring, because this person has just won the lotto. This now gives you the opportunity to work with someone who wants to be a writer and can write the additional voiceover prose needed to make the piece build to the final line about the lotto.

I'm of the opinion that over 90 percent of commercials use voice-overs, so why not start with what works and build from there? You can even expand the idea from just eating in a goofy manner. One shot could be of the actor pedaling a tricycle, another shot could be of a silly dance step in a clothing store as they try on clothes...etc...
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