Director: Paul Yates
Creative Director: Daniel Gray
Cinematographer: Clive Lawrie
Producer: Darry Tuchman
Editor: Paul Yates
Audio Post: HeyPapaLegend
Audio Mixer: HeyPapaLegend
Art Director/Warddrobe - Renate Schulz
Old Man: Alan Barsdorf
Why this script/concept? How does it reflect your vision as a commercial director?
I loved this script because it required a strong performance from my lead and it had a subtle and smart humor that is hard to find in commercials. The concept was also very character-driven which I like.
What was the casting process like?
The casting process was quite unusual because it required us to audition elderly men who had to dance for us. We saw A LOT of older men dancing for us so at times it was quite funny. It was a challenge finding someone who was elderly but still had a youthful energy about them. I think we succeeded in finding the perfect person with Alan.
How did you search for/lock a location?
We needed to find an old age home that had a lot of character. We literally just searched online for retirement homes and went to see them. We got lucky with our location (The Nazareth House) as it wasn’t listed on many sites but we somehow stumbled across it. The building is over 100 years old and has amazing props and furniture (like the porcelain bulldog in the beginning of the spot) so we didn’t have to do too much set decor/art direction. A lot of it was already there!
How did you select your DP, crew, etc.?
I got my DP’s name through my producer who showed me his reel. I was looking for a cinematic look for the ad and Clive’s reel really had some beautiful shot stuff. He also is just a really nice guy and we were on the same page with alot of the ideas. The rest of the crew I found through friends and my producer.
How did shooting go? Any challenges?
Shooting went well. We didn’t go over budget or time and managed to get all the shots we wanted. The main challenge was really nailing the performance. Alan, the lead, struggled (understandably so) to evoke that energy and emotion with every take and as the takes progressed there were more and more breaks in concentration so we really had to try and manage that as much as we could.
Tell us about editing and finishing.
I edited the film myself with the help of a friend. The main challenge was really being ruthless with the material and identifying what was and wasn’t important to include. You have to work really quickly in a commercial to establish the scene so it was tough to balance that with making sure we didn’t have too much in there. We also found the song being played in the beginning in post so it was great to see how that brought the film alive and I tried to match the rhythm of the edit to the song as well.
In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently?
In hindsight, I would have given myself more time with Alan’s performance. I should have let Alan work through the scenes a bit more to find that authenticity instead of having to cut around things in post. All in all though I think Alan was great and I’m happy with the final product!!