In the beginning...
When the team at The Behaviours Agency (formally The Market Creative) sent over a brief that included the reference of the FKA Twigs and Spike Jonze spot for Apple music, to say we were excited is an understatement. We knew we had to do it, we knew we had to nail the pitch, we knew we had to win the job!
The brief was based on the previous Sharps commercials which had been created almost entirely in CGI (produced by Team Gate with our awesome director Matt McDermott), and show how Sharps furniture fits perfectly in any shaped room. But in this update, the team from The Behaviours Agency (TBA) wanted to show a clear “before” and “after” scenario. Charlotte Sadler, senior account manager for TBA explains –
“We wanted a re-imaging of the previously successful Sharps TV commercials, but this time we wanted to show the difference between freestanding wardrobes, and Sharps bespoke fitted wardrobes.”
Phil Monks, deputy Creative Director at TBA expands further –
“The story behind the ad really came about as we wanted to show just how much wasted space freestanding furniture creates, and how much a Sharps bespoke fitted wardrobe can maximise every single inch of space in a room.”
We started with directors. We wanted to bring someone new to the table, and began the hunt for a director who perfectly encapsulates working with a combination of real life props and CGI. We discovered Bugsy Steel. Top name. Top director. His treatment and our production skills with the budget won us the job. And the adventure began.
Bugsy wanted to create as much of the magic in camera as possible, he says -
“It’s really important that we did the effects in camera so they felt exciting, had a “wow” factor to them, and engaged with the audience. I often find that CGI doesn’t grab you – it’s not exciting to see. We want to see how everything is working – how it folds in, how it meets the edges of the room – how it all comes together in a really magical way.”
Art Department - Assemble!
We needed a large open plan studio that could accommodate a multitude of duplicate sets and individual VFX sets. The sets were constructed in Doncaster in Northern Film and TV studios which has 42,000sq foot of studio space.
The art department crew was one of the biggest we’ve ever assembled. One Interior Designer, one Production Designer, 4 construction crew and a further team of 5 buyers and assistants. Together they created 2 product sets, and 2 VFX duplicate sets - along with several individual trick sets specific to individual products.
The art department and construction team was led by Production Designer Pete Rodwell. Over three weeks the team designed, prepared, tested, constructed and fine tuned the sets to insure they meshed beautifully with the product, with expert advice from an on hand product team from Sharps.
Working 9 to 5 (Yeah right...)
After three weeks build time in studio, there was one pre-light with client in attendance and 2 long and full shoot days. Each shoot day was dedicated to a different room set – one more traditional, one more modern in it’s styling.
The shooting process worked through from full product, then stripping right back to individual elements. There was quite a lot of deconstructing and reconstructing the sets as we went to ensure the incredible VFX elements remained hidden and the product was at the forefront at all times.
Our production manager Lindsay gives us an overview -
“My favourite part of this job was all of it! But if I had to chose a specific favourite part, I’d say the planning. Working out with every department over the course of months how we could seamlessly integrate the product with the production design and VFX technology to bring it to life live on camera in studio. I love how effortlessly it comes together on screen to demonstrate how the product really is perfect for any and every space. There was nothing that wasn't considered in the planning of this commercial, and it was evident watching master craftsmen in both design and television coming together perfectly on the shoot day to produce two high end television commercials. A real labour of love!”
Want To See How It's Done?
The Behaviours Agency asked us to create a behind the scenes film for the client to show at their annual conference, you can view it here –
The finished commercials show both modern and traditional rooms suited to every home - demonstrating your hidden potential in your rooms to see how Sharps can work for you. The tricks are seamless and the end result has that little sprinkle of magic the whole team were after.
We're super proud of the outcome, and so was Bugsy -
“This project was a lot of fun. I had the challenge to make a room transform into a perfectly fitted sharps wardrobe in front of your eyes and all in camera. Thankfully we had an amazing team that all worked together to make this possible and create two films that I'm very proud of. Plus we got a dog in there!”
Some Nice Feedback Is Always Good...
Phil Monks, DCD at TBA says –
“Working with The Gate is always a pleasure. From talking through the initial concept to finding the best director for the job, they really got what we were trying to achieve. Bugsy was a great Director to work with. Wanting to shoot a lot of the elements in camera really elevated the creative, bringing it into the real world. He is meticulous about detail, storytelling and style in perfect measure.”