Campaign Craft: Craft Secrets - Judderman adds chilling aspect to Metz fairytale/HHCL’s latest ad aims to replicate the feel of early European cinema and folklore, Gavin Boyter writes

’If you’re 18 and you have a choice between a safe product and a dangerous one, you’ll choose the dangerous one,’ HHCL & Partners’ creative, Al Young, says. The agency’s latest Metz commercial gives the product an element of danger.

’If you’re 18 and you have a choice between a safe product and a

dangerous one, you’ll choose the dangerous one,’ HHCL & Partners’

creative, Al Young, says. The agency’s latest Metz commercial gives the

product an element of danger.



The ad follows HHCL’s ’freelance scientist’ spot for the Schnapps-based

drink. Ian Williamson, the art director, and Jonathan Burley, the

copywriter, fashioned a Lewis Carroll-inspired ode to the creepy

’Judderman’ and his bizarre world. Their strategy was to evoke a

character who, like the drink, is beguiling, mysterious and cold. The ad

also emphasises the drink’s kick as a ’judder’’, as in the previous

work.



To direct the spot they chose Enda McCallion, the Irish-born director

who signed to Spectre last July. McCallion’s previous work included a

banned Renault spot featuring two cars in flagrante, and two for the

Citroen Saxo, ’mad cow’ and ’ring of fire’, paying homage to the films

From Dusk Till Dawn and Alien. McCallion stood out from the shortlist of

possible directors, according to Burley, because of his mischievous

sense of humour.



McCallion talks with a daunting rapidity about his interests.

Inspiration for ’Judderman’, he says, came from early European cinema;

the Czech animator, Jan Svankmajer, especially his 1988 film, Alice, and

the ’junk opera’ of the cult Cincinnati band, The Tigerlilies, based on

the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. As McCallion lay in a hospital bed

in Paris recovering from an ear infection that had affected his balance,

the ideas came together.



The result was a spectacular vision of an icy wilderness, populated by

shivering peasants under the Judderman’s hypnotic spell.



For atmosphere, the shoot took place in Budapest with an adapted

hand-cranked Arri camera, used to replicate the variable shutter speeds

seen in early cinema. Dissolve effects were made by taking double

exposures.



Post-production on Flame was undertaken at London’s Glassworks facility,

including transferring the flickering feel of the hand-cranked camera to

the few shots that needed a modern camera.



The art director on the set, Nikos Meletopolous, constructed a fantastic

set, to which digital matte backgrounds were added by Jean-Marie Vives,

whose previous work includes Alien 4 and Delicatessen. Elements of

animation and puppetry added to the storybook feel, with Budapest

puppet-makers employed to give the commercial its unique framing device.

Katy Minter’s vivid costumes were fashioned from wool and silk and

incorporated wood and vegetation. Much of the commercial’s charm comes

from the voiceover supplied by the half-Polish, half-Czech actress,

Alicia Suszka Fielder.



The atmospheric music and sound design was provided by Srdjan Kurpjel of

the London company, Mind the Sound.



The Judderman’s shadows were allowed to fall across the matte background

and the animation was kept deliberately crude. McCallion describes the

whole process as one of ’playing around with ideas and perspectives -

bringing order to chaos’. But there is clearly enough chaos left to make

this a commercial with repeat value and which has, to quote the copy,

’teeth, and sharp ones at that’.



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