CAMPAIGN CRAFT: CRAFT SECRETS - Skateboarders perform in Daewoo extravaganza/Duckworth Finn had to construct a 60-feet ’pipe’ to capture these aerial antics. Gavin Boyter reports

With ’aerial fantasy’, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters has pulled off the unlikely feat of making a luxury car commercial with attitude - not to mention altitude. This 30-second spot for the Daewoo Lanos aims to instil a sense of excitement into the brand and address affluent but fun-loving 25- to 35-year-olds. The pan-European campaign will air in mainland Europe this month and hit British screens from January 2000.

With ’aerial fantasy’, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters has pulled off

the unlikely feat of making a luxury car commercial with attitude - not

to mention altitude. This 30-second spot for the Daewoo Lanos aims to

instil a sense of excitement into the brand and address affluent but

fun-loving 25- to 35-year-olds. The pan-European campaign will air in

mainland Europe this month and hit British screens from January

2000.



The spot features a Lanos joining a group of skateboarders on an immense

half-pipe. Driven by a crash-helmeted young couple, the car races up and

down the pipe, spinning in the air before finally, tearing down a

handrail with sparks flying in its wake. The effect is spectacular and

the ad has an edgy, extreme sports-video feel.



Duckworth Finn’s creative director, Paul Grubb, claims the Korean client

was receptive to the idea. Having been pleased with previous UK ad

campaigns, Daewoo accepted the outlandish storyboards Grubb presented

for the Lanos with nothing more than a raised eyebrow. But as Grubb

points out: ’The onus was now on us to make it work out.’



Grubb enlisted Daniel Barber of Rose Hackney Barber, with whom he had

worked on previous Daewoo spots. Grubb says: ’Daniel has a fast, edgy

style and we knew he had the technical capability, and wouldn’t be

scared of something so big.’



’The script didn’t in any way suggest how it might be done,’ Barber

says.



Discounting the possibility of using models early on, he decided to do

it for real. It was also decided that there should be skateboarders

alongside the car and real drivers in the car itself. For added

veracity, a digital video camera was installed inside the Daewoo to

capture the stunt-persons’ expressions.



At more than 60-feet long and 30-feet high, the pipe itself was too big

for the skateboarders to perform on properly. Their gravity-defying

leaps were instead captured at a rink in Oxford and patched in later in

Flame by Jason Watts of the Mill. Barber shot on a variety of stocks

including Super-8 and 16mm. ’We didn’t want to be limited to 35mm just

because it’s a commercial,’ Barber says. ’There’s something special

about Super-8 and handheld Bolexes you just don’t get on 35mm.’



It took more than six weeks to construct the set and shoot the

commercial, with ’a long couple of weeks’ of Flame work required. As

well as removing the crane, the car rigs and roller-coaster tracks,

replacing obscured sections of the car, pipe and accompanying shadows

and finessing the movement of the aerial spin, Watts added sparks to the

base of the Daewoo riding the railings at the end. Most of the Flame

work, however, remains invisible.



’The best kind of post-production is that you can’t see,’ Watts

says.



’Aerial fantasy’ was edited by Rick Russell of Final Cut to a pounding

rap/rock track by Monk & Canatella and is over before the viewer really

knows what’s going on. Although Barber toyed with the idea of a longer

cut, he left it at 30 seconds because ’if it goes on too long viewers

get bored and you lose out on repeatability’.



Barber insists that the breathtaking stunts of ’aerial fantasy’ are a

one-off. A Daewoo snowboarding is clearly out of the question.



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