Crashing good commercial

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Durban advertising agency The Hardy Boys chose Fresh Eye film director Craig Blythe to direct a clever, currently flighting commercial for the South African National Blood Bank.

A split screen is used to show the innocent mirrored lives of “Mark’ and “Carol’ until one of them crashes their car rendering one a blood donor and one a recipient. The voice over: ‘Carol didn’t know she’d need blood. Mark didn’t know his blood would save a life.’

With only two days to shoot, Blythe said matching up their lives in the split screen depiction was challenging and it also took detailed planning to make the crash scene look authentic. “We had the car towed and the sudden braking of the tow truck threw our actor forward giving the impression of an accident. Careful not to cause any injury, we measured the safety belt so she never actually hit the windscreen. However, for the crumpled car shot we did actually crash a car. A combination of 3D effects, in camera-effects and stunt work, we managed to achieve exactly what we had hoped for.

“Casting for Carol was reasonably easy; however after three rounds of unsuccessful casting looking for Mark, we eventually spotted him shopping in Woolworths in Rosebank.’

Blyth was quick to mention that one of the elements to creating a good commercial is often the chemistry between ad agency and director. “Hardy Boys Creative Director Geoff Paton was great to work with.’

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