Anton Visser of Velocity Films is best known as a performance director who brings out
the best in amateurs and pros alike. It’s easy to see why — he has a humour and
calmness about him that puts you immediately at ease. Though he does abuse this gift,
I have discovered, at the poker table. But that’s another story.
He doesn’t play poker with his clients, however, and they reap the rewards for Visser
delivers more than he promises. That’s why he’s a busy guy, having just completed a
campaign for Fosters Lager in India and a new ad for Chicken Licken in South Africa.
His latest work follows an ant alighting on the knee of a young guy enjoying a picnic with
his mates. Of course the unfortunate Formicidae is flattened under hand, where his dear
insect friends congregate upon the man’s knee to perform a heart-breaking lament in
memory of their pal, which reduces the picnickers to tears. As the insects depart, the
guilty party raises a bite size burger to his mouth as if in salute to the little fella. ’For the
Love of the Little Things’ is the pay off line.
This ad, conceptualised by Network BBDO, was a greater challenge than usual for Visser
because great performances were demanded from a cast of first time actors who had
the dramatic range of Keanu Reeves. Not only this, they had to be coaxed into a musical
performance that ultimately plucks at the heart strings.
Ever humble, Visser gives the credit for these performances to Lung of Cape Town who
animated the insects. The real challenge for Visser was marrying this with human
performance. “We had to create a coherent story without the animated insects. In terms
of performance I had to ensure that the actors went through a specific arc that we had
worked out before the time. Not only were they acting opposite thin air, but we were
also shooting out of sequence, so with every take I had to make sure that we were
getting good performances, believable performances and the right performances.’