Terence Neale of Egg Films recently directed the new commercial for Chicken
Licken for agency Net#Work BBDO.
The commercial is set in an undisclosed location in Pretoria, although the images
look hauntingly familiar and the opening scene conjures up scenes from
television cult series American Horror Story.
However, there is a twist in the tale that places Orphanage in a league of its
own when it comes to originality and exactly how irresistibly delicious Chicken
Licken Slyders really are…
The ad, set in seemingly overlapping timelines, begins with an old-fashioned car
driving through heavy wrought iron gates on which the word “Orphanage’ is
displayed while a storm is raging outside. “The opening frame was created
pretty much from scratch in 3D – all we shot was a car on a road and some
building plates,’ says Neale.
The script, written by Cara Messias and Clayton Swartz, was brought to life by
the combination of skilful art direction, cinematography and cast performance.
Location was essential to bringing Neale’s vision to life. “We wanted the
orphanage to seem like the worst place on earth and we needed a location that
was institutional enough, yet had a gothic feel.’
Finding the right location was coincidentally the team’s biggest challenge.
“What we found provided the perfect backdrop of dark foreboding against which
to juxtapose the couple wishing to adopt,’ adds Neale.
The combination of location, thrilling art direction by Kezia Eales and the trained
eye of cinematographer Paul Gilpin brought about a kind of suspended reality.
Neale’s knack for directing performance shone through in the carefully chosen
cast members, especially the acting by the lead character, apparently based on
a more cheerful version of Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family.
Evy Katz’s skilful editing added the finishing touches to the commercial. “Working
with Evy on an edit is always a plus. We’ve worked together for many years and
he always seems to know what I want,’ says Neale.
The Chicken Licken Orphanage ad is one in a series of three that is currently
showing on TV and in cinemas, continuing the brand’s long tradition of daring
advertising that combines bold creativity with effective marketing.
“You can feel the trust between the agency, through creative directors Rob
McLennan and Graeme Jenner and the client George Sombonos. It creates an
environment where everyone is working to produce the best possible outcome,’
says Neale about collaborating again.
The music, which suits the mood perfectly, is an original composition by Rob
Schroeder of RobRoy Music.
Orphanage was shot on an ARRI Alexa. Panavision supplied the camera and
grips and the lights were provided by Media Film Service.
The post-production was completed at BFX for 3D, Pudding for the grade and
Blade for Flame.
Watch the ad at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRw6d2lxXto