Fine-tuned audience foreplay


Drugs, alcohol, money and sex – all deliciously tempting audience draw cards for
the newest local drama series on the block – aYeYe.

Before the show premiered on 19 January on Vuzu Amp, Jozi-based ad agency Black
River Fc approached the team at Bomb Commercials to produce a promo dotted
with narrative clues that push the envelope and reflect the tone of the show. What
they delivered was a high-energy, daring and fresh sneak-peak into the world of a
new type of young black man.

Director Tebza Malope says the idea was to tease an audience they believed already
existed for the show as well as to captivate an audience that may not traditionally
be interested in a show of this kind.

“There is an audience that we felt hadn’t been targeted yet or perhaps represented
in mass media as much as it should be; it’s the booming black middle class,’ says
Malope. “The audience that counter balances a gleaming future and a broken past.
They live in Parkhurst but their older brother is still in Diepsloot. We wanted to shift
from a typical township narrative and tell a story of a new black middle class, and
that’s the audience we targeted.’

Shot over one day in December 2014 at a Soweto studio, the promo features the
main characters in the show, JK (Thapelo Mokoena), Neo (Sthembiso “SK’ Khoza)
and Lebo (Mpho “Popps’ Modikoane), interacting with extras around a boardroom
table as they offer hints about the show’s narrative.

Malope says the promo was shot with a high speed Red MX camera, using macro
lenses on a rig above the table. “A strong visual in the promo is the play between
frame rates; ramping between slow mo’s and sped up bits and so we felt we needed
a camera that could handle these frame rates while maintaining a very cinematic

“We also went for primarily top shots and macro shots, so we needed a lens wide
enough to keep us very close to the action, so that the actions were visible to the
idea. We were also going for a very low-key mood in some segments and the high
speed lenses were perfect for this task, we also utilised high speed macros for the
macro shots,’ he explains.

Though Malope has directed a number of commercials, he maintains that he applies
the same approach when working on a promo.

“The challenge is the same with every project that I do, the challenge of creating a
piece that fully represents the product/show and not an isolated piece of art. At the
end of the day it is about telling a compelling story about the product at hand, and
we did. The upside is that for this specific product the characters had been built
already and I was riding on an existing foundation,’ he concludes.

By Carly Barnes


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