After a successful creative collaboration on Freshpak Rooibos earlier in 2015, Sunu
says that he couldn’t resist the opportunity to work with the 2015 Adfocus Agency of
the Year again.
“The brief was to update this iconic South African brand for a new generation,’ says
Sunu. “They wanted something fresh that kept that distinctive sense of magical
wonder.’ The new spot takes viewers on a 45-second tour of the fantasy Bakers
Sunu loves directing children, but he says that working with this kiddie cast was
particularly special as M&C Saatchi Abel selected Sunu’s son, Joshua Gonera, from
more than 100 auditions, to play his first lead role in the spot. “Working with my
boy was a dream come true. He was an absolute professional and he even called
me Mr Director,’ laughs Sunu. “I’m ticking this one off the bucket list.’
Sunu shot the commercial at the Mowbray Town Hall in Cape Town. “I wanted to do
as much in camera as possible and the town hall gave us so much naturally.’
Production art directors Wendy Fredriksson and Michael Linders from Wigwag built
all the ginormous biscuits and sets, with Sunu working closely with Sinister post-
production house to finish bringing the factory to life in post with the necessary
enhancements, duplications and extensions.
Rory O’Grady shot the commercial, using a Red Epic Dragon and a Phantom. “The
big technical challenge was to move seamlessly from the high-speed micro details,
like flour falling at 1 000 frames per second, out to the cast and the macro scale,’
says Sunu, who’d had similar challenges on Freshpak. “I also had to think in terms
of emotions and narrative, so it wasn’t just about capturing flour falling beautifully,
but about finding the emotion in that, and being edit conscious about how the
different shots would fit together.’
Riot Post-Production’s Gordon Midgely edited the spot, which is held together by Rob
Roy’s updated version of the original Bakers Man melody. “We talked about redoing
the song, but you have so much equity in that melody. People recognise it right
away,’ says Sunu. “When we started editing with the original song, it just worked.’
Sunu says that he wasn’t surprised when M&C Saatchi Abel was named Agency of
the Year at the recent Adfocus Awards, as he loves working with agency producer
Kathy Scharrer, executive creative director Nick Liatos and art director Nicole
“They really trust you as the director and allow you to bring your experience and
passion to it, which makes you go out of your way to give them something special.
They challenge you, but they don’t dominate and Kathy fights for you as a director.
It’s as close to pure collaboration as it comes,’ adds Sunu.