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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : January February 2010
47 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010 CAMPAIGNBRIEF what the rider sees and feels in a fatal situation. If this was you, this is what you would see. Everyone who watches this for the first time reels at the finale, I've seen audi- ences sway from side to side as the commercial commences. This feels like a very raw live action spot, yet technically it's very complicated. What techniques did you employ to achieve it? Hire me, and I'll tell you! I've worked with James Rogers at Postmodern on many occasions, and we knew when we got this script that we had incredible poten- tial to take a contemporary path of ex ecution. My main focus was to deliver as much in-camera as possi- ble, pushing the live action realm further than I ever have before. We would only have a short amount of time in post, so we would have to be very specific about what would be needed. We spent time in Inferno marrying all our sequences seamlessly. We built a 3/d bike for the crash scenario, which used just 6 frames! I really have to congratulate James and the creative, efficient Postmodern team we utilized who actually finished a few days ahead of a very tight schedule. Ninety per cent of the spot - the meat and potatoes - was achieved in live action, but post made the raw ingredients look as beautiful as pos- sible. Why did you shoot on HD rather than film? I brought Peter Menzies on board as DoP. He's shot some very big and expensive films all around the world, but we decided video would give us a non-distorted, contempo- rary point of view. In the POV shots, we mounted a S12K lens to the rider, which was attached to a portable hard drive in the backpack behind him. The weight and simplicity of the lens meant we were able to ride with a pillion passenger in some cases. So in the laneway sequence where the point of view shifts to the girl on another bike, we stopped, trans- ferred the lens to the camera man, who then transferred it to the girl on the second bike - it was a seam- less transition from one bike to another. In other situations, we traveled with the bike using a tracking vehicle that detached from the POV track- ing around it to join another rider. The result is a marriage between the POV from one rider engaging seam- lessly within the action with the POV of another rider in another scene or the same scene. In the finale, the camera stays with the rider as he falls off the bike at 80km per hour. How did you pull this off without hurting the stunt man? We shot the scene in one take using two cameras. The fact we got it right in one go was a perfection of planning, not luck. The shot was already designed in pre-vis -- every aspect from the traffic lights to the transition to the bike rider as he overtakes a car on a deceptive cor- ner, to the moment where he loses control was perfectly choreo- graphed. At the moment of losing control, our pillion passenger removed the lens from the rider and naturalisti- cally took the viewer -- and the rider -- over the handle bars. This created an ugly high-side crash scenario where the rider is now in the most dangerous and perilous of situa- tions. We then seamlessly cut to a POV of our rider somersaulting and cart-wheeling towards the oncoming vehicle. For safety, this was shot in two parts so the final image of the collision itself was all shot in cam- era, with the only composited ele- ment being the oncoming vehicle. How do you think you're perceived as a director? I think some people surmise that because I've worked offshore I must be a little disconnected from the creative process. I hope TAC proves that I'm passionate about working on scripts that are concep- tu ally very ambitio us. To anyone who says I'm expensive and diffi- cult, I say, 'Put the work up there and ask the people who've worked with me what my strengths are.' My agenda has never changed: I like to produce work that's different in the most contemporary way. I come from a background of inter- esting filmmaking, and I think this explains my longevity. Creatively, I've got enough tools at my disposal to know that I can bring an edgi- ness and directness to a script, and also a level of comfort to agencies and their clients. The TAC spot has been getting a lot of attention here and globally; it's pretty much a landmark commercial from my point of view in terms of what I hope I can bring to the table. How do you perceive advertising? Advertising today seems to be centered around simplicity, casting, dialogue, tone, and well-written scripts. As I've grown older and hopefully wiser, these things have become more and more interesting to me. My technical fascination has enabled some great opportunities, but if I could set myself a self-ful- filling prophe sy, I'd like to begin the year by working on a perfor- mance-based piece starring charac- ters who's performances are r eal. I'd like the focus to be much more about tone and performance versus what I can do aesthetically. What will you work on next? It would be great to work on a script that contains the same intrin- sic qualities as TAC, yet is concep- tually very different. I have never been great at regurgitating myself and doing the same thing over again. I've dealt in a lot of big can- vas films, and I've achieved a lot of notoriety as a result of this kind of work. Now I'm subtly moving to a different c anvas. I'm answering a personal challenge to myself. Australia is my home so I want to be known for doing great Australian work. Creatively, I hope people will like the fact that I'm a director who can stand up to the whole process and say, 'Let's turn this script into a great commercial'. Curious' Kelleher "Lance is a very strong visual director who has an ability to bring humanity and character to a concept. He knows what he wants, and come what may, he'll find a way to deliver." - Nigel Dawson, creative director, Grey Melbourne.
May June 2010