Over 1500kg of glitter and 4000 balloons used to produce beautifully explosive film
Balls, bunnies and petals; Sony BRAVIA films have a rich history of equally rich colour. This legacy is set to continue with balloons and glitter, thanks to a luscious new spot out of DDB Berlin. Directed by Andre Stringer and produced by Tempomedia, the film opens on a lone white balloon, travelling around a beguiling abandoned Romanian casino. The casino soon fills up with more balloons before each one explodes and glitter from within cascades around the setting.
LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with members of the DDB Berlin crew behind this campaign to find out more.
LBB> The glitter film really taps into older Sony TV spots - how did you ensure you had a nod to that legacy but still kept it fresh?
Gabriel Mattar - Executive Creative Director> Working for a brand with such a creative heritage is always a privilege and a challenge at the same time. Very few brands respect their heritage and keep their communication consistency. We believe consistency is key to establishing a product in the market and we are very happy that Sony Bravia thinks the same way.
A great Bravia spot follows a couple of rules: the film needs to grab your attention from the first scene, the imagery and story will escalate together with the music and it will end in a simple and clear consumer benefit line along with the product packshot. Following the rules is how we can produce films that are part of the same family. Keeping it fresh is a creative challenge faced during every creative in every account to be honest.
LBB> How did you land on the glitter idea to showcase the quality of the Sony TVs in 2016?
Alan Dindo, Jacopo Biorcio, Chiara Chessa – Creative Team> Key features of the Sony UHD 4K TVs are colour, contrast and detail. We chose glitter as the main material of the film because of its intrinsic quality and nature. The extraordinary detail of each particle, the infinite ways it reflects light as it quickly changes position in the air and the movement as it is released from the balloon explosions were great opportunities to showcase the qualities of the product. It also gave the film a sort of ‘magical’ feeling.
LBB> What kind of research and planning was involved?
Alan Dindo, Jacopo Biorcio, Chiara Chessa – Creative Team> In order to get the best result on camera, several tests were made on both balloons and glitter. On the balloons we tested their shape, size, consistency and the speed at which they exploded. We also tested balloon explosions with glitter of differing colours and sizes. What interested us was the corporeality of the material, its ability to reflect light and to remain suspended in the air.
LBB> The location is amazing - can you tell us a bit about it and how the spot came to be produced there?
Alice Bottaro – Creative Director> We immediately fell in love with the location. It’s an old Casino in Constanta, Romania. It faces the Black Sea and has incredible architectural details, dating back to the 1900s. Sadly, it has been abandoned for a very long time. It was the perfect choice for our film, because it gave us exactly the sort of atmosphere we were looking for – mysterious, beautiful and a bit dramatic. We were incredibly grateful to have the permission to shoot there.
What I’m really happy about is that our location choice created some buzz in Romania and people there are beginning to talk about this abandoned casino again – hopefully this will be an incentive for the local authorities to renovate this amazing place.
LBB> How much was captured in camera?
Alice Bottaro – Creative Director> Everything is captured in camera. In a couple of outdoor shots we had some limitations due to environmental precautions, so we added more glitter layers in post – but the explosions you see are all real.
LBB> I imagine there wasn’t the opportunity for a second take on the popping balloons - how did you and the production team ensure you nailed it first time round?
David Barton – Client Service Director> An awful lot of preparation was required for the shoot as a whole, with the shots of the balloons and the behaviour of the glitter inside them proving to be particularly challenging. We did weeks of testing on balloons of different material, size and density, as well as with glitter of varying sizes and shapes. Nothing was left to chance!
In total, we used over 4000 balloons and 1500kg of glitter for the shoot, meaning we were prepared to capture multiple explosion shots to ensure we got the right mix.
LBB> Why was Andre Stringer the right man to bring this idea to life?
Gabriel Mattar – Executive Creative Director> The process is always the same when pitching out work for directors; we look for people that can help us build a better story and don’t decide who our recommendation to the client will be until after we have received and gone through the DI (director’s interpretation).
After reading Andre’s DI followed by a couple of calls with him and the Tempomedia guys, it was clear to us that he didn’t only want to make a big film, but also to bring emotion and humanity to the story. His ability to shoot big pictures and his technical knowledge with cameras, as he used to be a DOP, was also very important to the client.
To be honest he won me over when he said, “beautiful imagery can also be found on a screen saver, we need to make sure this is an emotional film as well”.
LBB> What were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?
David Barton – Client Service Director> We encountered countless challenges along the way, from finding the right location (the hero of the film) to working with unpredictable, tiny particles of glitter, to ensuring that no damage was done to the casino or the environment in general. But with the right team on board – client, director, DOP, production company – we were able to overcome all of these challenges.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
David – Client Service Director> We couldn’t have brought such a huge project to life without the constant support and belief of Sony Europe. Sony’s mission is to be a company that inspires and fulfils your curiosity and their innovative, creative heritage demanded that we produce something of a grand scale. We hope we’ve done justice to their mission!
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