Behind the Work in association withThe Immortal Awards

Miko Lim Channels Effortless California Cool in Sun Bum’s ‘Good Days Daily’

Production Company
Los Angeles, USA
LBB speaks to Farm League director Miko Lim about creating a visual collage of fun, capturing a sense of summer freedom, and using ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as inspiration for the spot

Sun, sea, sand, and a couple of good friends in tow - the good life doesn’t call for much else, right? Almost. You need reliable sun protection and then the fun can really begin. That’s the idea behind Sun Bum’s latest spot ‘Good Days Daily’, and the wider brand ethos too. 

Farm League’s Miko Lim directed the spot, using his own memories and experiences from the time between high school and college - that desire to ‘live it up’ - and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as inspiration. It’s a “visual kaleidoscope” of hand-cam footage, digital images, and a lo-fi aesthetic all working to channel skate films from over the decades past. Miko wanted it to feel like a friend was behind the camera, documenting the good times, though the reality looked like the DP, Ian Rigby, wrestling with multiple cameras in a limited time frame to get the best shots. 

The sense of free-wheeling fun on-screen was mirrored behind the camera too, with Miko noting that there was “a lot of discovery on set” with the team experimenting in the moment with different shots. Central to the shoot was the right cast - most were already friends with skating and surfing experience, lending their personalities and flair to the spot. 

LBB caught up with Miko to hear about the undoubtedly fun shoot, the freedom Sun Bum gave him to tell the brand’s story through his style, and the endearing improvised moment that made it into the final spot. 

LBB> Tell us what kind of brief Sun Bum came to you with. What did they want you to capture about the brand?

Miko> They really wanted to create something fun and disruptive that epitomised California cool. This came to life through the idea of breaking up the normal routine and using spontaneity to enrich your day. As a brand, they embody the ethos of getting out and having fun doing what you love. And doing it with friends.

LBB> The spot seems less about the product itself and more about what it can facilitate: fun, chill times with friends in the sun. Tell us about your thinking behind the spot’s creative concept?

Miko> Early on, I really connected with the messaging of ‘don’t ask, get after it’. It’s fun-loving and irreverent. I decided that the way I wanted to think about the story was the joys of playing hooky at school or work. I drew from my personal experiences in high school and college, especially my senior year of high school when I really felt like I needed to live it up with my best friends before we left town for college.

BTS from the shoot.

LBB> Did you have any references in mind when creating the concept?

Miko> ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ captured the same sense of energy and freedom we were after. What I wanted to add to that sentiment was a feeling of togetherness and friendship — the feeling of having your best friends along for the ride and creating a visual kaleidoscope of good vibes. 

LBB> The spot mixes what looks almost like hand-cam footage, a lo-fi aesthetic, with really clean digital imagery and animation too - how did you land on such an eclectic look?

Miko> I wanted to make a collage of footage that was visually energised and diverse. Similar to the look from skate films over the decades. It felt very carefree, California-centric, and a little chaotic. A big part of our visual approach aside from the sense of energy that mixed media provides was creating the feeling that a friend was behind the camera and just as much a part of the action on screen. Our DP, Ian Rigby, was amazing in filming with all of the different cameras in our time frame.

BTS from the shoot.

LBB> The use of fish-eye lens shots and shots-within-shots create a very fun, dizzying effect. What was your thinking behind this?

Miko> It really came from a skate film aesthetic and translating that style to non-skateboarding action. I knew I wanted that look and, for the most part, we got pretty lucky with marrying the style and story. There was a lot of discovery on set. We used several different cameras, mounts and lenses, and saw in real time how best to capture a wide variety of visually interesting moments that elevated our story. All while maintaining the right sense of energy. 

LBB> The cast looks like a real group of ‘sun bums’ - how important was the right cast to this spot? 

Miko> Casting is one of the most significant parts of my job on any production. None of your ideas, concepts or style choices work if the cast doesn’t fit. We got really lucky with our group, a lot of whom were already friends in real life. And a few new kids on the block to add a spark to the mix. We tapped into the network of real Sun Bum brand ambassadors: natural skaters, surfers, and artists. The cast had their fingerprints all over what we captured and you can feel their personalities come through in the films. 

LBB> How was the collaboration with Sun Bum - how much creative freedom did they afford you?

Miko> The team at Sun Bum was fantastic and very giving. As a brand, they’ve worked hard to establish their own unique voice and they understand the lifestyles they are part of and care deeply about how they’re represented. They wanted me to tell my story and bring it to life with my creative style. We were a great match.

LBB> Tell us a little bit about the shoot itself - where did it take place and how long was it?

Miko> Despite all the footage and cameras, it was a short shoot in Oceanside, California over a couple of days. We had a handful of locations that provided us enough space and freedom to set up our scenes and let them evolve. It’s hard to have a bad time when what you’re filming is so much fun, so the good vibes were present in our crew too.

BTS from the shoot.

LBB> Did you run into challenges while making the spot and, if so, how did you solve them?

Miko> Shooting with 360 cameras always poses difficulties for production, simply because you need to figure out where to put our crew and gear and trucks. You’re always in the shot. So that always requires extra blocking, and a few clever wall placements to hide behind…

LBB> Finally, what was the most memorable part of working on the spot?

Miko> We did some pretty neat lo-fi camera tricks like zooming out from a character on Zoom to her computer screen getting smashed shut, then her reaction as her computer is chucked, all in one shot. But what really sticks out to me was the shot of a character pulling his sweater sleeve up to reveal the Sun Bum lotion and acting like it was the best magic trick of all time. The plan originally was to shoot the sleeve pull-up without the product, and then match cut to the product magically appearing in his hand. But his performance of being impressed by his non-existent magician skills was too hilarious not to use.