These are a series of TV adverts commissioned by Macmillan Publishing Group to promote David Baldacci’s thriller novels. Because of budget constrictions we had to be specially resourceful when planning these adverts, on most of them we couldn’t afford actors so we used our friends and colleagues, which is one of the reasons we avoided characterisation, so a lot of the actions were insinuated and you don’t see many faces.
The Hit illustrated this very well as I picked random people I found and asked them to play dead for the beginning of the advert, then at the end you see one of our colleagues pretending to be a sniper only to find out the person playing his target was his fiancée, who was playing the part of the other secret agent. Luckily they took it on their stride.
The adverts where you do see faces is because the person has some acting experience or is indeed an actor, like in The Target for example, played by the talented Minna Pang. This also one of the few we got the chance to shoot it completely so we didn’t have to worry about matching the look to stock footage.
Some of the adverts had to be graded heavily in order to match the footage shot by us and stock footage as the quality and tones differ from one another we basically had to put a lot of make up in them. Hell’s Corner is a good example of this: The plot of the book involves an attack on the US president’s motorcade, so the answer was stock footage and a lot of green screen and rotoscoping.
Deliver Us From Evil
The Sixth Man
These adverts were aired on several terrestrial TV channels such as five, 5USA, ITV4 and Dave.
Here are some pre-production and production images. Studio Tinto was in charge of storyboard and layout as well as the compositing and editing.
Client: Macmillan Publishing Group
Script: Matthew McCracken
Photography: SFF, Oldie
Cast: Minna Pang
Voice Over: Demetri Goritsas
Sound: Nick Ryan, Tom Russel
Post-Production: Studio Tinto
Makeup Artist: Avril O’Neil