Marcel Sydney’s last commercial for Tiger Beer is a surreal creation for the brand’s light beer, Tiger Crystal, based on the concept, Live Bright. The ad was directed by Sweetshop’s Campbell Hooper, using Sweetshop’s global network to create a film that reflects Tiger Beer’s Asian parentage. The film is also a testament to Sweetshop’s commitment to green productions, something the company now implements across all seven of its offices.
Tiger Beer’s head office is in Asia, so the ad was shot in Bangkok where Sweetshop has an office. “Our long-standing relationship with the agency gave Marcel the confidence to engage with our Bangkok office,” Sweetshop explained. “This relationship helped us create an efficient workflow between the countries.” It also helped to facilitate the quoting process, significantly lowering costs by eliminating the need for a third party production partner. And it kept the brand at the centre of every decision.
Campbell Hooper talks about the process of making a world that doesn’t exist and then filling it with splashes of colour – literally.
How did you approach the script?
Campbell Hooper: There’s a wonderful, uncomplicated simplicity to this idea all about the concept of live bright, rather than any linear idea. I approached this script really by just making it as epic as possible.
The entire set looks like it’s a giant art installation and a pretty epic production design. What did it take to build this?
CH: We looked for very specific locations all over Asia – bars, shoe stores, record shops – and built them into a virtual 3D model. From there, our art director, Guy Treadgold, set about building a street, while I blocked every shot inside the 3D software. The storyboards were essentially hand-drawn pre-viz.
What feel did you want to convey with the environment?
CH: Rendered completely in white, the street really did feel like a miniature model. It was only when we placed our cast inside it that it took on any sense of the real scale.
There’s a lot of paint being thrown on people. What did you use?
CH: After a lot of testing we ended up using natural pigments with yogurt. This gave us the viscosity to allow the pain to hold its shape without breaking apart.
What were the challenges with resetting for every shoot?
CH: Cleaning down the surfaces were a major hurdle so our art director ended up ‘floating’ the street and literally creating a sewage system underneath. The manholes and grills were functional as well as aesthetic elements.
How did you reset the talent for each take?
CH: We had to have three units for each wardrobe item, so we could reuse them for shots over the three days without hitting continuity issues. Everything from jewellery to shoes. What we realised was that this totalled to 8,000 units of wardrobe.
With a large production like this that took a lot of materials to build, what processes did you have in place to repurpose the assets after the shoot?
CH: This was something that, right from the start, we were very conscious of, and put systems in place so we could recycle as much, if not all materials. We set up an auction for the wrap day of the shoot, so we could sell the props and gift away all wood and steal that was used to build the set. Anything left over was gifted to the warehouse to use for future film productions. For wardrobe, we hired people from Bangkok to wash all clothes and then gifted to the local communities around by where we were filming.
The film was shot in Bangkok, what were the advantages from a production point of view of the location?
CH: Tiger is an Asian beer, so our talent really needed to be Pan-Asian to represent all markets which we could only really cast up in Asia. Bangkok has great production facilities, technical equipment and crew that give 100% top service. This was imperative to be able to work with a crew that could deliver to this scale. As we have an office in Bangkok it made the process that one-step easier too.
The film has a huge cast. Were there challenges in casting this many people?
CH: No, not really as we worked with a really great casting director and Bangkok has a great Pan-Asian talent pool. The extras were great! They really gave every take 100%, the paint and explosions never phased them. It was so incredibly hot on shoot days and they were long days too. This level of professionalism is very unique to Asia.
And the music? What is it? Is it an existing track or composed?
We composed it through a musician called Mika.
Brand: Tiger Beer
Agency: Marcel Worldwide
Executive Creative Director: Scott Huebscher
Account Director: James Tracy-Inglis
Agency Producer: Kyla Bridge
Production Company: Sweetshop
Director: Campbell Hooper
Executive Producers: Loren Bradley & Edward Pontifex
Managing Directors: Laura Geagea & Edward Pontifex
DOP: Andrew Stroud