Mandom TVCs created by Oktobor

02 February, 2011 by IF

Press release from Oktobor

In his director’s treatment for the latest trio of NZTA TVCs Nick Ball described ‘Mandom’ as, “A room, space, corner or area that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in a solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, involve himself in certain hobbies and activities without interruption. This area is usually decorated by the male that uses it, without interference from any female influence and often involves his friends coming over to share in the experience.”


According to Steen Bech, Oktobor’s VFX Producer on the Mandom spots, this is exactly what they were asked to help create. Bech said, “The Mandom spot was undoubtedly one of the cleverest we have worked on. Director Nick Ball and Producer Barbara Devlin approached us with bunch of funky script ideas that were based around shooting a series of ‘man’ rooms and then joining them all together culminating in a wide shot of an open faced, multi-layered apartment block.”

The open apartment building wide shot took two weeks of pre-production planning with many levels of logistics that the Oktobor team had to work through and navigate.

Bech continued, “Along with Nick, Barbara and the set designers we had to work out how many rooms to shoot, how fast the camera was going to move and pull out and how best to make all the transitions between rooms as seamless as possible.”

In order to get the shots as tight as possible, Bech and the Oktobor team went to production company’s set at Auckland Film Studio’s, Studio #5 where the seamless set had been constructed.

Bech added, “The shoot was a very involved process that included @radical dressing out each room three times to create all the rooms seen in the two 30 second teasers and the main 60 second spot.”

Back at Oktobor Senior Flame Artist Andy Dill was tasked with creating the VFX for the spot. Dill said, “Our job was divided into three main tasks on Mandom: adding small details to the live action such as grill smoke, backgrounds and lens flares, stitching together rooms to create seamless camera moves and creating a wide shot that would show a large cross section of life in Mandom.”

The 30-second teaser spots were designed to spark curiosity in the viewer about the world of Mandom. The main task for Oktobor was to stitch together the various rooms into a single camera move.

Dill continued, “The sixty was nearly all a single shot, with only a single join until the actor gets to the fire pole. The thirties were not. Due to the need to dress and re-dress the set, we shot each room individually and joined them together in flame, adding little things like floor joist and plaster in the walls.”

The single most complex shot for Oktobor was the wide shot. Based on a cross section of Kowloon’s now demolished ‘Walled City’, the goal was to show the scale of Mandom.

Dill added, “Nick had shown us this great illustration of what the Walled City looked like inside and we used that as a start point for our design of Mandom’s interior. Together with Nick and the agency we came up with a list of rooms we’d like to see.”

Dill and his team then had to design, decorate and light each of the 25 rooms.

Dill said, "This meant dozens and sometimes hundreds of elements in a single room from doors, windows and wallpaper to lights, shadows and wind blown trees. It was a very detailed process. Once the 2D team had furnished and lit the entire space it was time to populate the shot. We had our own green screen area off to the side of the main set during the shoot. Steen (Bech) and I directed the extras to perform various activities including playing golf, riding bikes, rocking out and appreciating art. There’s nearly seventy extras that we chroma keyed out and placed in the shot.”

Oktobor EP David Hofflich concluded, “Everyone at Oktobor was very proud of the way the spot was put together and how the effects really worked. The wide shot was particularly challenging but very rewarding and I’m delighted to say both client and agency were very happy with the results.”