The last time Philips Electronics used a short film directed by Adam Berg to promote their Cinematic TV, they took home the Grand Prix at Cannes.
This time, their newest marketing push consists of a project in which five different directors created five different films, each in their own genre, that use the same piece of dialogue- a scant six lines.
And, in an effort to get aspiring directors involved, an ensuing competition invites you to make the sixth.
Philips has just launched this global competition, giving aspiring filmmakers the chance to have an original work judged by one of the world’s greatest film directors – Sir Ridley Scott, director of Hollywood blockbusters including Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982) and Gladiator (2000).
The competition, called "Tell It Your Way‟, will also give one lucky winner the chance to gain a week’s work experience at Ridley Scott Associates (RSA) offices in Los Angeles, New York, London or Hong Kong.
The contest involves creating an original sixth short film to accompany Philips’ ground-breaking Parallel Lines series of short films, directed by RSA talents, Greg Fay, Johnny Hardstaff, Carl Erik Rinsch, Jake Scott and Hi-Sim.
The Five Films
Darkroom – Johnny Hardstaff
Set in a retro future Shanghai, Darkroom opens on a covert surveillance operative as he searches for his criminal quarry. Scanning a polluted city skyline, we see through his technology as he zooms ever deeper into a distant apartment and through the imaginative use of reflections and technology begins to unravel a sinister secret.
Through this voyeuristic journey we are led to a climax with dramatic consequences. Johnny Hardstaff expertly generates intrigue through his development of mood and tension. Namely with the use of the operative’s own hushed voice to provoke a sense of seediness and setting of the tone. As the audience is led deeper we find a fiendish pleasure in this voyeuristic approach. Darkroom proves a clever and absorbing short that packs a very original sting in its tail.
The Hunt - Jake Scott
The Hunt follows two men on a trail to find the ultimate prey. In the eerie woodland something lurks; a mystical creature. Soon we will find that the hunters may well become the hunted.
Jake Scott takes us on a slow pursuit, carefully building the tension through a seemingly desolate and hostile environment. Senses are heightened as Jake brings to life every inch of the hunt, every sound carefully designed to put the audience on edge: the crows in the background, the trickle of a stream, the earth moving under each step. As The Hunt nears its horrifying climax we hold our breath as the huntsman sets his sights. However his companion shows a fear and nervousness in his expression. Something is not right. Perhaps the intended prey is not to be provoked.
The Gift – Carl Eric Rinsch
In this sci-fi thriller, Podarok introduces us to a dystopian future. It’s a winter’s day in Moscow, but the familiar landscape is not all it seems. The traditional backdrop is balanced by the technological hints to the future on show. An experienced KGB Agent is on his way to deliver a special gift. Expressionless and giving the aura of emptiness the lone man makes his way across the city. As the secret of the gift is unveiled to the receiver, the desire for the object becomes evident. The agent must have it. Even at the cost of a man’s life. A high octane chase through Moscow ensues as the dead man’s robotic butler tries to rescue the precious gift. It must not be left in the wrong hands.
Carl Erik Rinsch cleverly uses the pacing of this short to evoke and speak out to our emotions. We feel the bleakness of this post apocalyptic future, the gloomy life of an empty man, the desperation of the chased and climatically, hope.
El Secreto de Mateo – Greg Fay
In this heart-warming tale set on an estate of tower blocks in South America, a boy shows a young girl to a room with a secret. The girl is introduced to a donkey which the boy tells her is a unicorn. Delight and fulfilment fills the young girl as she is left to feel the magic of this moment in a life that has offered her so little. This joy is short lived as we are shown the difficulties of growing up as bullies taunt the pair. The boy stands up for his younger friend. Afterwards though, it all seems too much as the brave boy is left to cry quietly in the corner. Unawares to her friend’s pain the girl returns her attention to the beauty of the animal.
Greg Fay delicately shows us the hardship of growing up and the joy that can be brought on by a child’s imagination. Lighting is used to great effect. The hue and glow of a beaming sun fills scenes with a warmth, comfort and tender security away from the harsh realities of the world. El Secreto de Mateo leaves us emotionally speechless with the feeling of both happiness and sorrow.
Jun & the Hidden Skies – Hi-Sim
Through animation Hi-Sim transports us into the playful imagination of siblings Jun and Aco. We are instantly rushed from the children’s attic into space as a cardboard box transforms into a spaceship. This fantasy adventure excites as our heroes find themselves in the midst of a space battle resulting in the capture of Aco. Jun is left to fall from the skies before being saved by a fire breathing dragon. Jun and his new friend blow away the enemy as the plight to save the captive Aco gathers pace.
Hi-Sim manages to bring out a childlike excitement and curiosity from the moment we enter the attic. This beautifully crafted animation bursts with fantastic colours of an imagined world. Visual details have been carefully considered and realism breaks through from the quality of the effects. This is a polished short that is sure to please the whole family.
Visit their youtube channel to learn more about the competition here.
You can view the amazing Grand Prix winning film Carousel - and the making of it- for Philips TV, here.
Created for Tribal DDB, Amsterdam, Stink Digital and Director Adam Berg delivered this interactive campaign for Philips new CINEMA 21:9 TV. The cinematic proportions of the display became the theme of this piece. Adam responded with an idea for an epic frozen moment cops and robbers shootout sequence.
The piece won the top honors at this years' Cannes Advertising Festival in the film category, causing slight controversy by proving that the Film Grand Prix Lion is no longer an honor reserved only for a traditional 'tv commercial.'
Directed by Adam Berg of Stink, London, and edited by Paul Hardcastle of Trim, London, "Carousel" winning the Grand Prix underscores that great ideas come in all shapes, forms and media.
This 2:19 film runs as an endless loop, allowing viewers to control their moves through the scene. The film also contains embedded hotspots, which, when triggered, give us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the shots.
Brief Explanation (taken directly from the entry into the Cannes festival, with additional images added):
Philips set out to own the idea of a cinematic viewing experience at home. From the start the strategy was to create a film that movie lovers would want to see. The film is hosted within a site that, through interaction, educates the audience about the three main features of Philips televisions – Ambilight, Cinema 21:9 and Picture Quality – and ties these features to the act of film making.
So, what would movie lovers want to see? We decided on a seamless tracking shot, one long take that a film loving audience could marvel at and be fascinated by. Within the ‘housing’ of a tracking shot we inserted behind the scenes glimpses where the experts could talk about their craft and the decisions they made whilst filming the shot. The DOP on lighting, the Director on the 21:9 format and VFX supervisor shows why picture quality is so important.
To allow for more interaction, we decided that a frozen time film, shot using a state of the art motion control rig, would give the audience control upon interaction allowing them to literally move the camera back and forth frame by frame. This is done intuitively through a ‘grabbing hand’ cursor when the screen is moused over.
What makes this interaction really special is the interactive cinematic score. The score, composed by Michael Fakesch, was composed as a linear piece, but was then handed over to a flash music developer to carve up and distort as the user moved back and forth through time, frame by frame – all designed to pull the audience in and hold them there longer whilst they try to unravel the mystery of how the film was made. The second main element of interaction is the way the audience is able to trigger the three behind-the-scenes educational scenes from the film’s timeline.
When the user clicks on the timeline, they reveal films within the film. The timeline unfolds and expands, the post production disappears, each expert walks in and the rigging reappears revealing that all along the actors were simply holding their position whilst a state of the art motion rig captured them in frozen time. All this was designed to be as seamless as possible with maximum visual reward ensuring the audience clicked all three of the hotspots. In addition to the interaction within the film, the ratio of the film itself could be changed at anytime through first person interaction. This simple, but effective comparison tool really did get across the spectacle of the new Philips 21:9 TV.
The other elegantly simple piece of interaction is Ambilight on and off, in the words of the DOP – “you really miss it when it’s not there.” A final point worth noting is the dynamic title sequence. Instead of a traditional loader, we crafted a title sequence correspond to the speed of the users internet connection. The slower the connection, the longer the sequence. To experience it, go here.
Speaking of, here are some photo stills of the shooting process (click to enlarge):
Check out the "Making Of" video!
Credits: AGENCY Tribal DDB, Amsterdam Global Creative Director: Neil Dawson CD: Chris Baylis Senior Project Manager: John Reardon Producer: Jeroen Jedeloo, Iwona Echt Art Director: Mariota Essery, Andrew Ferguson Copywriter: Carla Madden, Chris Baylis Account Planner: Sean Chambers Technical Lead: Jan Willem Penterman FILM
Production Company: Stink Digital Executive Producer: Mark Pytlik, Daniel Bergmann, Stephen Brierley Producer: Simon Eakhurst, Stephen Brierley Director: Adam Berg DoP: Fredrik Backar Service Facilities: Stillking, Prague Stillking Line Producer: Zuzana de Pagter 1st AD: Jiri Ostry Production Designer: Petr Kunc Czech Production Manager : Jiri Kotlas Stunt Co-Ordinator: Lada Lahoda @ Filmca Editor: Paul Hardcastle @ Trim VFX: Redrum, Stockholm Post Production Supervisor: Richard Lyons Music & Sound Design: Michael Fakesch Additional Sound Design: Tim Davis Colorist: Jean-Clement Soret @ MPC London UK Production Manager: Jemma Daniel INTERACTIVE Production Company: Stink Digital Executive Producer: Mark Pytlik Project Manager: Christophe Taddei Lead Developer: Ian McGregor Key Developers: Vincent Roman, Jamie Copeland, Matt Sweetman Additional Development: Pierre L. Thiebaut Design: Eric Chia Title Sequence & Trailer: Maximiliano Chanan, Odin Church
See other 2009 Cannes Advertising Winners here.