Commercial Video Production: SUZUKI Ignis TVC and Online
Updated: May 13
A couple of years ago I worked with a production company called Phenomenon Films on two commercials for Suzuki, via the Japanese advertising agency, Hakuhodo. One of the two commercials was for a sporty little car called Suzuki Ignis. We needed a 20 second TV and online commercial for the Taiwan market, and the agency wanted to appeal to 20-30 year old urban women who move quickly, and are fashion conscious, but don't have a large budget, and want to get a lot of bang for their buck. My role was director and DP. We started with the general concept from the ad agency, and we took a week to flesh it out, and then went back to Hakuhodo, made same minor adjustments and then presented it to the client. After a few little refinements, we got the script confirmed, including which specific car features to highlight and the overall tone. The next day we started on casting, polished up our storyboard, and started designing the set and location scouting. Here are a few pictures from our storyboard:
Our script called for 2 different, representing two slightly different age demographics, so after a few days of casting, we decided on a 22 year old model (Elle from Canada) and a 30 year old model (Maxine from Taiwan) as our first choices to play the two roles.
The client agreed to our choices for models, wardrobe, set design and and locations, so we made a detailed shooting schedule, and went back to our locations to get a closer look. Next, I edited the storyboard pictures to the music I wanted to use, to figure out exactly how long we needed each shot to be. I was joined by line producer Danny Chen and gaffer Hu Wei. We shot the interior parts of the script at Arrow Studios and the outdoor parts at various street locations in and around Taipei city.
Fun Fact: The scenes of the woman walking on the street, approaching the blue car, were shot right outside of the office of famous singer JJ Lin.
We shot with a Red Monstro and Tokina Vista lenses, with a 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. Hu Wei was our gaffer for this project, and he worked wonders with his Astera tubes.
After the shoot, our A-copy edit was approved by the agency, and then by the client, and after a few adjustments, we locked the B-copy edit. We got a great color grade from Muddy Wang at iView in Taipei.
Fun Fact: Our initial color reference for the color grading was a Zac Effron and Lily Collins movie about serial killer Ted Bundy, called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile."
Fun Fact: We used the song "Girl In Love" by Happy Republic for the commercial. Here is the final video, edited together with the storyboard!
...and here is the final video that was used as a TV commercial and online campaign:
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