Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Lottelo Me

Hello blog! It's nice to see you again. I actually feel dusty writing this.

Main bit

I've recently uploaded some TV and internet ads we made for an Austrian lottery company called Lottelo back in 2009. Check it out!

Me and the other folks who made the One Minute One Take films were hired by The Viral Factory to make a wide variety of films that were both imaginative and designed to look user generated. 

Longer bit

I may be forgetting some of the technical details of how Lottelo actually worked, but the jist was that the people starring in each ad were trying to get people to ring them, and the more people rung them the bigger chance they'd have of winning this lottery. So they were either trying to charm them or giving reasons why they want to win the lottery - "I want to see the world!" "I want to live the high life!" etc. The numbers they give out were real Austrian phone numbers, and for a few weeks actors were on hand to chat with anyone who called.

It was a bit of an oddity, and not just because we were pretending to be Austrian. We had a sort of scattergun approach of being given a few ideas to develop, along with pitching our own ideas, then being given a bit of budget, then basically heading out and doing whatever with minimal supervision. Then we'd come back in a week's time and present what we'd done. We went through this process twice over for two straight weeks and ended up with about - hang on, I'll do a rough count - holy crap, twenty films, all very short but each with a totally different set up. And then I had a nice long sleep.

Actually we spent a bit more time on the stop motion. We did a simpler version in the first week then remade it, spending more time on collecting together props and building things and animating it. Geoff got involved and helped light it. The extra time we put into it shows, I think. There's a difference between making things look home made because you have to and making things look home made because you want to.

A lot of the films were made at my house (again), with the art design being handled partly by Laura Archer (who stars in the stop motion film), partly by my dad, the only person who could make number-shaped moulds that would produce little number-shaped chunks of ice that didn't instantly fall apart when you take them out and stand them upright. Try it yourself, it's hard. George Burt, Jake Lunt and my mum were brought in as producers after a few days of more things falling over than films being made.

These are just the highlights. One of my lesser favourites was something I randomly decided to make one day, a "party helmet" that was a cardboard box covered in those tonguey noisemaker things all connected by taped together party straws. I made a demo, TVF liked it. So somehow I ended up having to operate a shinier version of this Party Helmet for another one of these videos, looking as aggressive as someone who isn't an actor and knows that the damn thing would only hold together for thirty seconds before needing a complete duct tape repair job/rebuilding and we only have five party poppers left would probably look.

It was an interesting experience. I didn't make these that long ago, but looking at them again bring up a lot of memories, some good, some not worth talking about. There are a lot of nice ideas in there and I'm glad we got the chance to make it. Not sure I'd do another shoot like it though. Well, not for the same budget anyway.


PS the guy in the giant top hat was Harry Hill's Steve Benham

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