BEST OF REEL: ‘Nasty C Bad Hair’ by Kyle Lewis at Arcade Content – Direction Craft
I watched all the work a couple of times and then proceeded to rearrange the bookshelf, call a friend, instagram the cat and have a nap. This time there was method to my procrastination. I wanted to see which piece of work stayed with me after I watched it. My answer was Kyle Lewis’ ‘Bad Hair’ for Nasty C.
It’s an audacious project. I can’t imagine putting together a 14-minute music video. But the music, images and textures all come together to create a richly layered, visceral film in three parts or chapters. Each chapter has its own treatment and track (essentially its own music video), but it’s held together seamlessly by some very clever editing, sound design and a strong aesthetic.
The opening sequence, images of bone in gold liquid expertly edited to the music, is arresting and sucks the viewer in. Chapter 1 is all about the renaissance-style opulence and the costume design and styling is outstanding. (See 1:46) In Chapter 2 all the opulence is stripped right back to a bare scene but the film drives forward with a pacey edit. (See 6:55) Chapter 3 is about phases and transitions and the ‘mirrored’ technique works well to tell that story. (See 10:57)
The sound design and build of the transition sequences are amazing in their own right and create breathing room between the three chapters. (See 4:00; 8:57) What I really want to commend is the attention to detail in this multi-layered film. There is a level of craft here that is often lacking in South African Music videos. I can see why I shot to the top of the Apple music video charts. As a filmmaker, Kyle is developing a sensibility that is his own and I won’t be surprised his work pops up on a reference reel near you.
SPECIAL MENTION: Nedbank ‘The Tale of a Note’ by Tristan Holmes at Star Films – Direction Craft
As the name implies, this ad is a tale about a bank note. A good tale captures the imagination by playing out in the space between romanticism and realism, and Tristan gets it right in this film. He uses everything – from casting and locations to voice and music – to create a big movie feel for a whimsical tale. But that’s not all that this ad is about. The story is very much about the way money impacts the lives of people. We meet characters we wouldn’t ever imagine meeting in a bank ad and their performances are great. (Refer to the man at 0:51) The challenge of the big montage ad is that each scene has to tell a lot of story in a very short time, Tristan gets it right with very powerful, subtle performances. Well done.
SPECIAL MENTION: Amstel ‘The Pursuit’ by Teboho at Bomb Commercials – Direction Craft
It must have been a tricky story to tell. It’s about a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants (Amstel) but at the same time is consciously trying to help and support those around him. How do you tell the second part of the story without breaking the pace and urgency of what is a classic car chase? Teboho finds a way and there are some lovely moments woven into the chase scene without slowing down the pace of the overall edit. (See 0:44)
SPECIAL MENTION: KFC ‘Creations’ by Sunu at Egg Films – Direction Craft
When you have a really simple script, the temptation is always to embellish it with some kind of interesting technique or layers of fancy things. I respect the restraint of this spot. It’s simple and understated but expertly crafted. The lead is comfortable in his role and the edit works well with the music to punctuate the spot (0:12 etc). Loved the grade too. All in all there is an authenticity and a feeling of effortlessness to this ad and I think that’s true to the brand it advertises. Nice one, Sunu.