Director Amy Allais from Ola! Films – keep your seatbelts fastened at all times

We finally managed to pin down this frequent flyer who shared some of the behind the scenes moments from her latest work. From choreographing adults dancing inside recycling bins in Istanbul to mapping out the final steps to a sequence 35 000 feet above the ground. When it comes to Amy, nothing surprises us. Despite the fact that Amy’s been in serious demand globally as a director, she’s still very much a SA ID-wielding filmmaker and in-between all her globe-trotting is still shooting some epic work back home.

Amy’s Kids are Alright

Q: You’ve built quite a reputation for being one of the go-to directors when it comes to commercials that require tricky choreography, where does this love come from?

Amy: I’ve always been quite musical and pretty theatrical and the nature of directing a project that is choreography-heavy means that it is quite controlled and planned out to the very last t, u and w, which is how I like to work.

Q: But if you like controlled and planned, why do you get so many requests to direct ads with children?

Amy: I’m not sure how it all started but I very quickly learnt that the most important thing with kids is to really spend time with them to rehearse. Those rehearsals spent before the shoot means that by the time we are on set, we are already homies.

Checkers Little Garden (Director’s cut)

Amy’s rehearsals for Checkers Little Garden

And let’s not forget Amy’s latest spot for Checkers that is currently flighting….

Checkers Christmas

(Cabin) Fever all through the night

If you’ve worked with Amy, you’ll know she is an incredibly hands-on director, and not afraid to use those hands for some spirit fingers either. Amy’s ad for Pepsico garnered a lot of attention and rightly so, Shots even described it as a ‘brilliantly choreographed festival of funk directed by Amy Allais’. We think the real ‘festival of funk’ is the behind the scenes videos of Amy and choreographer Natalie Fischer planning the final touches of the dance sequence in flight on their way to set in Instanbul. Imagine getting the middle seat between those two!

Here is how it turned out in the end, have a watch…

PepsiCo ‘Feel Good’

Amy and beauty go (moisturised) hand in (moisturised) hand

One week Amy is shooting kids and directing choreography, the next she’s onto beauty ads with an edge. Over the last 15 years of her directing career, Amy’s been responsible for various beauty spots, many that leave you with a lot more than just some hydration tips. From the iconic Clear the Stigma campaign she directed for Jet and Breast Health Foundation with Joe Public United to her latest international campaign for Venus which she shot in Cape Town. Unfortunately, the campaign is yet to be released but we managed to grab some teaser stills from the ads and damn, these are not your average razor ads. Yes please!

Q: Your work spans across various categories; kids, choreography, beauty spots and some comedy thrown in-between, what’s the golden thread between all of them?

Amy: For me all ads come down to planning, no matter the genre. They’re like Tik Tok videos, everything has to happen at exactly the right time. You have 30 seconds, or 60 seconds if you’re lucky and you have to use every beat to successfully and authentically tell a story. Learning to use my time wisely has become my greatest asset.

Amy is a passionate director and if you’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with her you know she dives head-first into all her projects. Driven by precision and backed by equally impressive production support she has created some unforgettable and beautifully styled work, both locally and abroad. Keep your eyes out for her latest Venus campaign and until then, wanna (s)talk some more? Ola! Films on IDIDTHAT and Company Website.

Contact Ola! Films

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Executive Producer: Olivia Leitch
082 331 4969

Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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This Editorial is paid for by Ola! Films. Want our studio to create content that puts your agency/company/kickass ad you made in bright lights for the whole industry to see? View or editorial packages or contact and we’ll make it happen! #Boom