Made Films and ‘This is a weird question, but can you…

When Director Dani Hynes from Made Films first hears about a new script coming her way, the brief almost always starts with: ‘This is a weird question, but can you…’ This is no coincidence. Over the years the team behind Made have repeatedly proven themselves to be the technical go-to gang when it comes to turning the seemingly impossible into nuanced and visually impactful work. This is partly due to their technical abilities and problem-solving chops as filmmakers and totally due to Dani’s belief that technique used to bring the idea to life should never get in the way of the idea.

We meet with Dani ‘What if we’ Hynes and her Producers ‘I guess we could’ Mel and Dumi to get to the bottom of how they’ve become the team in charge of getting the technically impossible, made.

Some of the actual questions the team have been asked, and of course, they made it happen.

Made Films launched a mere 8 months ago and yes, your numbers are correct, they have spent the majority of their existence as a company in lockdown. But lockdown did not see Made Films coming. Made Films laughs in the face of lockdown. Lockdown 0 | Made Films 1. You get the point. In fact, Dani and Made have directed and produced an impressive 6 ads during the pandemic!

Now more than ever before directors need to be more than just directors to meet the requirements that come with making even the simplest of commercials. According to Dani, directors need to ‘…also be able to collaborate on the creative, help with scripting, run a shoe business on the side, knit nipple caps, be fire on social media, and also direct the commercial.’

Apart from solving the technical aspects of an idea, Dani is responsible for heavy SFX jobs, food, scripts with kids, animals, bank ads, high fashion, alcohol; you name the genre and Dani’s probably directed about *10 of them which makes it pretty much impossible to pigeonhole her. What defines Dani as a director, is her approach to the work, unmoved in her belief that the idea is at the centre.

*Actual number unknown to writer, but it’s a lot okay.

‘This is a weird question, but can you shoot an ad during a level 4 lockdown?’

BTS Echinaforce

Echinaforce ‘Flower Power’

Made Films Producer, Dumisani Mvumvu weighs in: ‘With every board that lands on Dani’s table she first searches for the central idea and then totally ignores that it’s impossible to achieve. Inevitably, no matter what though, we end up getting the idea made. She’s a highly technical director, but never lets the audience in on the technique, the idea will always shine.’

For Dani’s latest Johnny Walker ad, she had to seamlessly knit together (yup, she’s very good at knitting) various complicated elements while cleverly hiding the technique it took to create.

‘This is a weird question, but can you make a woman walk upside down AND make it happen under water?’

Johnnie Walker ‘Keep Walking South Africa’

‘Using maths, science or I think sometimes even magic, Dani won’t rest until we’ve solved what is best for the idea. On all our phones, as a result, we have the names of a chemical engineer, a criminologist, a chess expert, a rocket scientist, a couple of strippers, a professional nose and horse whisperer amongst others.’ – Made Films Executive Producer, Melanie Curtis

There’s no denying that Dani takes her job very seriously, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a helluva lot of fun doing it. The joy that the Made team share for filmmaking is infectious and even though they hustle harder than an Oceans 11 sequel, it’s the fun you’ll have with them that will stick and as Dani says ‘I love to do a job where I never really have to grow up until tax season.’ So, no matter how weird your question, ask them and they’ll get it made.

Contact Made Films:

Producer: Mel Curtis
082 566 7803

Producer: Dumisani Mvumvu
072 781 4625

View I DID THAT Profile
View Made Films Website

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

*This content may not be reproduced or used in any part without the prior written consent of IDIDTHAT. Reprints must credit I DID ( as the original publisher of this editorial piece and include a link to this site.

This Editorial is paid for by MADE 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