Made Films’ Director Dani Hynes plucks at our heartstrings in Bokomo’s ode to the past 100 years ad

Dani Hynes from Made Films has directed Bokomo’s latest commercial that celebrates 100 years of being a household name in South Africa. The almost 3-minute film starring a 9-year-old, her grandpa, a duck and a snail, does not do much to serve the old adage ‘don’t work with children or animals’, but then again, Dani Hynes has always loved a challenge. In collaboration with agency MullenLowe, this beautiful cinematic and emotive piece of storytelling takes you on a heartfelt journey exploring two nurturing relationships and the passing on of wisdom that is sure to pluck at the heartstrings.

Q: What was most rewarding about Bokomo’s ‘100 Years Young’ commercial?

Dani: This commercial was really special to me because it reminded me of why I started making ads, the magic. And there was so much magic in this ad, from the relationship and collaboration between the agency and brand team to the cast and crew, but above all the story. Everyone was on board to tell a beautiful story and I think we are all really proud to have achieved that.

Behind the scenes of Bokomo ‘100 Years Young’.

Q: Is there a secret to working with kids AND animals?

Dani: Whether I’m working with a seasoned actor, children or a duck, honestly, it’s about managing safety. If people, or in this case kids and animals, feel safe in an environment or in a moment, or safe in a feeling, they can absolutely inhabit themselves and we get to observe them being their true confident selves. Actors aren’t ad furniture, they are authentic humans that are able to convey raw unfiltered emotions and for an audience that can be very powerful to watch.

Q: Casting that little girl was genius. The scene where she wipes the rain from her glasses was definitely our favourite moment! 

Dani: The team at G Stop Casting are incredible. Tiroyaone Tiro Mlilo walked in and we just knew she was right. This was her first-ever casting, and her first acting job and she brought such nuance to the role. A great example is that moment where she palms the rain off her glasses, which is something my son does with his glasses and she really pulled it off. She is so smart, funny, and confident and she was soooooo into the duck, until the duck pood in the bath, haha! That was a deal-breaker!

Q: Where did the idea to make her pet a duck come from?

Dani: When I first read the script I knew it was important to show the little girl also nurturing something. We see the grandfather nurture her in the film and that intergenerational wisdom felt really authentic. I wanted to see her pass on her wisdom too, so adding a pet made sense. The duck solved a practical problem, but it also added a layer of magic.

Q: And that moment where she gently stroked the snail at the pond was beautiful!

Dani: Funny story about the snail…Day one of the shoot our animal wrangler told me ‘One of your snails has run away’. Honestly, how far can it be I thought. Well…We found it 3 weeks after the job had wrapped, in a jar on a spinach leaf. It was safe and healthy.

Q: Wait, so you…

Dani: Yes, we had an animal wrangler for a snail.

Q: What was a highlight for you working on this film?

Dani: The team at MullenLowe were so invested in the story and they worked so hard on every element of this project. This germ of an idea was enhanced by everyone involved and at every point they added so much thought, style and knowledge of the brand. When I saw the collaboration on the screen, I was reminded that it is possible to grow and enhance ideas rather than just capture them.

Dani Hynes has established herself as a versatile director. Comedy, emotive, performance, beauty, food, alcohol, animation for live-action, problem solver, kids and animals; she seems to do it all and her reel is proof. Even though she has worked on such diverse genres over her years of filmmaking, there is one golden thread to her work and that’s the attention to detail. Dani is obsessed with finding authenticity in even the smallest of moments, beautiful honest moments that stay with you long after you’ve watched them.
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Credits for Bokomo ‘100 Years Young’ 

Agency: MullenLowe
CEO: Sarah Dexter
Executive Creative Director: Kirk Gainsford
Creative Group Head: Jeanine Gomes
Art Director: Jenny Glazier
Agency Producer: Riska Emran
Agency Producer: Keyana Govender

Prod. Company: Made Films
Director: Dani Hynes
Executive Producer: Melanie Curtis
Producer: Dumisani Mvumvu
Production Manager:  Sazi Mbalekwa

DOP: Motheo Moeng
Focus: Evelyn Makgata
DIT: Ludwig Bezuidenhout

AD: Westley Durand
Grips: Mlungisi Dube
Gaffer: Phumlani Ngwenya
Art Director: Sue Steele
Wardrobe: Mel Finch-Keshwar
Packs: Steven Short
Sound: Tony Honeybun
Makeup: Lisa Wasmuth
Location: Cherise Haskins

Offline Editor: Jade De Jager
Grade: Nic Apostoli
Audio Final Mix: Sean Jefferis
Online & Animation: Shaun Froneman

Contact Made Films:

Producer: Mel Curtis
082 566 7803

Producer: Dumisani Mvumvu
072 781 4625

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

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