Every commercial script is different, each filled with different opportunities to create things like visual rollercoasters, cinematic escapism, musical journeys, sexy distractions, authentic storylines, inspirational messages, aspirational imagery, action adventures, and more. But when you have a script that needs to land a kickass performance, a script that relies on subtle comedy moments, or layered characters that the audience need to connect with or feel for in a few seconds, you need to call in the specialists.
iDidTht: Guys, we’ve noticed that Patriot really churns out ads where the performance, above all, stays with you.
Anton: Thanks! We pride ourselves on that.
iDidTht: Pleasure! So, is there any planning involved in being performance-focused?
Aadil: Yeah, it’s all planning I think. You can’t just rock up on set and expect the actors to carry everything. Like for instance, we give our characters backstories. It might seem like a waste for a 30-60 second commercial but it motivates everything you do with that character in that ad. It gives actors some kind of grounding that sends them in a specific direction on the day. And if they end up improvising then they do it within that backstory and it all stays coherent.
iDidTht: Woah, back up there! What’s a backstory? #AskingForAfriend
Anton: It’s just a little history you can make up for the character that can influence the performance. Like, the fridge salesman in our Telkom ad. We decided he’s a frustrated dancer, stuck in a dead-end job, he has other dreams, dreams of one day winning a salsa competition in Cuba. Maybe next year making a run at SA’s Got Talent. So the fridges are his outlet and his practice, and any opportunity he can get to dance and show off – he will. But he’s developing a bond with the fridges, maybe too close… I think that came across.