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Spike Jonze directs Idris Elba in latest Squarespace commercial

Spike Jonze has just been in the UK directing through MJZ the latest commercial Squarespace for their current campaign. Starring Idris Elba is shows him getting a shot at realising his childhood dreams in a flash-back sequence where the actor plays out his wildest childhood aspirations including stints as a professional athlete, chef and fighter pilot.  Art directed by Art Departments Amanda McArthur ably assisted by Bridget Menzies and Emma Davis they faced quite a few challenges over the month long prep and shoot. The cake sequence presented huge problems which Amanda solved with great imagination.

“It was the night before the shoot and the steaming real cake wasn’t working.  We had had people baking cakes for days.  We tried hard foam but it was too stiff and didn’t have the holey texture of cake. So I thought soft foam might do the trick if we could make it real enough, only to find that all the new foam I could buy was green or blue. It was getting late and with no options left, I started tearing up the cushions at home and my patio cushions came to the rescue, they were cake colour. With the help of the Machine Shop boys, some real frosting and spray paint. We got the steam coming up through the foam and the transition into the astronaut sequence was going to work.”

Good enough to want a slice – gotta love Spike Jones, Idris Elba and Amanda’s patio cushions!!  Great job done well!!


Too Good To Wait

Too Good To Wait, this years Christmas campaign from Waitrose, is made up of 6 x 30 second films. Each film centres around a traditional Christmas activity; charades, a wintery walk, the Christmas concert, that is eagerly sped through so another delicious Waitrose Christmas dish can be enjoyed. The first in the series, and Production Designer John Beard’s favourite, shows a Christmas concert where a pianist speeds through a rendition of Jingle Bells as quickly as possible after learning that Heston from Waitrose Chocolate and Sour Cherry Crumble Mince Pies were waiting to be served. Alongside John the job was styled by Niamh Coulter and ably assisted by propmasters Aaron Batterham, Dan Bryant and Simon Clifft. Shot in 8 days on location it was directed by Outsider’s James Rouse. 

The office will be closed from 1200 Thursday 21st of December and will reopen on Monday 7th January at 0945. We will be picking up emails in the interim and responding accordingly.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!


New Lotto tears at the heart strings!!

The new Lotto commercial appearing on our screens is a tear-jerker to be sure – designed by Art Departments Niamh Coulter with help from Propmaster Aaron Batterham and shot in a variety of locations in Scotland and on boats in the North Atlantic it tells the story of a lottery win that changes the lives of a young family. Directed by Smugglers Mark Molloy Niamh has this say about her experience “The challenge primarily was of being over an hour north of Aberdeen in fairly remote areas without easy access to, well anything really!  We were spread across the towns of Fraserburgh and McDuff, about 30 miles apart with the crew scattered and billeted all over the place. The shooting crew were on spilt days, the dressing crew on straight days so inevitably I was on both and shuttling between crews all day to keep pots on the boil.  Lovely Glasgow/London crew and absolutely delightful director and production made it all bearable but it was a slog.  Worth it though, I think we made something rather nice. The wrap party was held in the location House, with a folk band and bagpipe players and.. well, let’s just say it was quite the party!!”