For our major project, Dark Horse Productions presented a 30 second television commercial for Hugo Boss’ men’s fragrance, “The Scent”
This project was an eye-opening insight into producing client-based work. Having originally selected the production of a music video for a local band, we were able to experience a taste of the delicate balancing act that is the collaboration of two creative parties. Unfortunately, due to scheduling and conceptual differences, we were unable to move forward with this project. Following this decision, we reconceptualised and came up with a television commercial for Hugo Boss The Scent, initially pitched by Henry. As his pitch was rather unachievable given our short timeline (of which we had already wasted weeks planning for the music video) and our low budget, we dedicated a considerable amount of time to reworking the core ideas to come up with a small scale, achievable project. Having narrowed our idea, we had to put a lot of thought into how we were going to accomplish the same classy, sleek look that the Hugo Boss brand prides itself on. This is one of the biggest realisations I had about client-based work and the largest difference I found from the projects I have previously produced in my studies. Confining your creativity to the specificity of a brands guidelines is the key to success in these projects and working relationships.
As already motioned, we faced a number of challenges throughout the major project process. The biggest challenge was the transition between the music video and the television commercial. However, each one of these projects had their own set of events and issues. In the lead up to the decision to move away from the music video, we went through three separate treatments, each building on the other to overcome the potential of creating a “boring” film as suggested in WIP classes. With the improvements we were making to create visually interesting elements, the band was starting to become restless and uneasy about the direction we were taking as it was not what was first pitched. We did take steps reassure them that the changes we were making were for the best, meeting up with them to discuss ideas though they were somewhat indecisive, and their feedback was less than productive. This brought on a fair amount of stress within the group as time was starting to get away from us and we were still struggling to lock in a date for filming. The stress of this further impacted our team work and communication with one another.
In preproduction for the Hugo Boss commercial, we had a much tighter timeline to work to. We managed to scale the shoot down to one location and settle on a smaller idea. In the next WIP class, we presented our new idea and it was suggested that we scale it down even further from three models down to just one. This simplified the casting process and we were able to lock in a male model from the Gold Coast whom we found on Instagram. While we did have to offer him more money than we had planned for the talent, we all agreed that it was well worth it.
In terms of meeting the brief and client expectations, I think we did the best that we could with what we had. Generally speaking, an official Hugo Boss commercial is a significant production with an extraordinary budget and featuring an A-list celebrity such as Chris Hemsworth or Theo James. I think we did extremely well to cast a model who was able to look the part. While our approach to locations and production design will never be seen in an official Hugo Boss television commercial, our choices were solely situational and based on funding, or our lack thereof. However, I believe we were still able to achieve an adapted version of the brands classy, sleek style through our lighting, cinematography and editing.
Regarding the brief for this project set by SAE, we were successful in creating a client-based television commercial according to the brief set by our facilitator acting as the client. We have delivered a high-quality product that I believe reflects admirable production values.
In hindsight, I think there would have been a vast difference in our final product had we have chosen the Hugo Boss pitch at the beginning of this whole project. Having to change projects more than halfway through the trimester was a large hindrance on our preproduction. Had we have had that extra time to work on the Hugo Boss commercial, we would probably would have produced something very different and more typical of the brands marketing. Furthermore, the group could have improved on the major project process in its entirety through better scheduling our time and priorities as well as through our communication as a collective.
Overall, this project and its process was a great experience and an interesting insight into the world of client-based productions. One thing I take with me coming away from this, I think I will try my hand at producing in future projects as it was a role that I assisted in a lot throughout the trimester and have never considered before.