The approach to the making of this commercial was to create a story set over an indeterminate period of time, showing everyday moments in the life of an ordinary South African. As we follow him through these moments we notice how debt begins to creep in slowly in the form of printed numbers on his body.
The key consideration at the beginning of the project was in was the visual language of the numbers themselves. It was critical that we portray that debt is not made up of only one set of numbers but rather an accumulation of big and small debts collected over time. The look of the numbers and the application should create the feeling of a rash or virus rather than something merely applied.
We researched various techniques to create the numbers and settled on making up stamps which could be applied to the body quickly and also overlayed creating the effect of multiple debts. Armed with about thirty different stamps we were able to create a large variety of growing debt.
The challenge was to find ink that would not rub off too quickly yet be quick enough to remove and re-dress. The secret was copic ink. It stayed on once applied and was relatively easy to remove with some alcohol.
Wendy and Miggy of Wigwam fame, together with Sebastine Pepler on hair&make-up duty managed to pull off two days of stamping and cleaning our cast - in particular the ever patient lead, the talented Andrew Laubscher.
Along with Karen Wieffering on wardrobe they did a sterling job of ensuring that the continuity was correct as shooting out of sequence meant that our narrative timeline was moving between months and weeks on every shot.
Cinematography was handled by Willie Nel - using just two lenses and keeping the lighting and art department simple we were able to convey a story set over a large period of time in two days.
It was great to be part of such an important brand with an encouraging message.