Easy being Wheezy
Director Harriett Maire takes a deep breath and talks about her latest work for inhaler giant Symbicort.
"It’s always satisfying to direct a TVC for a product you use daily. As an asthmatic and a regular user of Symbicort, I loved this idea from the get-go. It’s not often you get the opportunity to approach a pharmaceutical TVC in such a fresh way. The crew were onto it; I was surrounded by an army of talented people. It turns out it is easy being wheezy when the team around you is this good!
As a director, I enjoy running the casting sessions myself. I work as a casting director when I’m not directing, and I find the two roles speak a very similar language. The casting process provides such valuable insight to a director - actors offer things up in the audition that you wouldn’t have thought of alone. It’s a two-way process. Their interpretation of the script is always different to mine, and it’s great to see what they offer up first before I give them any direction. It’s truly a gift to run the audition room and collaborate directly with the actors.
It was a satisfying creative challenge to shoot a night scene without hero-ing the colour blue. We got inventive when it came to honing the colours of Symbicort’s world. Fergus Cahill and Karl Saunders did a beautiful job shaping the light, and replicating warm streetlight tones from outside. The vivid, modern tones leant themselves nicely to the cheeky storyline (courtesy of the brilliant Duncan Blair) and quirky set dressing (courtesy of the wonderful Leah Stockton). It was all brought together skilfully by Pete Hanson - not only a master of the edit, but also the master of making multiple music tracks sound like one seamless piece.
Directing this TVC was a true joy. It was all held together by the fearless producer Leah Oram, who made things so easy for me. Take a deep, wheeze-less breath, and enjoy watching!"
THE CHEAT - DIRECTORS CUT
Essence Agency: Creative Director - Duncan Blair. Account Director - Carol Lee. Client Services Lead - Christy Leopold. Agency Producer - Valentine Taylor.
Production - Film Construction: Director - Harriett Maire. Producer - Leah Oram. EP - Belinda Bradley. Cinematography - Fergus Cahill. Editor - Pete Hanson. Colourist - James Hutchinson. Casting - Harriett Maire. Production Manager - Ferris Bradley. Prod Runner - Indigo Paul. 1st AC - Alex Campbell. DIT - Halcyon Digital. Sound - Wendy Adams. Gaffer/Grip - Karl Saunders. LX Assist - Oren Graham. Art Director - Leigh Stockton. Wardrobe/MUP - Miranda Raman.
BTS Stills - Belinda Bradley