Creating a Cinema Advert

What goes into making a Cinema Commercial? That’s what some of our Brisbane students have recently been learning through real-life hands on experience. 

As part of JMC Academy’s ‘Make it with JMC’ initiative, we commissioned JMC Film and TV Production students to create a new JMC cinema commercial. Monitored and managed by JMC Brisbane Head of Film and TV Production course Jennifer Ussi, the students created all aspects of the commercial from concept, design, production and post-production. 

 Producer Danica May Artner, Director Kash Green and Co-Producer Liam Selby talk us through their biggest learnings, hardest challenges and favourite experiences of the making of the advert. 

How did you find the whole experience of working on the Cinema Ad?

Danica: Like all experiences, working on the ad had its ups and downs. But once we finished the final product, I have never been more proud of myself and my crew for all the hard work and dedication that was put into this project. It was super beneficial to all the students that worked on the ad as we had never worked with a professional client before.

Kash: Being the director was a truly intense experience. When you are in the everyday motions of the Ad, it’s easy to become distracted by the amount of work in front of us. It was only when I saw the behind the scenes footage that I realised how much work we had done and what an amazing achievement it was. Every day for 3 months I had the privilege and opportunity to work side by side with an amazing team of people who gave their everything to make this project a success.

Liam: It was very enlightening. It created this awareness as to how much effort and time producers really put into their projects such as getting permits, scheduling, organising crew etc. It isn’t easy.

Watch the behind the scenes of the Cinema Ad Production. 

What were the biggest challenges you faced?

Danica: One of the biggest tests was the timeframe and deadlines in which we had to work with. There were so many different elements that kept getting changed in the process and it was a challenge to properly manage producing this ad as well as still attending class and doing assignments.

Kash: Everyday seemed like there was a new challenge. When you are making an Ad for a real world client and trying to keep your own vision in the project... Well, it can easily become a juggling act. There were some technical and logistical problems we faced throughout the project that we had to work through; 
• Taking the piano apart, moving it to the river, putting it back together... in a river.. at around 6am and then trying to capture the sheet music flying around.
•While on the boat, our amazing Production Designer, Tess & Director of Photography, Mitch got hurt and we had to drop off Tess at the hospital on our way to another major shoot.
•Finding every amazing location: One day we walked around Brisbane for about 8 hours into different building looking for the perfect locations.
•Working in 4K RAW: No only was this a drain on hard drive space. At one point Cassie, the Editor, was carrying 10TB worth of hard drives with her but she also had to spend many days transcoding the footage into a proxy to work on.

Liam: The one that immediately comes to mind was when one of the actors dropped out two hours before shooting and I was frantically calling people to replace him and, with much luck, managed to get someone in time. Secondly was getting a permit for a field where we could light a smoke flare. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the phone with more people in one day then the day I got that permit.

How has this helped you gain better insight into the real life industry?

Danica: Producing this ad has been the most beneficial project I have done at JMC as it has allowed me to get a better insight on how the industry really works once we leave film school. Even though the lecturers prepare us for what is out there in the real world, nothing can prepare a student more than by getting firsthand experience with industry professionals and clients to work with.
Kash: There are so many different ways this project has helped us gain real world industry experience. For one, not many people might know that we had to approach the marketing team with our proposal. So in our “development” stage we spent a lot time working on how was could pitch successfully.
There are a lot of different ways this project helped teach us things that you simply can’t teach in a classroom, and it was great doing it while in University because we had the support of our Head of Department the entire time, which is something you don’t get when you finish and try to do projects like this for the first time

Liam: Working out how to get the information the client wants and going about it creatively really gave me a better insight into the industry – making sure we get exactly what marketing want to get across in their ad.

What are your favourite things about studying at JMC?

Danica: I love how much freedom students get at JMC. I don’t believe that any other university would let a bunch of students film their national ad. Students have the freedom and opportunity to make the most out of the course and the lecturers are there 100% to back us up on any project we desire to produce.

Kash: If I had to pick, I would say two things. Every one of my lectures & facilities members are still working in the industry, so they are not only imparting their knowledge with us but they also become the beginnings of our professional networks, which leads me into my second favorite thing: The Students. Because of all the hard work, and many hours spent on assignments together, every student not only becomes part of this network, but for a while they are like family. All of us working hard together, sharing in our losses and victories.

Liam: The lecturers and the students are the best part of JMC. Talking and working with people who are still in the industry is a really great thing for both networking and bouncing ideas of one another.

Watch the final Cinema Advert produced by the students and in cinemas now here:

Find out more about studying at JMC Academy by enquiring here. 

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