Director Tony Baggott's interpretation of an empathetically conceived script by Lowe Bull Johannesburg has added heart-tugging appeal to the new Castle Milk Stout television commercial.

The ad, developed by creative director Eoin Welsh and his team of Steve Clayton and Matthew Berge, features an older man sitting with his friends in a tavern telling them the story of his son's graduation. He starts off saying that, while he was proud of his son's achievement, he travelled with a weary heart because he was certain his son's journey had taken him away from valued African traditions.

It was shot on 35mm over two days on several different locations - outside the Physics Hall at the University of Witwatersrand and in downtown Johannesburg for the exterior and travelling scenes and at Johannesburg City Hall for the graduation scene and then a tavern in Soweto.

He explained: "I was extremely touched by Lowe Bull's emotional script, and wanted the visuals to complement it. So, in addition to shooting on 35mm, we used a bleach-bypass negative process that helped create really beautiful pictures, enhancing the skin tones and giving an overall creamy texture to the footage. Of course, the lighting and art direction for each scene was crafted specifically with this process in mind."

"In addition, we wanted the soundtrack to lift and emphasise the emotional beats in the story. Rich Aronson was the perfect choice as composer, and blended traditional Zulu harmonies and instruments with an orchestral undertone to create a uniquely African, but still cinematic, piece."

Welsh adds: "Frieze Films excelled on this one, and Tony's a consummate, uncompromising craftsman. He delivered not just a highly emotive film, but a beautiful-looking one to boot. We're thrilled with the results - as are our clients at SAB."

(Source: BizCommunity and Frieze Films)