Hillbrow was buzzing recently when Velocity Afrika used a location close to the Alec Gorschel Park (Hillbrow Park) in Catherine Street for a commercial shoot for a drink very popular in Nigeria.

The MILO on the Guinness shoot in Hillbrow
Downtown Joburg was selected by agency Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town because of its pan-African urban feel, with Hillbrow, Yeoville and Newtown as the chosen locations for the Malta Guinness TV commercial for Diageo Africa. There were several international visitors on the shoot, including representatives from London and Nigeria.

Although Malta Guinness is not sold in South Africa it is a very popular drink particularly in Nigeria.

Sammy-Jane Thom, Creative Group Head of Saatchi & Saatchi Cape Town, explained that the ad can be more accurately described as a music video. We have an international cast of parkour artists and dancers taking to the streets in Hip Hop / Nu Soul style. It's refreshing to break out of the typical commercial framework and make a music video with a pan-African cast, a London-based French Director and of course, our local talent.

"The TVC seeks to highlight the Goodness in Malta Guinness by dispensing advice for living a life of Goodness in the form of giant 3D words that manifest in the urban environment. These words are phrases from the soundtrack written for the ad by Pulse Music, New York. Shooting to the soundtrack is challenging as we have to ensure that the action around the 3D words is timed to the lyrics, and at times the lead artist has to rap backwards for the reverse camera technique."

Unusual on this shoot was the use of a MILO motion control rig. This very sophisticated device was brought into South Africa by Motion Reflex Control and was operated by London-based motion control specialist, Jay Mallet (see story on the MILO in May 2009 newsletter).

The commercial utilised literally dozens of cast, however the key cast were Yaw Asuamar, Ibrahim (Nigeria) Bobo (Ghana) Maria Matsebula and Precious Letshedi. Executive producer was Peter Carr, producer was Chris McCann and agency creative director was Anton Crone. The DOP was Rob Malpage, who shot on Arri 435ES. There were also two Arri 16 SR3 H/S and the format was for HD TV in 16:9 aspect.