Dunkeld Johannesburg-based production house Sub urban recently shot roughly twenty 30 second and one 60 second commercials for Engen in the Gold Island Studios in Corporate Park Midrand. The Agency was Cape Town-based Saatchi & Saatchi and executive creative director Anton Crone spoke to In Focus about the commercials and the locations used.

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On set Engen African Welcome shoot
"We shot a series of commercials for Engen recently, the first being a series of 30 second and then a 60 second montage of scenes from the first. The commercials, Engen African Welcome, were shot over a two day period. We chose this location as the characters in the commercials, all South African celebrities, are based here in Joburg and the scale of the set meant we needed a studio of this size."

The commercials were directed by Miles Goodall who was also the DoP and the executive producer was Linda Notelovitz Goodall. The camera operators were Chris Saunders and Brennan Lewis and sound was by Bernard Marcus. There were approximately 25 crew in total.

The key cast was a celebrity line up of note, and included Tamara Dey, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Gavin Rajah and Ruda Landman on day one of the shoot, and John Vlismas, DJ Fresh, Redi Direko and Marks Maponyane on the second day.

"The commercials portray how each celebrity would personally welcome foreigners to the country in the build up to 2010," explains Crone. "It also encourages viewers to welcome them in a South African spirit."

Camera equipment was supplied by Visual Impact SA and included three Sony PMW-EX3 camcorders with Fujinon ACM-21 lens adaptors and Canon cine style lenses. There was also a Super Peewee dolly and tracks. Lighting was supplied by Panalux. An interesting aspect of the shoot was that there was no playback on set due to recording on digital memory cards. The post production will take place at Condor in Cape Town.

"Engen have been working with Saatchi & Saatchi for over five years," says Crone, adding that the agency and client were very excited to have the opportunity of sharing such positive messages with the country.