Our production team, headed up by our producer Rob and line producer Rhidian, were given the task of creating Welsh Water’s latest advert, focusing on their winter services. We had a three-week turnaround, from filming to editing and we love the end result.
Keen on showcasing our iconic Welsh scenery, we set off to various locations such as Southerndown and Llantwit Major to film over two days in December. You would think that December would be ideal to film a winter advert, however we seemed to choose the two sunniest days of the month!
Never ones to let the unpredictable weather get in the way though, and because we’re all about bringing ideas to life, our production team worked with ‘Snowbusiness’ – the world’s leaders in snow effects.
But snow is not just any old snow. We had to choose carefully the sort of snow we wanted. Did you know that there are 70 different types of snow? (A future pub quiz question!). The very clever “Snowbusiness” used foam and paper to make the snow and sugar glass to create the puddles and icicles. But don’t panic – ‘snow’ damage was made to the iconic welsh scenery during this production! It is completely biodegradable, and we made sure we cleared up everything after us – we are good like that!
It takes a fabulous bunch of cracking people to overcome the challenges of ensuring that fake snow looked just like the real deal. So, it’s a good job we have exactly those kind of people here at Orchard!
The lack of December snow wasn’t our only challenge when it came to filming this advert though. Not only was the unpredictable Welsh weather a worry, working with natural light (or lack of) was also a challenge. As this was a mainly exterior shoot, we had to ensure our lighting was effective. That called for a skilled electrician with a raft of lights – some powerful enough to replicate the sun’s natural glow.We thrive on working with people from across the wider industry who we consider the best at what they do. During this production, we worked with director Shona Auerbach and cinematographer Graeme Dunn, alongside some of Welsh Water’s dedicated staff including one of their hardworking engineers. Oh, and did you spot the star of the show? Professional dog Alfie – all the crew wanted to take him home!
Sound was a critical element to the Welsh Water commercial. The two great sound engineers – Cheryl and Geraint – recorded the natural sounds from the location and gave them a focus point, in order to amplify the details that could otherwise be missed. The idea is that the Welsh Water customers are being ‘listened to’; so sound is crucially important.
As well as the natural environment sounds, we were lucky enough for the very talented John Hardy to compose an instrumental melody to compliment the delicate snowfall.
Finally, proud Welshman and Hollywood star Matthew Rhys completed the advert by lending his voice to the voiceover, in both Welsh and English, in order to keep the project as Welsh as possible.
We are very patriotic and adore our homeland, so to work with Welsh Water is something that makes us extremely proud.