Empire Design were commissioned by Working Title Films to create a digital campaign for the West End phenomenon Billy Elliot, The Musical.
I created the initial concepts for the digital poster sites, working with our illustrator to create storyboards. These were then refined and developed in the usual process. When it came to timeslice, we met with the team involved, commissioned a photographer and started to make things happen.
In a case like this, where there's a lot of money being put into the shoot from the client, you can't afford to disappoint. To this end I made sure we had as much technical information as possible to be able to present the client with visuals as close to the final product we could before the actual shoot day.
With height, angles and degrees of camera angles, I worked closely with our digital team to create the first macquette renderings of the posters. These became invaluable as a guide for everyone involved - from the client to the photographers, from the technical side to the 'Billy's' themselves.
On the 2 day shoot we didn't have much time to get our footage. Because of the Age of the boys, they could only work very limited times and had to have constant breaks, so everything had to be timed to perfection. Luckily Tom and Ollie (the Billys) were consumate professionals and produced the goods on the day. It's one thing to learn a choreographed move for stage - quite another to execute that move whilst staying in the frame for a restrictive 6sheet poster!
The Back flips!
Tom had been gaging to do these backflips for the whole 2 days - but was advised against in by the choreographer and other guardians.
Eventually he persuaded them to let him have a go at the end of the 2nd day. Alas - it's pretty tough to backflip straight into camera (given that you can do them at all?!) and after 5-6 attempts we had nothing. Tom kept missing the spot on the final shot. The chaperone was calling it a day. ONE more we all agreed....
He nailed it - and there was a massive cheer from the whole crew..... Which Tom was obviously chuffed with as he pulled a huge grin. NOT in the script at all :(
However we Loved it so much - after all people were going to see real lads performing on stage, and we thought it added personality to the production - that we kept pushing it to the client. They agreed. Personally, I think it's the best of the lot!