Chris Ruane's recent work as gaffer / grip for Japanese Commercial Vehicle maker Isuzu featured some stunning Canterbury backdrops and made best use of his combo truck based in Christchurch. We sat down with Chris to find out why Isuzu chose our backyard to film their latest ad.
Firstly can you let us know a bit more about the ad concept and who you worked with?
The creative for the campaign was based on previous Isuzu commercials using real people in real locations. They wanted authentic ads featuring the same Canterbury farmers upgrading to the latest utes. All the farms shot in the commercial are actual farms in the heart of Canterbury - places like Geraldine and Fairlie, we had some really stunning locations to film from. Supernormal was the production company chosen by Isuzu to bring this commercial to life.
Can you describe your role and why you were chosen?
I was chosen for the Isuzu commercial in the roll of Gaffer/Grip as I have a Combo truck based in Christchurch. The truck has a very comprehensive lighting and associated gear list, which is ideal for small to large scale film productions. I also have other key equipment like the Ronin 2 gimble that we used on this shoot to get the car to car driving shots.
Supernormal chose me and Film Lightning NZ because I have worked with them on other projects and they know my truck. It's pretty handy having a truck based in Christchurch that's able to service the film production needs of the South Island.
What were the tricky/challenging aspects of the project?
Every film shoot has it's individual needs that can often make things a challenge. In this case the locations were on top of rugged hill country farm tracks, so firstly the access was a critical factor.
Thankfully the weather was amazing, but we had 4x4's and the our combo Lighting/Grip truck was able to access all these remote locations. When you film outside, the lighting needs to be set factoring in the ground its placed on and the wind and weather patterns that could occur throughout the day, but its all preplanned and just another day in the office. We are prepared for anything.
Was it just a Canterbury based production?
No definitely not. It was a New Zealand production, shot in Canterbury for an International vehicle maker. It's great to be able to have international quality productions filmed in your own backyard. The most local thing in the commercial was my combo truck!
What are your thoughts on the Screen Industry of Canterbury?
The Canterbury Screen Industry is still in a rebuild phase after the Christchurch earthquakes. Just like central Christchurch hasn't been finished, we are still building our resources up and creating the path of where we want to go as an industry. It's an exciting time to be from the South. Our main role at present is letting production companies know what awesome crew and equipment are located right here and what infrastructure is available. Our amazing variety of locations is known by us, but we still need to show the world how accessible they are - there is nothing like we have in Canterbury and New Zealand and people are starting to see that.
Why should someone from outside Canterbury (including international clients) look to film in our region?
Like I was saying - we can offer productions a wide range of locations from cityscapes, modern and old, to diverse beaches, forests, lakes and mountains. We are also perfectly primed to shoot in the off season for our Northern Hemisphere clients, meaning they can shoot winter or summer looks for their upcoming seasons before those seasons arrive.