As a company of keen-witted, excitable yes-sayers, we’ve entertained our fair share of quirky client concepts over the last five years. Although eager to let our imaginations run wild in the early stages of idea development, inevitably the zanier, less than practical and logistically implausible ideas find their way, quite rightfully, into the concept crematorium. RIP.

But when Golley Slater knocks on your door and requests that you shoot a commercial that centres around a giant, perennial monster made of money, you can say with some certainty that they aren’t going to incinerate their intentions or dilute their demands. When an ad agency ask for a monster made of money, they want a monster made of money.

To be specific, they were looking to produce a TV commercial for Student Finance Wales, in which an unlucky undergraduate finds his everyday University life plagued by an enormous, menacing monetary metaphor. As if hangovers, homesickness and that one flatmate who never washes up wasn’t enough…

With a tight time schedule and Christmas looming, we flung our full creative forces into the fray, developing both the visual aesthetic of the Monster itself and conceptualising the world in which he inhabits.

Grasping the directorial helm, our in-house director, Josh, worked tirelessly on concept art and animated storyboarding, collaborating with both camera and art departments, making sure that we really could put our money where our (monster) mouth is.

An early animated storyboard that Josh threw together to wrap his brain around the timing of the TV ad. It’s a lot to squeeze into 30 seconds!

Once storyboard had sign off, it was time to summon our inner Mary Shelley and bring our Monster to life. In this case, that meant finding locations, booking talent, creating costumes and working out how to fit our ambitious storyboard into three shooting days. Have you ever tried negotiating overtime with a 6’5 viking stuntman in a green monster costume? Needless to say, we were working to a strict time schedule.

Jess and Charlotte worked tirelessly to liaise with every location directory at our disposal, skillfully scheduling all six locations. Meanwhile, the art department, as well as our DOP, Lewis, and director, Josh, got quite literally stuck into creating the Money Monster costume. Nothing screams team building like spending 6 hours in green morph suit while your next in command sticks hundreds of bank notes to you with a hot glue gun.

From supermarkets to seminar theatres, our team busted a gut to bring the Money Monster to life, in six locations over 3 days, terrorising our student, as well as the odd passer by.

Nearly a month of creative chaos culminated in a TV commercial shoot that was as smooth as it was stupendous. We’re pretty darn pleased that this idea avoided the fiery furnace of the concept crematorium!

Credits

Agency
Golley Slater
Executive Producer
Nick Patterson
Executive Producer
Gruff Vaughan
Director
Josh Bennett
Producer
Jess Gardner
1st AD
Jess Gardner
Production Coordinator
Charlotte Harris
Cinematographer
Lewis Jelley
1st AC
Matt Pidala
Gaffer
Matt Dunford
Grip
Charlotte Darlington
Production Assistant
Amy Jones
Production Assistant
Gav Smith
Editor
Josh Bennett
Colorist
Lewis Jelley
Costume Designer
Tina Kalivas
Costume Supervisor
Anouk Mondini
SFX Makeup
Jess Cheetham
Makeup
Katie Hopkins
Set Dresser
Oliver Harman

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