The producers' wrap: Dan Mace of Egg Films
Last week, SA was responsible for 42 wins at the One Show 2017: six bronze, one silver, and one gold pencil, as well as 10 merit awards, with 10th spot in the country rankings. I spoke to some of the people responsible for this winning work behind the scenes. First up is Dan Mace of Egg Films.
Pre- and post-production companies and the recording studios where the magic happens don’t usually get to bask in the limelight of big award wins like the One Show, sometimes not even receiving recognition for the work they put into those campaigns the nation loves.
Here, Dan Mace, responsible for One Show-winner Tusker’s Here’s To Us and new to Egg Films, shares his input. Click on the article embedded above the minute-long Tusker Here’s to Us One Show-winning work, or spend four-minutes on the Tusker brand film, Flag 42 – The Story of Kaki:
Congratulations! Talk us through the way our creative industry collaborates and gets the job done.
Good ideas are priceless, but I do believe production houses need a lot more credit. In order to get a solid end product, you need to collaborate with the best teams, and you need them to be passionate about your project. This is always weighted on the relationships they have with the production houses. I felt the huge difference a good production company can make first-hand on my last job – my first with Egg – for YouTube. I’ve never had that level of production support, which allowed me to really focus solely on making sh!t look rad.
Getting into the nitty-gritty, elaborate on your involvement in this specific winning work.
Tusker was the first ad I directed, so credit to Net#work BBDO for giving me this break.
Music is super important to me as a director. I usually insist on having a soundtrack before we even shoot as this plays a large role with my conceptual process. I like to know exactly what the edit is going to look like and where my cutting points are, which is only really possible with the selection of a click track, a BPM. You can stretch and move visual rhythm dependent on what feels right, but with music you are stuck in a bar structure and can’t really break this pattern. I have always said that film is like music for the eyeballs. With Tusker, the way the sound, edit, music and character development worked together was so crucial to its success. I worked a lot closer with every single department than what I am used to. There were a lot of competing opinions in the beginning of the post process, but I am really proud of the product we released. The team worked bloody hard on pulling it all together.
Yes, that much is evident. Share your opinion on SA’s quality of creative work overall, especially as we ended up in 10th country ranking spot at the One Show with a gold and best of discipline in radio.
I believe that South Africans understand how to tell a real story. When looking at the other directors that won from Egg and Arcade – Terence Neale for adidas originals, Kyle Lewis for Sanlam and Jason Fialkov for First Kiss – what all of these pieces have in common is a raw, authentic feel to them. It’s hard for me not to feel inspired being surrounded by guys like this on a daily basis. We come from a background where we didn’t have the budget to make Hollywood-scale TVCs, so we went into telling powerful stories and powerful ideas without the gimmicks.
What are you most looking forward to from the rest of the year’s award circuit, with Cannes Lions around the corner and Loeries just a few months away?
Well, Tusker just won an African Cristal Grand Prix, so it's on a roll, but I never know what to expect with these award shows. For me, there is no better feeling than a good response from the public to an ad like this, so I feel that the team has already won. Nowadays we have access to understanding the public response very easily online, gauging by real people’s comments that are unaffected by the behind-the-scenes or knowing the initial idea, which is epic. I have put some money aside to attend Cannes this year though, as I love to be there and see the level of work being produced internationally.
As are we! Keep an eye on our Cannes Lions special section for the latest updates and revisit our One Show special section for key interviews, insights and accolades.
You can also view more of Mace’s work below. The Matt Simons Catch & Release (Deepend Remix)’ music video has had 18m views, Gift and Bomb-Sniffing Rats were CFP-e Shots winners and Fighting To Save Zanzibar’s Sea Turtles has had 1m views: