A Chat with Arcade Content Newbie Zandi Tisani

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Zandi Tisani is a talented commercials director who recently joined Arcade Content. The Callsheet chats with her about two brand films she directed for Standard Bank: Take the First Step and Make One Day.

Watching South African brand films in recent years, did you see something lacking? What mark do you want to make on the brand films you create?

I think we still have a limited (and limiting) definition of what constitutes a brand film. To me, a successful brand film should be an interesting and engaging piece of content first that can also act as a vehicle for a brand’s message. At the moment, we’re seeing way too many cases of a brand shoving its message down your throat to the detriment of the film as a whole. Audiences are becoming wiser and more cynical. Being creative in the sphere of branded content is about disarming your audience and carrying them through an experience as opposed to force feeding them concepts.

The imagery in Take the First Step is powerful without being over the top. It’s simple yet striking. How did you devise that style?

The idea for Take the First Step and the other influencer films was to move away from the typical influencer-driven content we’ve become accustomed to seeing – characterized by an influencer speaking directly to camera about what it is they do, with slow motion cutaways of them actually doing it.

Personally, I find it more interesting to watch people in conversation. We assume that just because someone is an influencer that automatically means they’ll be good onscreen, which isn’t necessarily true. To disarm our influencers, we had them speak to another person, as opposed to camera. I think the success of those films really resides in that exchange. It’s exciting and gives the impression of accessing information you otherwise might not be able to access.

As far as camera style goes, we went for something handheld and a little bit loose and messy. It emphasises that documentary feel and made the experience feel a little more authentic.

Continue reading our interview with rising star Zandi Tisani in this month’s Issue:

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