November 4, 2019

Egg Films on Creating Branded Content

Producer Vjorn du Toit shares his insight into the ever-evolving commercial service landscape and the latest on Director Kyle Lewis’ work for German energy utility EWI.

We love that brand films are evolving – and quickly, too. Tell us about this trend and what it takes to create a really powerful ‘manifesto’ film like EWI’s.

I think brands are no longer just products or services, but the communities of people that surround those products or services. The consumer has evolved substantially and what they want is honest marketing. When EWI’s script first crossed Kyle’s path – it was exactly that. An honest script written for the market EWI wanted to target, it was never trying to be something else.

What were the unique production challenges in making this project work?

The first challenge was getting to shoot the script in SA. Kyle was hell-bent on this so we had to put a lot of extra graft into getting the client to shoot down here. Naturally the challenges that followed thereafter were seeing through on making everything as authentically ‘German’ as we could.

How much of the brief was already in tact before Egg Films worked on it and brought it to life?

The client, agency and international production house were amazing on EWI. Creative Director Florentin Hock and Kyle got on exceptionally well from the first phone call which made the process very special – the original brief to the end product on screen was an incredible collaborative process for everyone. For me, as a producer these kinds of collaborations and end results is why the long hours, problem-solving, nights away make it all worth it.

This film speaks about the digital revolution that has and still is sweeping the globe. Why is this so important?

The Digital Generation in my opinion is most exciting and it’s going to be really interesting to see how brands tailor advertising for them. The Dig Gen don’t follow the norm at all, they want honest and down-to-earth marketing.

Is there such a thing as an intrinsically South African or African ‘voice’ in a world that’s becoming increasingly globalised?

I think in the last few months we’ve lost over 15 creatives that I know of to overseas agencies, which says something – we are out-of-the-box thinkers and we have to cater to a really wide range of consumers within SA, which I feel has to make us quick on our feet. As South Africans we are so uniquely positioned in the creative sphere – we just think and feel differently.

Aside from this production, what other cool projects has Egg Films been working on recently?

Everyone at Egg and Arcade is pretty busy at the moment. As for Kyle, he has just finished up a visual feast of a music video for Toya Delazy which releases in September. One really special project to mention is Lebo’s People vs The People. It’s a phenomenal piece of storytelling.

What are your thoughts on the local commercial service sector, particularly from a producer’s POV?

It’s an interesting time in our industry – the highs are high and the lows are low. The opportunities are there, it just depends how hungry you really are to get them. We have a phenomenal pool of talent in our industry and it’s about recognising, entrusting and taking a few risks with them.

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