CASE STUDY – The ‘World’s Most Boring Film’

WORKING WITH FP7 DUBAI and in-house producers, Mint, Director, Mark Williams, created a mammoth 23-hour film for Facebook and YouTube for Unilever brand, OMO.

The idea was to make it deliberately boring -to wake parents up to the fact that kids today are ‘the least active kids ever. FP7’s strategy worked; the campaign went on to win a gold and three silver Effies, a Dubai Lynx Gold and a Cannes shortlist. Yet, bringing the strategy to life would be a new challenge for Williams and his team.

‘As you might imagine, we couldn’t really shoot the kids for 23 continuous hours, so we shot a series of 15 minute loops of each child and stitched them together in post. 

Director, Mark Stephen Williams

‘The kids would begin a sequence in one pose, and I would direct them to shift about every few minutes for around 15 minutes, before returning to the original pose. I used tracing paper on our monitor to be sure the ending pose was as close to the opening pose of that sequence. We did this a few times with each child and then in the edit we’d just copy/paste the sequences over and over,’ Williams said. 

‘The agency creatives looked hard for the cut points, but they were impossible to find. It was really a seamless result,’ he said.

Yet, there was still a bigger challenge: delivering a single 23-hour film at less than 10GB that could stream on YouTube and Facebook.

With the team’s editing systems continually crashing under the weight of 23 hours of footage, and even Google and Facebook own systems buckling under the unusually large files, they eventually found a workaround, yet it was production planning that saved the day.

‘We knew from the start the weight of a 23-hour timeline was going to be difficult, so during the shoot we kept the colour space as simple as possible, using a flat grey background with no lighting gimmicks, so we could compress the colours a lot more without causing jaggies or artefacts in the final output. 

‘We then tested the resolution quality on mobile screens prior to the shoot and decided to shoot in 720 with very high compression. It was definitely a gamble, but somehow it all worked in under 10GB,’ Williams said.

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