Focus On Film

Éclairs Are Sweet on Film

Published on website: August 13, 2013
Categories: 35mm , Commercials , Focus On Film , VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 5219/7219
Scenes from the CADBURY Éclairs Rich Brownie spots (photos by: K.U. Mohanan)
Cinematographer K.U. Mohanan
Scenes from the CADBURY Éclairs Rich Brownie spots (photos by: K.U. Mohanan)

CADBURY recently announced its new, premium melt-in-your-mouth candy, Éclairs Rich Brownie, with a new commercial. The new candy packs a lot of flavor with brownie and caramel combined with the company’s signature dairy milk chocolate at the center. It was decided early on that film was the right choice to showcase this luscious treat.

The commercial was photographed by cinematographer K.U. Mohanan, who started out in documentaries but has since shot many Bollywood films, including Miss Lovely, which was nominated for Un Certain Regard Award at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival. Mohanan knew film would be able to capture the essence of that smooth, chocolaty creaminess.

“The director and I decided it should have a very particular warm look to it, so we decided to go with [KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film] 5219,” explains Mohanan. “I just love that stock’s contrast, color, and the overall look it gives to the commercial.”

The spot’s narrative shows a woman with dark, full hair in a dreamlike world of fl owing silks, gold necklaces, and of course, her CADBURY Éclair. It ends in the woman’s real word — a marketplace with shouting vendors and throngs of people. To visually distinguish between the two — since the entire commercial was shot on a soundstage in a controlled environment — Mohanan utilized distortion and refraction for the dream sequence.

“I used a lot of glass and crystal elements throughout the whole shoot,” explains Mohanan, who shot on an ARRI 435 camera with [ARRI / ZEISS] Master Prime lenses. “I also used a good amount of dust: we just threw it in the air and” let it fly around. By adding these elements to our shoot, we were able to do it all in camera. There were no special effects done in post production.”

Mohanan used pieces of glass with beveled edges in front of the camera on a dolly so that when the image passed through the edges of the glass, it would create a kind of refraction to give it that dreamy feel. Another way Mohanan achieved the dream world elements was by utilizing the camera flash.

“I would switch it on and off in between each take to get a speed change,” he adds. “This is only possible with movie cameras and not with any of the new digital cameras. We used that effect throughout the commercial.” Mohanan decided to stick with the same stock throughout the entire shoot so that he could keep a consistent contrast, even during the last part of the commercial where the woman is shopping in the market.

“I believe KODAK Film is much better than anything else out there,” notes Mohanan, who is a graduate of the Film & Television Institute of India. “I do use digital every once in a while, but the frequency has become less and less. Unless there’s something you can’t get without digital, I always choose film.”