Filmmakers, a few astounded members of the public, and the occasional rogue journalist managed to catch a glimpse of Academy Award winner Charlize Theron in action on home ground, during the filming of the new campaign for Sun International.
The spot comes nearly 25 years after Sun's initial “We Will Rock You” commercial did indeed rock the country. The commercial was directed by Giant Films' Ian Gabriel and produced jointly by Anant Singh and Helena Spring of Videovision together with Cindy Gabriel and Kirsten Clarence of Giant Films. It was lit by Vicci Turpin and edited by Ricky Boyd. "This was a great opportunity to collaborate with Videovision. The experience was enlightening and hugely enjoyable," said Cindy Gabriel.
The commercial was conceptualised by creatives Felix Kessel, Jacques Massardo and Prabashan Pather of Ogilvy South Africa.
"We set out to make this historic 90 second ad look like a segment of a feature film starring Charlize Theron," explains Ian Gabriel. "Charlize's style and performance in this spot drew on the look and feel of her classic roles epitomized in films such as Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Redford's The Legend of Bagger Vance, and Lasse Hallström's The Cider House Rules."
"Charlize was an absolute pleasure to work with," Gabriel continues. "She'd respond with instinctive intelligence to any performance adjustments. Charlize is a great star and a greater talent and is able to step in and out of character at will. She particularly loved being lit by our camerawoman Vicci Turpin."
Gabriel describes working on the last scene shot with Charlize at a very public poolside location - where some journalists managed to grab snaps of South Africa's own Hollywood royalty, scooping cover stories for their publications. "Charlize certainly lived up to the unexpected comedy the scene created," smiles Gabriel. "I suspect we may see more comic work from her some time in the future. It's definitely something she seemed to enjoy. The scene was a great way to end the intense collaboration we were all involved in. There was laughter all round. Charlize's enthusiasm and love for life showed through on set, and literally shines through in the 90 second commercial for Sun International."