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Cadbury Dairy Milk "tis the season for giving back"While we usually curse the first few bars of Boney M in the supermarkets, this year, Christmas can't come soon enough. Luckily, we had our very own Christmas with Cadbury Dairy Milk and Ogilvy Johannesburg way back in September. 10 Dec 2020 Read more

FirstPencil, 3 become 43 Ladies

6 Years

1 BB BEE Level 1

73 Productions

259 Locations

23 of them sanitised

15 Data Scientists

41 Animations

13 Documentaries

5 Print Shoots

1 Fashion Show

29 Celebrities

6 Sport Shoots

24 City Data Designs

221 Children

154 Shoot Days

8 of them with food

5 Babies

51 Pitches

7 Bursaries

23 Charities Aided

206 Stock Shots

373 Temperature Taken

36 Agencies

2 International Shoots

49 Brands

57 Happy Clients

922 Crew that we love

600 Masks Supplied
 14 Nov 2020 Read more

Good VibesIt finally feels like the right time to share the Rama TVC we shot for The Hardy Boys at the beginning of the year when we still all licked our fingers and had big Sunday lunches. We had the best time making it and can't wait to make more. (Sans the finger licking.) Rama #TasteTheLove 26 May 2020 Read more

#HeForSheWhen we started producing and directing this project for VMLY&R and Standard Bank, we didn't know how many conversations about gender equality we would eventually unlock. 2 Mar 2020 Read more

FirstPencil produces hat-trick of Best Liked AdsFirstPencil is thrilled to have produced and directed not one, but three ads in Kantar's Top 10 Best Liked Ads for Q1 and Q2 2019! 21 Oct 2019 Read more

Not our usual boxWhen people ask us what kind of work we want to do, we always reply "everything" and this board is exactly why: stylised props, slick choreography, dark spaces, a bit neon and all on an insane deadline. 26 Sep 2019 Read more

We made a hero(ine)!And we had the best time doing it. What a jol. We got the most incredible cast (many of whom had never done an ad before) who literally shone for us. We are so proud of each and every one of them. And when you start with a script from King James JHB, you best not mess it up. High flippen fives, lads and ladies. 19 Jul 2019 Read more

That special touchThese kids had us running around, singing songs, dancing jigs, making mud, crawling, climbing and clambering all over the show. The happiness shows and we hope you love it (bonus points if you shed a tear). 12 Jun 2019 Read more

FirstPencil does a flipThe Hardy Boys Durban and Varsity College gave us the opportunity to flip the world upside down and that's exactly what we did. 9 May 2019 Read more

Everything in life has changed...In one marathon day we worked with 14 kids, seven adults, a dog and a cat (because why not?). It's all still a bit of a blur, but the pictures came out real pretty. Thanks to OFYT, Future Life and an amazing young voice actress. We're (almost) 100% smarter. 27 Mar 2019 Read more

Some of our favourite things all came togetherIn the new Rajah ad, we got to tell a lovely story (courtesy of The Hardy Boys Durban) in a beautiful setting (that we built from scratch), and with a wonderful cast (I mean just look at them). 20 Nov 2018 Read more

A beast of a project, but we managed to tame itFinally. We've worked on the #SiemensFabric project with King James Group for a good few months, and now we get to share it! 5 Oct 2018 Read more

Veggie hunting is serious workFirstPencil ran around with Knorr, Liquorice Cape Town and these two kiddos for two days. Also... we found all the vegetables. 28 May 2018 Read more

FirstPencil takes a trip with Five Roses and M&C Saatchi AbelAt the end of 2017, we trekked all the way to Sri Lanka to shoot the new Five Roses ad. 5 Mar 2018 Read more

A wee bit of leftover fun from last year. Stop-motion origami for EdgarsSt Nick came early and gave us a stop-motion brief to end 2017. With a ton of planning and only a week's worth of pre-production, we managed to shoot this video in only a day at a whopping 25fps - that's more than 500 individual movements. It took a lot of coffee and a few paper cuts, but we love how it turned out. 2 Jan 2018 Read more

It's no secret that magic happens when two delicious things come togetherWhen amazing ideas come with tiny budgets, there is sometimes still a way to make it work - this specific way was moving all the furniture out of our director's lounge, calling in some favours from friendly DOPs and shooting over weekends, but who could say no to animating chocolate and cookies? With her background in stop-motion animation, there was no way Justine was going to stay no to these. 30 Sep 2017 Read more

Pretty messySeeing kids have fun on set is such a treat. We all know how intimidating and child-unfriendly sets can be and we go to every possible length to not make that the case on our kids' sets. We believe the results of all that effort and care shows in this ad. We were fortunate enough to cast one of the most talented and hardworking kids we've ever met and, across two days, we made a big mess that resulted in some very pretty pictures. 17 Sep 2017 Read more

There's still something to be said for in-camera magic, beyond happy with how these turned outWhat a (long) day. Six tabletop videos done and dusted. We knew we had limited time for these, so we cast our magic hands and spent an afternoon rehearsing each of the videos prior to the shoot. The idea paid off and our actor rocked it. 15 Sep 2017 Read more

...And then we got to work with a little superstarFour commercials all with kids' performances in three days is not to be scoffed at. Partnering with 99c we shot these videos for Shoprite Business Reasons. We loved the device of parents explaining complex business practices to their kids in a simple way. The parents brought their A-Game and the kids were the best. Look out for the little girl in career day - we're sure you'll see her around. 30 Aug 2017 Read more

Even on Mother's Day, Mom knows bestKing James Cape Town sent the script for the Sanlam Mother's Day online video our way and we jumped at the opportunity to focus on casting and performance and even throw in a bit of cheek. 18 Jul 2017 Read more

If you think making ads is tough...Try running 86,7kms. It's no joke. 17 Jul 2017 Read more

Finding joy in showcasing productFirstPencil shot this TVC for Kansai Plascon and Ireland/Davenport at the end of 2016. 6 Apr 2017 Read more

An exercise in data visualisationWe had to change the way we think about content for this piece and figure out how to get a lot of complex ideas across in a simply, visual and fascinating way. 8 Mar 2017 Read more

Is the AI apocalypse a real thing?First Pencil spent the last months of 2016 working with Wunderman Aqua on the Investec Private Bank #MoreThanData campaign and this is what we have to show for it... 7 Mar 2017 Read more

Armed with the raddest kicks in town...For the second half of 2016, First Pencil collaborated with King James Cape Town on three content pieces for New Balance South Africa. 6 Mar 2017 Read more

Got a thirst...?First Pencil did these little clips for FCB as part of the “Sprite Your Thirst” campaign. 28 Feb 2017 Read more

A hat trick for 'DStv: From my home to your home' at the New Generation Social & Digital Media AwardsWe're incredibly proud to have been part of the DStv: From my home to your home campaign that recently won three golds at the New Generation Social & Digital Media Awards: 1 Nov 2016 Read more

Sjoe, Cape Town - you sure are pretty...Armed with the raddest kicks in town and a boot full of the latest New Balance gear, we attacked our one shooting day: watching the sun rise and set and shooting a whole doccie in-between. 15 Aug 2016 Read more

Lets move a little faster now...We shot the Olympic campaign for Discovery Vitality over five days and missioned all the way from underwater Durban to Joburg's (various) skylines. 12 Aug 2016 Read more

SANBS | Donate blood today and give someone a tomorrowThis campaign relied on both a song visual concept and powerful sound design to support it. 22 Mar 2016 Read more

Everyone has a story worth listening toWe spent 4 days running around Daveyton where we traced Jabu's full story. We learned all about their "umbrella trees", got lucky with locations and remembered, all over again, that everyone has a story worth listening to. 1 Nov 2015 Read more

A labour of loveWhen we were asked to pitch on the opening AV for the Pendoring awards, we went for maximum charm, and stop motion. So we wrote songs (with the super-talented Zethu Mashika) designed and built characters, and animated 3 minutes of good ol stop motion over 5 months. 12 Oct 2015 Read more

Don't say we don't love a challengeWe shot two of these little commercials in a day, and managed to put it all together in 2 weeks. Phew... 4 Sep 2015 Read more

Not bad for our first gigWe're incredibly chuffed to have been part of Ireland Davenport's recent success at both Cannes (Bronze) and Loeries (Gold) with their work for the War Museum. 3 Jun 2015 Read more

Meet more friendsFirst Pencil is a South African production company servicing clients in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. We operate lightly and simply, giving every job the care and attention it deserves. We never compromise on production values and seek happiness in everything we do. It shows, in our work and our treatments. 1 May 2015 Read more

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