ING Bank Television Advert – Set Building.
Oh gosh, here’s one from the archives. I thought I’d written about this before, but it looks like I haven’t, so here goes.
About a week after my daughter was born and I’d become a Dad for the first time, I was asked to come on board a stop motion animation project to promote the ING bank chain and its services for a television advert. So, I packed up my tools, jumped in the car and headed over to Cardiff for a couple of weeks, leaving my wife to cope with our new born child on her own. I felt guilty, but this was work and therefore money – and we all need money in these hard times.
I was just one in a crew of about a 17 people and my job was to build and dress the sets that the animation was to take place in. My supervisor for this project was a chap called Mark Cordory, who just also happened to be the HOD of the Doctor Who props department and naturally he brought the subject up and we talked about that from time to time… really, stuff you’d not want to hear about.
There aren’t too many surviving shots of the set build process after the Great Hard Drive Crash of whatever year it was, but I do have a few left that sort of shows what I did.
Above is a shot of the “Engine Room” very early in its construction. The backbone to it was a large fibre glass section of a hemisphere, measuring just over six feet wide.
Being an engine room, it had to have a suitable thematic look to it and so the old “boiler plate” deco was chosen, very apt, but a royal pain in the arse to manufacture. I had to cut, by hand, hundreds if not thousands of tiny plates (of varying sizes) from plasticard and apply them to the shell – at which point I’d then top them off with rivets that were formed by dipping a cocktail stick into glue, then dabbing this into each corner of every plate.
Slow and arduous work.
The plating is almost complete here and this is where the build progress shots end.
After this stage, piping, conduits and other surface detailing were added, plus portholes were drilled through to allow for back lighting to give a sense of life beyond the dome itself.
Just behind and to the far left, you can see the other set piece that I was building too. What you can’t see is another wall section, this time a simple curve, that would sit directly under the domed section to allow us to enlarge the field and scope of vision. That again was boiler plated and dressed accordingly.
Here’s the beginnings of the “Clean Room” that I made. Fairly simple and self explanatory as to how this was done, so no need for me to explain it. It also doubled up as some kind of vault too.
Below are the few screen caps of the actual advert that I have left.
In the background, the Engine Room dome with the wall extension below it. The object in the centre of the screen was built by Mark Cordory and was fashioned by some cheap pound shop finds. I think that I may have partially dressed this… it was sat on my desk, that’s for sure.
Apologies for the smallness of this shot, it’s the only version I have.
My engine room set again with more weird shapes hanging in and around it. The parts stuck to the clear ball in the centre there were made from, I think, cheap plastic kids’ trumpets. No expense spared… or spent.
Little blokes making money, yet again with some of my set on show, this is the Clean Room version.
More of the same.
I had a hand in building some of these pipes here, the rivets were, as usual, dollops of PVA glue.
That ball thing again, with the trumpets stuck to it and my Engine Room set in the background.
The Clean Room set, this time reused as the Vault where all the money is stored.
Still in the Vault. The base of the massive lever there was cast off of the bottom of a drinking flask, I seem to recall.
That’s it and that’s all the photos that I have left. It was a fun little job for a few weeks, everyone mucked in, did their own thing and also pitched in a hand with other sections of work when the need arose.
So, after really long hours with very little sleep, the job was completed and so I returned home to pretty much the same deal – long hours with little sleep, but this time it involved babies and not bits of plastic.