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We understand that any type of shooting under current restrictions is a tough challenge but, with full respect to all Zoom-alikes and 'moody abandoned streets' films we've seen, the concept of creating a musical seems somewhat awe-inspiring.

Thankfully, with an idea from Coors and DDB Chicago, a series of backlots ripe for the shooting and the magic of Biscuit's Noam Murro, the audacious project was brought to toe-tapping life in What A Beautiful Day, the Disney-tinged tale of a fella's flamboyant daydream.

We were impressed with the conceit and the cinematic way it was brought to life, so grabbed Murro for a chat.

Coors – What A Beautiful Day

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What was the initial idea for the spot? How 'lockdown' was it supposed to feel?

 In terms of the initial idea, kudos to Coors and DDB Chicago for creating such a relevant and brave piece for what we’re all going through. It feels like it hit the perfect tone for right now – reality but still hopeful. An honest yet uplifting comment on what we’re all experiencing without being heavy or depressing. 

We had shot some under the new conditions, but this is all new to all of us. 

In terms of lockdown, we wanted to create a city that had lost its vibrancy to the pandemic. It wasn’t meant to feel dystopian – just that feeling that everyone’s at home.

What were the early stages? Had you shot much under the new conditions?

At the height of the lockdown, we actually did a little film called A Love Letter to Los Angeles. We filmed that during the peak of the first wave, so we had shot some under the new conditions, but this is all new to all of us. 

All I can say is that we’ve learned how to work with the new conditions on a decent scale – and we’re now pretty good at it.

What was the key problem to solve before shooting even started? How did you attack it?

Our question was: How do you create something that’s unencumbered and free from all of this? As opposed to a lot of what’s on TV right now, we wanted to create something that felt effortless and hopeful. So we aimed for a greater sense of entertainment—partly because our concept already was entertainment, but also because it’s what we all need right now. 

Having fewer, less frequent distractions allowed us all to be more focused.

Then we brought that to life with charm and joie de vivre. 

Were there any unexpected benefits to the way it had to be shot - creativity born of confines, as it were?

There’s something liberating about the confines and yes, there were some creative benefits. 

On the plus side, having fewer, less frequent distractions allowed us all to be more focused and to zero in on the real creation of the spot. 

The downside is that craft service is nowhere near as elaborate as it used to be :).

What was your favourite moment of the shoot?

Having my COVID test come back negative – phew! (And everybody else’s too!).

The spot clearly has some fun post-production elements - how did you prep for those?

This was a challenge like any other VFX job—it’s always a formula of time and money. We didn’t have much time, so we used collective knowledge and multiple approaches— both CG and animatronics. We didn’t want to create a CG film, but the Disney-esque timelessness of a movie. 

We weren’t trying to do the polish of The Lion King, but the charm of movies like the original Mary Poppins.

We weren’t trying to do the polish of The Lion King, but the charm of movies like the original Mary Poppins, where the animals were a little rough around edges – and that’s what made them charming and relatable. 

So that was an intentional aesthetic on our part.

Despite the context, the ad doesn't 'feel' like a spot shot under extraordinary circumstances. Was that a key thing to aim for and what were you looking for to achieve that?

We were all adamant about creating a cinematic experience that was unencumbered in how it looked and felt – so you never see all the writing on the sticky notes and all the work behind it. 

Tonally, the idea was that it should feel effortless and timeless. 

The idea was that it should feel effortless and timeless. 

That’s the challenge of every production ever, but especially in these times.

What's your Zoom background of choice?

It’s a toss-up between a prison yard and the Oval Office.

What's up next with you?

Ketel One with a splash of soda – just for color.

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