If you had asked me just over 5 years ago when I started blogging what I thought I would be doing in 5 years time I can pretty much guarantee you that I wouldn’t have said “oh you know, just hanging out on set at the making of Philips new Christmas video #MakeItMagic” but that’s blogging for you, you just never know what is waiting just around the next corner and for me that’s magical too.
Last Tuesday, after dropping off the elder Beans, Jelly Bean and I boarded a train for London as the start of our magical day began. After a rather hairy taxi ride through London where Jelly Bean shouted “whooaaa steady” on more than one occasion we pulled up outside a beautiful double front house which was to be our base for the day. To anyone walking past the home looked just like any other, rather large, South London home putting their Christmas decorations early but inside the house was a hive of activity. The 8 bedroomed house was being transformed with the magic of Christmas and Philips lighting and we were going to be there to watch it happen.
Once Jelly Bean and I had introduced ourselves to everyone and Jelly Bean had settled himself with his hareem of ladies and food in the kitchen I was free to tiptoe upstairs to where the child actors were filming their scenes.
Upstairs it was dark, very dark. All the curtains had been closed and there wasn’t the merest hint of daylight peaking through. In the children’s bedroom a scene had been created where the children would be playing in their room on Christmas night with their Philips Disney lights and making a den. No fancy technology, no all-singing, all dancing toys just the imagination of the children and their Philips Disney Frozen Flash Lights and the magic of Christmas. The ambience of the room had been created using Philips Hue LightStrips and a Philips Disney Mickey SoftPal and the play was very simple. Just a sheet tied to the end of the bed, over a chair and around the dolls house, something which we often do in the Mummy Matters home.
The festive video would be filmed in two scenes and it would take just one day to film but of course it wasn’t just about the filming and the actors. The scenes had to be created because although they had a ‘family home’ as the general scene they need to prep the scenes too. Upstairs they had to do a sweep of the children’s bedroom to make sure that nothing ‘branded’ stood out and the lighting had to be set up to create the right feel for a ‘night-time’ shoot. Downstairs, two people (with Jelly Bean’s help or hindrance) were creating the dining and lounge set by adding a large Christmas tree, setting the table for Christmas dinner and putting up all the Christmas cards and decorations. In the kitchen, the ‘Mum and Dad’ actors patiently waited for their scenes to be filmed whilst they ate lunch, read the newspaper and helped to entertain Jelly Bean. There were also makeup and further members of the production team popping in and out. It was a busy place that’s for sure!
When it came to the actual filming I lost count of how many people were on set and exactly who did what, there were cameramen, lighting and sound technicians, the producer, the director, Philips UK and European branding representatives and various people from the production company all squished onto the stairs and landing trying to get the best vantage point. Oh yes and then there was me, sneaking under peoples arms and around their legs or hiding behind doors to try to grab photographs to share with you my lovely readers. It was a quick lesson in low-lighting photography for me I can tell you!!
I have never really considered what goes into the making of such a video, a piece of film which will last for just a few short minutes or indeed the preparation and manpower that is needed to create it so I asked “what is the process for creating such a video?” and this is what I was told . . .
- Philips wanted to create a video that bought to life the magic of Christmas and to convey the Philips and Disney Imaginative Lighting range, which is all about inspiring children’s imagination through light.
- The idea of the #makeitmagic video is to show that light can be used to ignite children’s imaginations and how adding light to their play time can enhance it.
- When creating the idea/concept, the team brainstormed with the range of Philips Disney products whilst thinking about the best way to engage parents.
- Philips Lighting decided on a short, but sweet, festive video of the home on the evening of Christmas that bought to life the sensory details that make the festive season special.
- The script consists of two scenes. The first being mum and dad in the living room who are starting to tidy up after the Christmas feast and present opening. They hear the sound of excitable footsteps and giggling from upstairs. They stop what they are doing and look up. The next scene focuses in on a brother and sister playing in their bedroom with their new Philip Disney lights and making dens. The end shot is of the parents watching their children play, taking each other’s hand and looking at each other, smiling.
- Philips Lighting wanted the video to be both cosy and warm, recreating Christmas day. The theme of the festive video combines family, lights, presents, and excitement.
Personally, I can’t wait to see #MakeItMagic when it hits our screens on 1st December on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, but for Mummy Matters you can also watch it here first on 1st December as I have managed to grab a sneak peak just for you. It’s funny how such an experience can change you going forward but since last Tuesday I had watched the TV in a totally different way, wondering how many takes it too, how many people were crouching just out of sight and how much of the ‘set’ was real and how much has been brought in especially for the making of the video.
How will you make Christmas Magical this year?
DISCLAIMER: My travel expenses were covered for the trip and I received a selection of Philips Disney Lighting products for the Beans to enjoy in exchange for my post. All words, images and opinions are my own and may not be copied without my permission.