Category: Team News

Happy Hour ranked 48 in Campaign’s Top UK Agencies

Posted in: Awards, Team News, TV Adverts

Campaign top 100 UK Agencies - Happy Hour Top UK Agency

Campaign have released their annual ‘School Report’ listing the top 100 UK agencies as ranked by Nielsen. We are thrilled to see that Happy Hour are now ranked number 48, up from 55 last year.

The league table puts us amongst some of the most recognisable names in advertising and it shows a rise in smaller independent agencies and production companies that are making the list.

2016 was a difficult year across the industry, political and economic uncertainty and a changing media landscape lead to a lot of the traditional advertising structures changing. We saw a lot of agencies moving their production in-house so competition in the production sphere was even more fierce.

Nicola Tyler, Head of Commercials at Happy Hour explains, “As a full service creative production agency, we benefit from being able to work directly with clients from brand planning & conceptual development right the way through to delivery. 2016 saw us deliver some really exciting – and effective – work for our clients and we’re really proud to see that being reflected in our boosted position in the Top 100 UK Agencies listing. It spurs us on in 2017 and we look forward to working on even more engaging ad campaigns for our clients, both old and new.”

Speaking of last year’s work, here’s a quick snapshot of what we got up to:

If you’re looking to boost your marketing and reach new audiences then get in touch. From TV and Radio advertising campaigns to corporate film and social media videos, we love helping brands tell their stories. 

Announcement: Multi Award Winning Director Mark Lawrie Joins Happy Hour

Posted in: Team News

We are delighted to announce a new member to the Happy Hour team, internationally renowned director Mark Lawrie. He has led a fascinating career, spanning a multitude of genres from music videos and theatre to feature length films and award winning TV commercials.

As a company that prides itself on world class TV commercial production, we’re always looking to bring in people at the peak of the industry. Tom George, Owner of Happy Hour says “We are delighted to have Mark joining us on our roster of talented TV commercial directors. Mark’s work immediately grabbed us, he has an exceptional eye for comedy, and has a very impressive understanding of visual effects, all combined with a storytelling flair that has attracted big brands such as Coke, Pepsi, Ford, and Smirnoff. We are thrilled to have Mark join the team and add to our portfolio of talented directors. We look forward to a long collaboration together”.

Mark initially got into film as a photography student, filming local 8mm cult classics in Berlin and Barcelona. He then turned his inventive eye to the world of music videos, directing such historic moments as the “Rainbow Nation Concert” live in Johannesburg in 1991, attended by the late Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu.

His work with music videos has earned him several prestigious awards such as numerous OKTV Octave Awards and a Gold from the Emzimtoti Music Awards, as well as helping to launch the careers of many famous South African musicians.

He then moved on to directing commercials for TV and cinema at The Gladstone and then Velocity Films before moving to the UK in 2009 to pursue his career as a freelance director in both TV commercials and feature length films. Since then he has worked worldwide including countries such as France, Nigeria, Dubai, Czech Republic, Japan, USA and China amongst many other places whilst racking up awards. They are too numerous to mention but include Best Advert, Best Director and Best Campaign accolades from Cannes Lions,  London International Advertising Awards, New York Advertising Festival and the Directors Circle.

We hope this is set to continue as he becomes part of the Happy Hour commercial production team! Watch some of Mark’s past work on his director’s page featuring some of his best special effects and humour based TV commercials.

For more information on our TV commercial production check out the website, or give us a call on +44 (0)117 929 9797 for Bristol or +44 (0)20 7100 1320 for London, to discuss how we can help.

Another Happy Customer! An Interview with Enercon.

Posted in: Team News, Video Marketing

We spoke with Daniel Hughes over at Enercon about their experience of working with us. We wanted to find out why they decided to choose our ‘outstanding’ corporate video production and animation services. The answers we received were fantastic:

Daniel, why did you initially choose to work with Happy Hour?
We decided to work with Happy Hour predominantly because of the quality of their work. After meeting with their creative team we felt they clearly understand what we were trying to achieve and that they would be able to deliver it in an exciting and innovative way.

How have you found Happy Hour’s post production services?
The audio and video post production service has been brilliant. They never had a problem working to our tight deadlines, making any amendments at short notice and translating it into six different languages.

How have you used your new corporate video?
We’re using the corporate video in various ways – both online and offline. We’ve successfully used it in our social media campaigns, including on LinkedIn and Twitter, and it’s gained a lot of attention. It can also be found on our website and YouTube channel.
Offline, we’re using the corporate video on promotional USBs to hand out to customers, and it’s a key feature on our stand at trade exhibitions which catches the attention of passers-by.

Is there anything about your industry that usually proves difficult to market? How did Happy Hour work with you to find solutions?
Induction heat sealing and the science behind may not initially appear to be the most exciting or interesting topic, but from the start Tom and his team looked at the project with completely fresh eyes and helped transform what could have been a dull, technical corporate video into an absolutely stunning piece of promotional film.

Would you recommend Happy Hour’s production services to other companies?
We’d have no hesitation in recommending Happy Hour to other companies looking for corporate videos or other promotional videos. Working with them has been a great experience. The final film was beyond anything we had envisioned and the reaction we’ve had from customers has been even better.

As previously mentioned, induction heat sealing is not always exciting to people, but everyone at Happy Hour was incredibly enthusiastic, which was great to see. They produced a script which was compelling and powerful, and then matched it with an outstanding video production, that featured great looking footage and motion graphics animation. 

If you’re interested in any of our corporate video production services or if you have some further questions for us, please contact us on 0117 929 9797 or alternatively you can e-mail us at info@hhour.co.uk 

Producing DRTV ads: Behind the scenes at Happy Hour

Posted in: DRTV, Team News

DRTV ads are a great way to boost business and by utilising modern filming techniques, they’re becoming all the more impressive. We’ve been working on a series of DRTV ads for QuickQuid set in a laboratory complete with a mad scientist and special effects. They are great examples of how good DRTV ads can be, with an inventive concept and high production values. They go to prove that you don’t need to be salesy to be persuasive and this approach can end up giving a more familiar and positive feeling towards the company.

We’ve interviewed the producer of these commercials, Tamsin Wiley-Scott, known as Tiggy, about what goes into commercials like these to give you an idea of what you can expect from a high spec direct response advert with Happy Hour.

What is your role as a producer?

“First the client discusses the brief and objectives with Happy Hour and the DRTV team come up with concepts for the adverts. The route is then chosen and detailed scripts are written, which all get approved by the client and their legal team. Then it’s my job to make it happen! I ensure we have good actors, the right location and that everything is well organised so the work is done within budget and to schedule. People are always surprised by how many people are involved in the making of a commercial, but every crew member has a specific role – it could be all over the place if it wasn’t organised properly!”

How does it work on set with 3D animation and other computer generated effects that will be added later? How do you accommodate them?

“There is always a Technical Director on set to make sure we have everything we need for the editing process – and how the 3D animation and computer graphics will fit with the live action filming. They will always take lots of photos and use reflective items as a guide for lighting on set – they then know how to create the CG element so it blends perfectly in with its live action surroundings.

With the “Jet Pack” advert for QuickQuid, we used a lot of computer graphics – the actor is actually on a harness. When we cast for the part, all of the actors had to be comfortable with this work and the actor we chose had actually worked for a circus before.”

What is the casting process for a part like that?

“It was in the brief that they would have to be comfortable with aerial work, so a casting session was held in London. Actors went through a couple of rounds of call backs before we sent a selection to the client.”

This series was all shot in a bottle factory in Bristol. How do you go about finding the perfect location?

“I’ve been working in Bristol for a long time, so when it comes to finding a location that’s local, I often know the perfect place – but often we’ll use a Location Manager to find and recce locations that fit our brief, or if we really can’t find it we’ll build a set that’s fit for purpose.

I’ve worked at The Bottleyard before, so I knew it would work really well. There are still old bottles lying around which make it perfect for a laboratory. It’s a large space to work with so it’s very important to have a good art director to get it looking right.

For the latest laboratory series of adverts for QuickQuid, we only had one week to be on location. So with art direction, pre-light and de-rigging there was only 2 days of filming. In this time we shot the footage for four 30 second videos and four 10 second videos. This kind of fast turn-around would have been impossible without an experienced crew!”

The laboratory commercials are very light-hearted, do you think this is a good approach for DRTV?

“I think humour works really well because people like to be entertained. If they want to find out all of the details and facts about a company, they would visit their website. With a commercial people want to watch something they can enjoy.”

The new QuickQuid commercials will be airing on national and digital channels from 1st April.

We produce commercials in a variety of styles, always with original ideas that drive response. If you’d like to talk about your own DRTV commercial, give us a call on 0117 929 9797 or drop us an email info@hhour.co.uk

Animation Production and VFX in the UK

Posted in: Animation, Team News

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity won seven Academy Awards on Sunday for its ground-breaking and incredible work in stereoscopic 3D production. In addition, two of the awards – for ‘Best Visual Effects’ and ‘Best Film Editing’ – were for work completed by British production companies.

Most of the visual effects (VFX) for Gravity were created in the UK by British company, Framestore, with filming taking place at Pinewood and Shepperton studios. The post-production 3D conversion was completed by Prime Focus World, another esteemed British company.

 “In terms of filmmaking, [Gravity is] a quantum leap forward, creatively and technically,” said Richard Baker, Supervisor at Prime Focus World.

Gravity has been applauded by experts in the field for its incredible 3D effects and for the new filmic processes designed behind the scenes – definitely worthy of all seven Oscars.

Last year we filmed a new TV commercial production at Pinewood, working on the incredible under-water stage. Not quite Sandra Bullock in a skimpy outfit, but we worked with a 40 strong crew alongside Pinewood’s technical team including the wonderfully talented and friend to the stars, Mike Valentine.

The pool is the largest of its kind and is permanently filled with approximately 1.2m litres of water. It is continuously heated to 30 degrees centigrade, so as to avoid discomfort for camera crews.

The ad includes creating and compositing extensive CGI, VFX and 3D animation production – our finished ad will be revealed later in the year.

So, who knows? Maybe this tenuous link to Gravity will be a good luck omen for the advert’s success!

If you’re interested in animation production or our motion graphics & VFX, contact us on (0117) 929 9797. We have plenty of creative solutions for TV commercials production so give us a bell with your brief or get in touch here

BAFTA and Emmy winning producer joins Happy Hour Productions

Posted in: Team News

Shaun the Sheep & Creature Comforts series producer joins leading commercials company

We are excited to announce that Gareth Owen has joined our team as Commercials and Development Producer. Gareth had completed 12 years with the UK’s most successful animation company, Aardman Animations, winning a Children’s TV BAFTA and an International Emmy award for his work as Series Producer of Shaun the Sheep and multiple awards for three series of Creature Comforts.

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Happy Hour brings in Fantastic Mr Fox AD Kev Harwood

Posted in: Team News

Bristol based film, video and animation production company Happy Hour Productions has announced that Kev Harwood, assistant director of Fantastic Mr Fox, has rejoined as animation producer.

Harwood previously worked as production manager and then assistant director at Aardman Animations before joining Happy Hour in 2007.

He was then approached by Wes Anderson, director of Fantastic Mr Fox to join him on the project as first assistant director where he was responsible for the co-ordination of us to 35 animation units at a time and oversee the running of production.

Harwood commented: “I’m very happy to be rejoining Happy Hour – a company I’ve always enjoyed working for. I’m looking forward to bringing the ideas and experiences I learnt from Wes Anderson back to Happy Hour and applying these to the company’s clients. Happy Hour’s reputation continues to grow within the industry and it’s a great time to be back onboard.”

Meanwhile, the company has also appointed Scott Pleydell-Pearce to its team of directors, having also worked at Aardman where he eventually became co-head of the CGI department during nine years there.

He is currently working on a number of projects for Happy Hour including directing a series of commercials for the firm’s Park Christmas Savings and High Street Vouchers direct response TV campaigns.

Happy Hour Productions strengthens its CGI team

Posted in: Animation, Team News

Scott Pleydell-Pearce joins Happy Hour’s roster of directors

We’re excited to announce that Scott Pleydell-Pearce has joined our team of directors bringing with him over 21 years experience in animation and CGI.

Scott’s career spans many areas including feature films, games, commercials and broadcast.  Having trained as a traditional 2D animator, his background in 2D served him well as he diversified into the world of CGI.  Scott spent 9 years at Aardman animations, where he helped develop and eventually became co-head of the CGI department, whilst all the time working as a senior animator and commercials director.  Scott has won a British Television Craft Advertising Award (Gold Arrow) for Robinsons ‘Boogie’ (best computer animation 2004).

Scott is currently embarking on a number of projects for Happy Hour including directing a series of commercials for the firm’s Park Christmas Savings and High Street Vouchers direct response TV campaigns.

Scott Pleydell-Pearce said:
“I’m excited to be joining Happy Hour at such an exciting stage of the company’s growth. Over the years Happy Hour has gathered a really talented bunch of people and I’m looking forward to applying my skills and creativity to Happy Hour’s roster of agency and commercial clients.”

Tom George, Happy Hour Producer, said:
“Scott has very strong credentials in the animation industry and we’re confident that his experience will contribute significantly to our CGI work and expand our huge range of creative talent. We’re all very excited to have him onboard.”