i Editor's Letter: Filming the i ad


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The Independent Online


Yesterday, I spent much of a bracing winter’s day at a freezing cold shopping centre near Victoria station in central London.

Together with a dozen crew, 55 extras, six actors, a couple of surprise names and Ruya, the delightful reader who won our recent competition, we were filming the i ad that you will see some time next year.

It always amazes me how much planning, skill, dedication and sheer hard work goes into 30 seconds of airtime. I know some readers will doubt that, but it’s true. As with the production of i itself, the challenge lies in the editing; how to be concise, yet maintain the quality.

Advertising is one of those jobs – like being a publican, football manager or writer - that everyone thinks they can do, but is actually extremely difficult. Howard, our director, not only came dressed for the Arctic chill, but directed the whole shebang with a winning combination of military precision, patience, focus and flair.

What a find “avid” i reader Ruya is: she was natural in front of the camera, and delivered her lines like a pro. She scarcely needed her make-up (inset), and was engagingly enthusiastic.

Well done, Ruya. The only disappointment was the lack of a craft services table. Gone are the heady days of trestle tables heaving with doughnuts, bacon butties and sausage rolls that fuel a day spent shuffling from foot to foot as the director insists on take 23 of “the talent” raising an eyebrow quizzically. Still, I did get a free Curly Wurly. You can see the results soon.