Western Power “Make The Safe Call” – Behind the Scenes

Sandbox produced Western Power’s latest “Make The Safe Call” campaign for agency JWT. Directed by Richard Vilensky and produced by Jenny Crabb, the concept was a great opportunity to try our hand at a sophisticated Motion Control technique alongside a number of intricate production requirements.

The concept was a continuous camera track back from a fallen tree branch entangled in power lines, revealing Western Power safety measures “magically” appearing around the live electricity hazard.

It was a challenging concept to execute – filmed overnight in a Perth suburb following one of the hottest days of the year, the production had to create the illusion of a post-storm landscape.

A large Western Power crew contributed both on-camera and in various off-camera safety and logistical roles, along with a host of heavy machinery and vehicles.

Apart from the practical aspects of the production (a night shoot, a street wet-down, an 8 meter tree branch), there was a significant technical component.

The motion capture rig was sourced from Melbourne-based Mo-Co specialist Gerald Thomson, who recently worked on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. 60 feet of track was constructed on the steep and uneven street incline to accomodate the motion-control camera rig and jib arm – a feat of engineering by key grip Henry Richards (GMS Grips). An artificial moon was created by gaffer Grant Wilson, whose team rigged a large Arri M90 light to a 60ft crane in the background of the scene.

VFX supervision by Sandbox’s Tony Bannan ensured 24 seperate camera passes would fit together to create the seamless end result.

Extensive VFX post work and compositing was undertaken by Tony to paint out the track from shot, create the illusion of downed power lines, and to execute the hero effects. Jaemie Manners was responsible for the moody sky and lightning effects as well as the colour grade and online edit.

An exciting collaborative effort by all involved!

Watch the final TVC below.

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