Have you ever wondered how they make all those TV adverts we see so often?
Take a sneak peek of our new ad, coming to a TV screen near you soon...
Once we had decided to make our new TV ad we knew exactly who to go to. Director Mark Sheldon and producer Nick Hancock worked on our last TV ad and produced a lovely, bright ad that has worked well for us.
When the concepts for the scripts came through they were all excellent, and rather than just make one as originally planned we chose to make two. It took just four weeks between giving the green light and the start of filming. Behind the scenes Nick worked to organise casting, the crew of 20 or so that would be required to make the ad, while Mark developed and refined the creative concepts, preparing the brief for the casting agents amongst other things.
We were delighted to find actors in their seventies, vibrant yet well attuned to our audience. Bruce Montague (Leonard in the 70’s TV series, Butterflies), has been considering getting a Stannah stairlift for his home, and Celestine Randall, our leading lady, was already familiar with our stairlifts, having bought one for her mother in the past.
On set the director reigns supreme and a clear hierarchy of roles means that everyone in the chain of command knows who is doing what. The first day is always slow as there are lots of decisions to be made but Mark and his team are absolute pros and kept everything running to schedule and after three days of filming we had all the footage we needed to make our two 30-second ads.
Some of you may remember Bruce (who plays Harold in our ads) from his role as Leonard in the hit 70’s sitcom ‘Butterflies’, playing alongside Wendy Craig – with whom he still keeps in touch.
Bruce has been acting since his teens: “I couldn’t do anything else,” he says. Too young for RADA, he entered National Service and trained as an aerial photographer with 656 Squadron in the Army Air Corps, before taking up his place at drama school.
Bruce’s first acting role was as Hal in Henry IV Part 1 and he then went on to act in 48 different plays in his first year at Colchester Repertory Theatre. He then took on the role of Orsino opposite Vivien Leigh’s Viola in Twelfth Night at the Old Vic. Most recently Bruce has just finished a run in pantomime, performing in Sleeping Beauty.
Not only has Bruce appeared in over 300 TV productions, he has also had six books published on topics as varied as royal trivia, the capture of a Tiger tank during WWII and marriage superstitions from around the world.
An accomplished actress with a string of stage, TV and film roles to her name, Celestine plays the perfect partner to mischievous Harold. A teenage Celestine debuted playing a young girl at the Old Vic in a production of the Shoemaker’s Holiday.
Desperate to go to RADA, her disapproving parents took some convincing. “At the time acting was not regarded as a proper occupation for a respectable young lady, and both my school and my parents were horrified at the idea. But I knew it was what I wanted to do and although it caused a lot of heartache at the time I was determined to audition for RADA.”
Celestine won her place and subsequently took on numerous roles in TV and theatre, including Shakespeare’s Juliet, Hermione in A Winter’s Tale and Elvira in Noel Coward’s Blythe Spirit. She worked with many respected directors such as Nicholas Hytner and Michael Attenborough, and actors including Clifford Williams, Stephen Boyd and Robert Mitchum.
“Mitchum was a lovely man who had no airs and graces. He treated me with such respect; he really had no pretensions at all.”
Did you know?
Before any ad can be aired on TV it has to be approved by an independent body called Clearcast to ensure the ad meets broadcast advertising standards.