David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

Latest Work
    • All the king's horses and all the king's men.Clarins gallop into the Christmas season with this festive animated commercial.
    • As Long as There's Light, We've Got a ChanceOn the eve of Episode IX release comes this adrenaline-fuelled Star Wars fan film: 'Origins'.
    • The padawan's progress.‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' receives a spunky commercial courtesy of 215 McCann and director Garth Davis.
    • Fresh wounds.One of sixteen films produced for South Africa's 1st for Women Foundation, this gut-wrenching instalment draws attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
    • In the bag.It speaks volumes for the quality of the competition at this year's Homespun Yarns that this delightful film directed by Claire Norowzian didn't take the crown.
    • Horror triumph at Homespun Yarns.This short film by Jamie Gyngell was the winner of this year's Homespun Yarns competition.
    • Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?
    • Get Brexit shunned.It's foolish to ignore the skill of this piece of Brexit Party propaganda but there are reasons to believe that it could prove completely counter-productive.
    • Far Beyond The StarsSportswear brand Vollebak create an entire futuristic universe in just sixty seconds in this intriguing commercial.
    • Mistletones and whine.We like to imagine The Fast Show's Louis Balfour would love a piece of Buck Friendly & the Mistletones.

SISTERHOOD

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VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.

Short Films
"Star Wars: Origins"
20 mins 21s
12 December 2019

On the eve of Episode IX release comes this adrenaline-fuelled Star Wars fan film, simply entitled 'Origins'. Written and directed by Phil Hawkins, the film brings 'a long time ago' into our very own galaxy, as a team of archaeologists uncover artefacts which suggest the original trilogy didn't take place as 'far, far away' as we thought.

There are Easter eggs throughout for both casual and committed fans alike to revel in, from an 'I love you / I know' exchange to a tossed-away training droid and even a callback to Obi Wan's famous "that's no moon" line. Add in the 1940s setting and the sudden appearance of a battalion of Nazis, and this feel like the lovechild of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

There are moments of pure cheese, of course, but isn't that what makes this sort of thing so enjoyable? Sacrifices for the greater good are made, baddies are defeated, and the light side prevails over the dark. Given recent events, we can't find any shame in enjoying the good guys winning, for once.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
"Become a Jedi"
1 min 34s
13 December 2019

Despite the clunky title, ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' has gone some way to repairing the damage done by EA's controversial ‘Battlefront II'. Devoid of microtransactions or loot boxes, the game's relative innocence is reflected in this spunky commercial from 215 McCann and director Garth Davis.

Set in a small-town factory, the ad sees a young girl play ‘Star Wars' with her dad's enthusiastic co-workers. As the battle intensifies, their mix of lo-fi sound effects and imaginary blasters receives a big budget overhaul.

Davis handles all these requisite bells and whistles with affection, flitting between the real world and the 'Star Wars' universe at well-chosen moments. This helps sell the game's bid for complete immersion, and gives fans and gamers alike a warm-hearted blast of escapism to boot.


1st for Women Foundation
"Uyinene Mrwetyana"
66s
12 December 2019

One of sixteen films produced for South Africa's 1st for Women Foundation, this gut-wrenching instalment draws attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana in a Cape Town post office. Released to mark both Mrwetyana's memory and her killer's life sentence, the film is also inextricably linked to the country's #AmINext movement.

As South Africans take to the streets in protest at increasing violent and sexual crimes against women, the advertised foundation demand a safer future for its members. Director Jeana Theron's opaque visuals and a dignified voiceover underline what's at stake here, as a population under threat reaches breaking point.


Homespun Yarns
"Take Me"
5 mins 01s
11 December 2019

It speaks volumes for the quality of the competition at this year's Homespun Yarns that this delightful film directed by Claire Norowzian didn't take the crown. The single mum at its centre has a dilemma when her own mother is unable to fulfil her babysitting requirements as promised. It looks like she'll have to cancel her date... until she comes up with a cunning and highly inappropriate ruse.

It speaks volumes for the skill of this film's makers that the improbable plan she conjures feels both plausible and charming, when - in real life - it would be neither. This has a lot to do with the exceptionally sweet performances which Norowzian has drawn from her actors. 'Quirky' isn't always a word with enormously positive connotations but here it is… every part of this film has an unusual energy which is highly captivating. A really enjoyable tale extremely well told.


Homespun Yarns
"4x6"
6 mins 07s
11 December 2019

This short film by Jamie Gyngell was the winner of this year's Homespun Yarns competition, winning both the jury vote and the audience vote on the night. It is a beautifully constructed horror film with a real sense of unease, and it met the brief very cleverly.

The tone is set in the first few seconds by Benjamin Garrett's unsettling score, and is augmented by highly naturalistic performances, especially from Malcolm Davies as the proprietor of the photography shop at its centre.

Gyngell builds the intrigue towards a satisfyingly macabre outcome in a fashion which belies his status as a director only just breaking through. Everyone who played a part in making this film has a bright future… every element makes a crucial contribution to its chilling impact.


QUICK SEARCH

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
"Become a Jedi"
1 min 34s
13 Dec 2019
Despite the clunky title, ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' has gone some way to repairing the damage done by EA's controversial ‘Battlefront II'. Devoid of microtransactions or loot boxes, the game's relative innocence is reflected in this spunky commercial from 215 McCann and director Garth Davis. A warm-hearted blast of escapism.

Nike
"Qiang Diao"
2 mins 17s
12 Dec 2019
Director Finn Keenan's new gung-ho commercial for Nike introduces Western viewers to the concept of qiang diao, or "confidence, swagger, or flair" in Mandarin. Everybody wants some; not least a certain nouveau riche tool in a pool. Cue a madcap dash by his servant into China's biggest city and one sweaty journey of self-discovery.

Aviator Gin
"The Gift That Doesn't Give Back"
30s
11 Dec 2019
Ryan Reynolds is no stranger to extended cinematic universes, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's created one in Adland for his Aviation Gin brand. The now-infamous 'Peloton Woman' (played by Monica Ruiz) has been enlisted to reprise her much-maligned role... except this time, there's no exercise bike in sight.

Thinkbox
"Tooth Fairy"
60s
11 Dec 2019
Mother's fun debut ad for TV marketing body Thinkbox extols the magic of advertising through a highly successful entrepreneur. Thinkbox being Thinkbox, however, this is no ordinary entrepreneur. Shot like a corporate video with extra fairy dust, the ad charts the Tooth Fairy's journey from a co-working space to magazine covers and her own skyscraper.

Prada
"Limited Edition"
60s
10 Dec 2019
Delicacy is the name of the game in this quietly satisfying commercial for Prada's limited edition collaboration with Adidas. Filmed with maximum detail on a minuscule scale, every step in the process of creating a bowling bag and a pair of sneakers is shot with a forensic attention to each stitch, loop, and loose thread.

Re-engage
"Stella"
2 mins 03s
10 Dec 2019
Christmas can be a time when families come together, some travelling great distances to reconnect with relatives they rarely see. However, the festive period can be an isolating time of year for many elderly people, with increasing numbers spending the big day alone. This touching animated film from Passion Pictures sheds further light on the issue.

H & M
"Moments in Between"
90s
9 Dec 2019
Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) celebrate the quieter moments of the Christmas season in this charming festive offering. From spending low-key time with loved ones to travelling to highly anticipated events, the film proves that not every minute of the holidays needs to be packed with distracting tinsel. Director Max Vitali handles the low-octane action nicely here.

Ancestry
"You Are Your Story"
90s
9 Dec 2019
Ancestry.com exploit Germany's divisive history to compelling effect with this 90" commercial from director Michael Lawrence, who charts one family's turbulent lineage from the late-nineteenth century to the present day. The costumes and set design boast plenty of beautiful period detail as you might expect, but there's also a theatrical quality to the piece.

Chilly's
"DNA"
60s
6 Dec 2019
The recent popularity of DNA testing kits has ruined many a Christmas across the nation, exposing family secrets before the sprouts are even served. However, a hapless bloke takes things one step further in this entertaining ad for Chilly's water bottles. The man's delivery is deliciously awkward as he presents his in-law's Christmas gift - complete with a lengthy backstory.

Dancing On Ice
"Music Box"
60s
6 Dec 2019
ITV announce the new season of wintry competition show Dancing on Ice in charming style with this animated commercial. A music box ballerina comes to life ‘Toy Story'-style and finds herself longing for companionship, only for an enterprising spaceman to strap on his skates and step up to the plate.

Azimo
"Migrants"
45s
5 Dec 2019
Money transfer business Azimo go against the grain of current anti-immigrant rhetoric to remind viewers of the arduous journey many indviduals take to provide for their families back home. No matter where your money is going, the brand say, you deserve to get the most from every hard-earned penny. Well cast and strikingly shot.

Spark
"Play"
60s
4 Dec 2019
How do you let a hulking, clingy robot down gently? That's the premise of this slow-burning ad for Spark New Zealand, featuring a boy wise beyond his years and concerned about his his screen time. The latter is represented by a Transformers-style mech, who just about fits into the lad's bedroom and clearly plays a huge role in his life. As director Mark Albiston's playful spin on adult break-ups shows, however, it is easily cut down to size.

Posten Norge
"Miracle"
78s
4 Dec 2019
This cheeky commercial for the Norwegian postal service offers an alternative take on a familiar Christmas story. The audience is transported to approximately nine months BC, following a conspicuously blonde postman as he goes about his scroll deliveries in the dusty town of Nazareth... at least, until a familiar set of names appear on the latest package.

Apple
"The Surprise"
3 mins
3 Dec 2019
The track 'Married Life' by Michael Giacchino is so firmly attached to the 2009 Pixar film 'Up' that you'd think it'd be necessary to cut an umbilical cord to use it anywhere else. But its use in this fantastically emotional film for Apple by Mark Molloy is simply perfect. It's a very deliberate nudge to the audience that the story they're watching has echoes of the famous sequence in 'Up' which delivers the back story of its cantankerous elderly protagonist.

Hafod Hardware
"Be A Kid This Christmas"
2 mins 03s
3 Dec 2019
Each year, something unexpected and delightful shows up on our radar at Christmas, and 2019 is no exception. According to the Daily Mail, this film for Hafod Hardware cost just £100 to make. In many respects, it looks like it only cost £100 to make but that is actually part of its charm. And while the production budget may have been extremely modest, the idea is priceless.

Easyjet
"Hide and Seek"
60s
3 Dec 2019
A game of hide and seek goes global in this smartly scripted commercial for Easyjet. A woman relaxing on the beach begins to count to a hundred while her companions dive for cover, but all is not what it seems... and she has a lot further to look than we expect. Sure enough, deft scene transitions take her to different locations all over the world.

Hobby Lobby
"Christmas Is What You Make It"
75s
2 Dec 2019
This beautifully measured film for US craft retailer Hobby Lobby skirts the margins of mawkishness without ever crossing the line. Christmas is, or at least ought to be, a moment for reflection, and the teenage boy in this commercial has nothing short of an epiphany as herecognises everything that his mother does for him.

Sky
"A Holiday Reunion"
2 mins
29 Nov 2019
Just when you thought it was safe to go back outside, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial returns to Earth in this two-minute ‘sequel' for Sky that also sees Henry Thomas reprise his most famous role. Fortunately, that whole near-death experience thing hasn't scarred Elliott too much. In fact, he's got his own family to impress E.T. with this time around, as well as a, er, Sky Q box

Vodafone
"The Joy of Connection"
60s
28 Nov 2019
For all some members of the older generation like to gripe about smartphones preventing 'real' interaction, Vodafone prove the opposite in this poignant commercial. Celebrating the power of modern technology to bring people together even over vast distances, the ad sees an elderly father keep up tradition even when his daughter can't be with him in person.

ClearScore
"Zebra"
30s
28 Nov 2019
ClearScore's uncanny streak continues with a deceptively simple ad that shows while a zebra can't change its stripes, it can pursue a career in a hospital's A&E department. After all, life at the end of the alphabet isn't all it's cracked up to be. his is cheerfully explained by a zebra who can walk on two legs and perform basic medical procedures (hooves make some duties harder than others, you understand).

Squarespace
"Oscar the Grouch"
2 mins 33s
27 Nov 2019
The Muppets have been getting a new lease of life in the ad world recently, and this time it's their grumpiest member's turn to shine. A passing art connaisseur catapults Oscar the Grouch and his beloved piles of trash into the mainstream with a few brief clicks, letting a page from the advertised website builder do the talking for him.

Aston Martin
"Beautiful is Relentless"
60s
25 Nov 2019
This is a visually striking piece of work from director Daisy Zhou, who brings shades of red and black and more than a hint of shamanism to proceedings. The result is nimble, stylish, and aesthetically daring, as the ensemble cast dance to their own mysterious rhythm. It feels like an out-of-body experience... which is the sort of thing a £150,000 price tag will do to you.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
"Wait"
2 mins 48s
26 Nov 2019
This intense communication for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) highlights the lack of trained support workers currently available in American hospitals. Director Samantha Scaffidi ratchets up the tension from the word go, as ominous sound design and jolts of unexpected noise begin to wear on a woman in a waiting room.

1850 Coffee
"Quality That's Criminal"
1 min 54s
25 Nov 2019
"Four filthy numbers" threaten to bring a city to its knees in this entertaining spoof of police procedurals by 1850 Coffee. As a pair of grizzled cops - both of whom have seen, heard, and smelt too much over the years - discuss a citywide caffeine hit, we catch a glimpse of some of the prime suspects… and no-one is safe from a thorough bean-grinding.

Myer
"Christmas is Where We Are"
90s
22 Nov 2019
An enterprising grandpa saves Christmas in this charming ad for Aussie department store Meyer. A young girl becomes concerned about Santa's ability to find her during the family's holiday camping trip, and does her best to leave a trail - Hansel and Gretel style - for him to follow. Despite her naysaying brother's assertion that it won't work, an unexpected ally ensures their tent is impossible to miss.

Five Star Work
(1-25 of 25)

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.