The Sun Takes The Tracking Shot Off The Rails

People love a good long take. It’s an art form that’s been explored to memorable effect in feature films and, more recently, in the ad world–most notably in the blockbuster Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” spot.

So, when the creative team behind The Sun’s new ad campaign hatched the idea to do a single take spot, they, and director Keith Schofield knew that they needed to raise the bar. And by raise the bar, they meant lower it. That is, create a spot that looks like an eye-popping feat of precision planning and camera work, but that, on closer inspection, winks at itself with some purposefully clunky transitions.

“We kind of struggled with the initial idea of a single-take video,” says Schofield, “because there have been so many of them and so many that are so good.” So he and the Grey London team came up with the idea to do a sort of light spoof of the technique, one that could be enjoyed straight up, or, for those with a keen eye, with an added layer of goofiness.

The spot features actor Daniel Hoffmann-Gill walking along a cartoonishly bustling city street while reciting a rhyming tribute to all the things that make up British life, and, by extension, The Sun’s coverage of said life (there’s mention of “national outrages” though no specifics are given).

As Schofield points out, there are more obvious scenic lacunae–for example, where the actor walks into the back of the truck and emerges from a phone booth and the impossibly seeming recovery from a fall from scaffolding–as well as harder-to-spot gems, like a stunt man in the wall-crashing scene, who is considerably more petite than the actor he’s replacing.

Watch the spot and see if you can spot the rest.