The mystery of why there are no more unicorns is neatly explained in BETC Paris’ latest commercial for Canal+, a cinematic mini epic which features Noah and his ark and set 15 minutes before the Great Flood.
As with recent TV commercials for the French premium pay-TV channel such as the acclaimed “The Bear,” “Unicorns” celebrates the talents of the broadcaster’s screenwriters and its showcase of original series, documentaries and films–including Spiral and The Returned–using the end line ‘We love making up stories’.
As the tale unfolds, one of Noah’s helpers rescues a pair of unicorns only to realize, sadly, a bit too late, that there’s a bit of an issue with the pair of animals he’s chosen.
Shot in Romania last summer, the hardest part of the live action shoot was keeping all the different breeds of animals under the same roof as they didn’t like being together, says executive creative director Stéphane Xiberras, BETC Paris chief creative officer and president: “It was a real zoo.”
The unicorns were played by real horses which were made immaculate in post-production at which stage horns and other . . . features . . . were added.
“The most complicated part was the epic discussions we had about what a pair of Unicorn b***s would look like,” Xiberras confides. So the team’s eventual decision to create them in CGI rather than protect the creatures’ dignity by concealing their privates behind pixels or stars shows, well, a certain amount of balls.
The commercial’s copywriter was Patrice Dumas and the art director Aurélie Scalabre. It was directed by Dutch filmmaker Matthijs Van Heijningen, who also directed previous Canal+ ads “The Closet” and “The Bear” through Paris-based production company Soixante Quinze.