Thursday, October 14, 2010

the lives of the working in advertising folk...

During the September holidays which spanned a whole 7 days last month (note: if italics gave a sarcastic tone to text I would have Italisized that last phrase) I decided to get a tad pro-active and do some interning, partly because speaking to friends in industry of late has made me absolutely paranoid about ever getting a job in advertising one day, and partly because I really felt like I was on a roll of learning curves and needed to prolong them flowing in.

While off college last term sick as poodle from Bronchitis I made and sent in a homemade video to a company in Johannesburg called Hello World Agency- pretty much begging them to take me under their knowledgeable wings for the week.  Being a first year student I really have no credentials to my name and I was not a bout to hand them some white piece of blank paper with sparsely spaced information about where I study and that I like to paint pictures and write so I filled it with bells and whistles. My sneaky plan worked and they responded with all too much enthusiasm and sweetness. ( yay for kind people!)

If you have time you should check out their site:

Have a convo with the robot programme in the bottom right-hand corner... haha- it's fucking A !

Anyways they done some great stuff and from my first day there I honestly felt like dropping out of college and taking up a job in the big bad world- I even fantasized about being Creative Director of my own agency for pretty much 2 hours of every morning. Their offices are amazing- big spaces furnished with wood and big windows which look out over the rest of the Design District- LISOF the fashion school below and the agency that runs SA Fashion week in between… which means each time I left to get a lunch wrap I was surrounded by either extremely stylish or towering tall beauties of people. On the contrary to what one might expect, it made me feel good- I like being surrounded by beauty- I don’t find it intimidating by any account. I also walked to the nearby Galleries in fourways in my lunch breaks. A fairly new and beautifully designed one had just opened. It’s on a main street in Fourways and looks like a mini Googenheim- it had some beautiful sculpture and a view of the entire city from the top.

I shadowed the copywriter called Rory most of the time. He's really funny and talks at the speed of a bullet train. Marko showed me around the whole placed and I think he's the friendliest guy I have ever met, he also had his last day at the office on the Thursday I left so an afternoon Vodka party was how my last few hours there were spent. The two designers in the Creative department were Linel and Kerrin- both very stylish and I liked their music taste ( Bombay Bicycle Club- nice). The rest of the creative team was down in CT filming a commercial.

As with many things when a little effort is put in, there were a couple positive spin-offs thanks to my interning. The Monday I got back to Cape Town ( there’s nothing like arriving home in Cape Town after a holiday in Joburg) I was invited to shadow the company on another commercial shoot happening in Milnerton. Elated by the invitation I woke up bright and early on Monday morning, proceeded to get lost on an infinitely long street called Koeberg rd and eventually somehow stumbled upon the Cape Island Studios. Greeted by a smiling man with coffee, an apple and muffin in hand to graciously hand over to me, the day kicked off on the right note.

It was an insightful experience- actually an extremely insightful experience. Not only did I discover that the countless and seemingly pointless attentions to details college makes us include when writing up a TV advert actually are necessary, but they’re what a day of shooting at a studio space runs on. That made me happy. The sets were beautifully designed and each shot was taken about 15 or so times- meticulously planned. There were moments of pure enjoyment and extended periods of absolute boredom as well. Although they were eased because I kept myself bugging anyone I could about their job, which everyone seemed to love talking about- even if they were telling me never to get one like theirs. I met the rest of the Creative department which consisted of Theo and Dani ( co-owners), Aadil- a big friendly guy who despite his youthful appearance knows ALL to much about the industry and just about everyone in it by name and Gareth- the Art Director on set.

The commercial to be shot was only a 30second advert but we shot for at least 10 hours. The entire advert was shot on a Canon 5D which was attached to some pretty impressive lenses. I even got pulled into a couple shots for an extra in the audience scenes ( oh yeah- lookout for the dark silhouette figure, half-cut off, somewhere in the far background- the one with the beanie, it-is-sooooo me!)

part of the offices. . .

and another

a small but beautiful gallery close-by

CW- copywriters... the cool clever kids :)


  1. Hehe, nice one..Italicized :D

  2. .. getting in the mix is the way forward! viva to the great thinkers of this country.. those who exist and those who are still to come! Us! great blog Ally Way!.. it's Aliccccce in every way

  3. X you ARE the futrure kid :) !!!
    thank u