Some kids dream of being a doctor or a rock star or an entrepreneur, and some kids dream of being a butler. The best butler in the world, that is. When the genius of Ikea meets the genius of a little boy’s imagination, ‘butler’ suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. Kaspen/Jung v. Matt is the agency behind Boogie’s latest collaboration with Ikea, and director Milan Balog is yet again at the helm, this time with master DP Antonio Riestra.
“Although it is just a game, he gets totally absorbed in it as he plays”
We knew from the very beginning that the kid we needed to find to play the role would decide the film’s success or failure. We had dozens of ideas for him tat script-level, but the bull’s eye here was the boy himself. We wanted to find the best kid actor in Europe for this project!
The complexity of comedy as a genre is unbelievable. One element goes wrong and that's it. Actors, sets, camera angles and eventually editing is extremely important to making the comedy sing.
The story stands or falls by how we present the boy to the audience... He is dignified. He is precise. He is never satisfied the first time. Everything he does, he does accurately—he aligns, fine-tunes and re-checks. He is consistent. Nothing is good enough unless approved or done by him.
Nothing is good enough’. This could be a mantra for Milan, who always aims to do the best he can do. This being Milan’s second spot with Ikea, he was committed to making it even better than the first. A hard task. It meant a balance of inspiration, razor-sharp planning, and a very solid team passionate to craft a single vision.
It was vital that we came up with a super precise shooting plan because we had around 20 shots to cover with our hero boy, Erik, within a mere 2 days of shooting. Plus, we had limited time each day, given that Erik is only 8 years old. Beyond this, we also had different lighting set ups for each story, crane shots, and time-consuming art department changes. In the end we made a plan that everyone had to follow for 100%.
I remember Milan going to Ikea by himself to try and select his Ikea props. To understand how the little boy might interact with the key ikea products before he actually briefed his shooting board and realised the full story.
Our next focus was art department. We wanted to achieve a ‘lived-in’ space, which is a bit difficult to achieve when all of the Ikea furniture comes brand new, straight from the shop. Every color, every detail, simply every set piece was discussed tirelessly, checked for alternatives, all to make the spot look its absolute best.
And although this is ‘just’ a commercial, we felt the same way.