nothing happens


case study

client: phonewatch
director: milan balog
creative agency: brando dublin

The spot is built as a small and quiet islet in the torrent of aggression, contests of speed, piling up of attractions, and the effort to shout louder than the others. Nothing happens here. Everybody around is one-upping the others in making a bigger joke, wider smile, more bombastic statement. But here, there is peace. Everybody is waving their hands, trying to get into people’s heads or get them out of their sofas, just to make something happen. And make it happen at the pace of a machine-gun fire staccato if possible, because, otherwise, they could fall asleep, now couldn’t they? And here, nothing... Silence.

"Make sure nothing happens!"

To tell the truth, showing people who do nothing originally sounded like something one can do easily. A woman in bed, a man in a car. So what, you simply throw them in front of the camera, they do nothing, don’t they? They are looking nowhere or—even better—they are simply asleep and the camera is slowly floating by. What is difficult about that?

However, this is harder than it seems at first. If you just show some sitting and sleeping people dispassionately then you end up with only a visualized concept. But people mostly do not react to a nice concept, they like emotions, something they can identify with, something that reminds them of a memory, an experience or that shows them a familiar thing from a different angle.

In the surge of aggressive songs, childishly happy jingles, and loud-mouthed commentaries, music composed by Steve Lynch feels like the moment you go underwater and close your eyes. Everything is calm, everything around has vanished, and there is only you left—in your own head.

In 2 days we filmed 35 shots in 14 settings at 8 locations with cast from Prague and Berlin.

boogie’s PHONEWATCH: NOTHING HAPPENS on SHOTS contenders. It happens.