Channel 4 Competition Promos - Fred & Eric - Handmade TV Spots

Channel 4 Competition Promos

Feast your eyes upon this pair of live-action promos featuring craft, cardboard and conveyer belts... just another day in the Fred & Eric Studio.

Channel 4 commissioned Fred & Eric to make two 20-second Channel 4 Competition Promos. Our original commission for 4Seven was designed to advertise a new competition. The Channel 4 team left the brief open for us to work out a creative we’ve always wanted to do; a live-action shoot featuring a cast of handmade objects and a gang of human controllers with impeccable timing! Shot in one take (albeit number 38!), the creative features a near-seamless flow of handmade cardboard and paper gadgets appearing in time to the voice-over. All made possible by lots of helping hands, a sliding set, strategically placed magnets, fishing wire and a hairdryer.

4Seven Promo: Our Process

No 'impecibly-timed-one-shot-continuous-live-action-TV-spot' is complete without its very own behind the scenes video. Have a look at how the promo was created:

Promo Storyboarding

Storyboarding was the first stage of creating this 4Seven promo. We tried to represent the models and action as accurately as possible to help our Channel 4 clients visualise and sign-off the sequence. This was how we mocked up the first storyboard:

The first page of our original storyboard for the 4Seven Promo

After a few changes to the original board, the creative was signed off and our team of model makers got to work. The first decision was to work out the size of our table-top set, which would dictate the scale of our props. Based on this, we created simple scale drawings which included details on dimensions, materials and functionality.

Rough sketch for the television design alongside the finished product

4Seven Promo Shoot Pre-production

Models built, it was back to storyboarding! We used the final models to update the storyboard designs. With the voice-over recorded, an animatic was produced. Blocking out the visuals and timings, ready for the shoot day.

Timings locked, models tried and tested, rehearsals complete. It was time to go! Timed to our Creative Director Maggie's cues, each element was dropped, twisted and launched into place. By shot 38.... we'd succeeded! There was just a little post-production work to be done (shhh) and the promo was ready to air.

We are proud to say the spot went on to win F&E a Silver Award for Best Direct Response Promo at UK Promax Awards and a Gold Award for the “Best Promo Ever” at the Bass Awards.

Channel 4 Christmas Competition Promo

After the huge success of our 4Seven competition promo, we were chuffed when 4 Creative commissioned a Christmas follow-up. Never ones to sit back on our laurels (or our Promax Awards….) we decided to take the ideas a step further. This time commissioning a working miniature conveyor belt designed to showcase the prizes that were up for grabs.

We were careful to keep the handmade style and charm of the first spot. As before, everything was crafted from cardboard and paper, then shot in one take. This time we even managed to beat our previous record and get it done on take 34!!

Channel 4 Competition Promo: behind the scenes

Finally, here's a glimpse of the process that went into making this second spot, pancakes and all!