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William Shatner Leads All-Star Cast as Filmgraphics' David Denneen Directs New Foxtel Commercial


Filmgraphics Entertainment’s David Denneen directs an all-star cast, led by Hollywood legend William Shatner, in Foxtel’s latest campaign, “Introducing Foxtel Broadband: Powered By Entertainment”.

Devised by Felix, Foxtel’s in house creative team, and Clemenger BBDO Sydney, the broadband campaign sees Shatner abseil into a giant WiFi modem to illustrate the ‘Powered by Entertainment’ theme.

Shatner, best known for his iconic role in Star Trek, is joined by a host of Australian celebrities, including rugby phenomenon Israel Folau; the Melbourne Housewives; comedienne Magda Szubanksi; NBA star Matthew Dellavedona; Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington; and Formula One’s Daniel Ricciardo.

To cater to the availability of the cast, Denneen shot the celebrities out of sequence, predominantly against a green screen. Lots of preparatory work went in to careful storyboarding and the creation of a previs that was then used as a blueprint. Denneen then worked closely with Method Studios and Creative Director, Richard Swan, to create the background environments.

Filming began with Izzy Folau on day one, followed by the Melbourne Housewives, Magda Szubanksi, Matthew Dellavedova and Matt Shirvington on day two. Denneen briefed the Foxtel team via e-mail who shot Daniel Ricciardo on day three, and the last day was the big set day with Shatner and his side-kick Roger, played by Ben Bordeau.

One of the biggest challenges the team faced was not being able to shoot with Shatner until ten days before the delivery date, requiring Method to pull double shifts to ensure that the finished commercial was delivered on time.

Denneen explains: “There are always challenges on every shoot but I love solving problems, so I enjoy the process. With jobs like this, which require a fair amount of imagination and faith in the director, it can be hard on clients and agencies, but I have to say that Foxtel bought into my vision and allowed me to do my thing, which is always a great feeling for a director. It was a dream job and I loved every minute of it!”

Denneen adds: “There’s nothing better than being given a script where there’s a story to be told. This one is a larger than life, tongue-in-cheek piece of entertainment with the wonderful William Shatner at the helm. It had everything I love to do as a film-maker; directing talent, designing sets and VFX. It’s exciting to work out the storyboards, do the previs, and then see it all come together over a period of a few months.”

Anna Fawcett, Executive Producer of Filmgraphics, comments: “When you work with David Denneen, you know you are going to get a first class production. I’ve been working with him for over 20 years and he always delivers. This campaign has so much entertainment and production value in it and it's tremendous fun.

“Our DoP, Russell Boyd, is the master and his lighting is sensational. The Method team did an outstanding job in delivering the CGI environments and effects. Foxtel were amazing to work with, so we’ve been blessed to come away with a great campaign and good memories – it doesn’t get better than that!”


Creative Credits:
Brand:Foxtel
Exec Director – Sales & Marketing: Ed Smith
Dir. of Customer Marketing: Chris Dick
Marketing Mgr: Danika Houghton
Director of Product Marketing: Jason Blair

In-House Creative Team: Felix
CD and Dir. of Brand: Travis Conneeley
Creative Director: Jen Speirs
Agency Producer: Micaela Hambrett

Creative Concept & Script: Clemenger BBDO Sydney
Production Company: Filmgraphics Entertainment
Director: David Denneen
Executive Producer: Anna Fawcett
DOP: Russell Boyd
Art Director: Jen Waters
Editor: Toby Denneen
Visual Effects and Post Production: Method Studios Walsh Bay
Senior VFX Producer: Tyrone Estephan
Creative Director: Richard Swan
VFX Supervisors: Andrew Lodge & David Edwards