On 13th October 2013, Tesco released their new finest range advert, advertising smoked haddock. In this essay however, the advertisement aspect is to be removed and the review is purely on the thirty second short film about smoked haddock.
The piece indulges in a narrative of the small town smokehouse workers who graft through hard labour for a family run tradition of smoking haddock. One outstanding aspect of the work is its crisp, fine quality. There is a refreshing sense of clarity – it’s as though you’re seeing in high definition for the first time. All the shots are sharp and in focus and the use of appropriate lenses provides wide angle views and close up’s all with stunning depth of field. The shots are bright and popping with colour and even though the setting is in a dark and smoky workplace, the blacks are truly black and there is such a range and depth to them that even the human eye itself probably wouldn’t be able to scope were they to have been there themselves.
Wieden & Kennedy London, the agency who created the work, have used a mix of both steadicam and hand-held recording techniques to help set the pace. When the focus is on the workers the camera is mainly handheld, to immerse you a little more in to the faced paced environment they’re in – it adds a touch of realism and is much more absorbing - common within documentary work. The shots of the fish itself however are usually steady and rigged – this adds serenity and brings peace to the film, making the product look more luxurious, slow moving cameras and close up shots with large depth of field are commonplace within the food advertising field. When it came to editing, the play on paces was continued. There were moments where the shots were thrown at you in under a second, changing from one to the other at rapid speed, until suddenly there you’re awash with calm as a spiraling shot unwinds within the smoke chimneys revealing all the haddock curing – this shot stays on for some seconds, lengthy compared to the rest.
The advert is filmed in Grimsby, a small northern town known for its contributions to the fish market, most recognizably the home to Young’s, Grimsby is a proud town – and fishing makes up most of the work there. In a scene towards the end of the advert you can see Harry Haddock, the town mascot, a brilliant shot for emphasizing the heritage and pride- saying a lot about what fish mean here. All in all, it portrays a people who care for their work, suggesting that a lot of care goes in to producing the advertised product.
Within a thirty second clip you get a real understanding of the grafting within the smokehouse, and what fish means to them as a town – ingrained by the town football chant shouting ‘Grimsby!’ at the very end, with a panoramic shot of the dock tower – one of the town icons. The amount of information and atmosphere that this film can portray within such a small time frame is astonishing and very well done – that it is set in my home town is a real inspiration to me and enforces the feeling that inspiration is everywhere and you don’t need leave home to make great work. I feel much more motivated and influenced by this work, technically and conceptually, that I look forward to creating my own work and feel like it is a million times more achievable than I previously thought – that’s the main reason why I wanted to review this advertisement rather than a good but much more unrelated film.
So it has become that I am now working heavily with art. I thought the impressionists were just going to be in inspiration - usually my projects are influenced a little by many different artists. This time however, I seem to have surpassed a gentle nudge in a new direction and have instead taken a completely different path to the street photography aspect that I initially had in mind. Despite the presence of streets within my work it seems to merely be a location rather than a concept. The concept is still lost to me unless you could count ‘A Fine Art Stamp on Photography’ as a concept. I’ll find out on Wednesday as I’ve got my first assessment for this module.
I’m going to upload some of the work I’ve been making so you can get an idea of how I’ve been inspired.