Top NZ paint company challenges Whitireia students to create colourful commercial

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Few students have the chance to create a broadcast television commercial, but this year’s intake to the New Zealand Diploma in Screen Production (Level 6) will have exactly that.

Whitireia Community Polytechnic Limited is partnering with leading New Zealand paint company, Resene, on an in-house film competition that challenges screen production students to create a 30-second TVC, inspired by colours of their choice from Resene ‘The Range’, Resene’s new fashion paint colour range.

The challenge asks students to generate a unique concept for a commercial and pitch it to Resene. Once concepts are finalised, students will then work in teams to generate a TVC from-scratch using paint resources provided by Resene. The challenge gives students the opportunity to gain industry experience with a real-life client and extend their technical and creative skills.

A panel of judges from Resene will pick a winning commercial, which will play on yet-to-be-determined media and promoted on social media. The winning commercial will receive $2000, while the runner up will receive $1000.

The initial idea for the project sparked when a budding filmmaker posted a clip online based around Resene’s paint colours. A company representative then approached the Whitireia screen production programme.

Tutor David Brechin-Smith said that this is the first time the film programme has worked with an external company in this way.

“To partner with a company with such a well-known and respected brand as Resene is exciting, and we feel privileged to work with them. To make an ad for Resene, with the chance of it to be shown nationally, is a strong incentive for the students. It’s a great addition to the programme.”

“This project will ramp up their experience in a number of technical crew roles, including leading a shoot,” said tutor Corey Le Vaillant.

“Each student also learns how to respond a client brief, working out their concept, and then planning and executing the shoot. It will be a big learning curve, which will require good planning in all stages of production.”

The students will have total creative freedom, as long as the commercial meets the client brief and uses paint colours from Resene ‘The Range’ fashion collection.

“We want them to use skills they will have learned up to that point, exploring depth of field and focus, texture, form, pattern and layers, with moving or static shots, and from the panoramic to the microscopic,” said Mr Brechin-Smith.

The challenge will use the Arri Alexa Classic camera, a high-definition digital film camera used by professionals. “With that camera, they will be able to make some beautiful images,” said Mr Le Vaillant.

Mr Brechin-Smith said working with Resene will give the Level 6 students experience of a different aspect of New Zealand’s screen industry.

“There’s work available making commercials, so this gives our students another string to their bow. A lot of people come to the course wanting to work in film, because the world of commercials isn’t as visible to most students. This challenge will open their eyes to new possibilities.”


About screen production at Whitireia

The New Zealand Diploma in Screen Production (Level 5) is a hands-on programme that introduces students to industry-based practices and processes. They learn from industry practitioners and gain skills in off-set and on-set crew roles, including directing, camera, lighting, and production management.

The New Zealand Diploma in Screen Production (Level 6) builds on skills and knowledge and further prepares students for the screen industry. It provides more advanced practice-based experience across a range of mediums including documentary, TV commercial, and TV series. Students have the opportunity to focus on a key crew role during the programme, with a view to working professionally in that area.


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