Koala Mattress Campaign

The latest campaign for Koala Mattresses was shot in 12K by director and cinematographer Jay Topping by Slade Phillips

A frame from the Koala Mattresses campaign – DOP Jay Topping

Paying homage to Vincent Desiderio painting ‘Sleep’ and Kayne West’s ‘Famous’ music video, the Koala Furniture’s new campaign commercial shows a range of people (and a dog) all comfortably sleeping on their Koala Mattresses.

Like the ‘Famous’ music video, the commercial begins with a close-up of a single sleeping person and then slowly pulls out to encompass every person in an overhead shot. Due to Covid restrictions, multiple actors could not be shot together so each bed and its occupant/s had to be shot individually.

To accomplish this, director and cinematographer Jay Topping and senior producer Nick Kelly used the URSA Mini Pro 12K to capture ten shots in 12K, and then remotely worked with The Empire Post to create the final effect. Topping and Kelly were based in Sydney, while The Empire Post is based in Brisbane and using DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Topping and Kelly were faced with having to shoot scenes that would usually require a crane or traditional motion control techniques, however, Covid shooting regulations forced them to work differently.

Behind-the-scenes on the Koala Mattresses campaign – PHOTO Supplied

Not being able to have people in such close proximity to one another meant we needed to come up with a solution outside of shooting it in camera,” says Topping. “We knew a digital approach was needed. The biggest hurdle was seamlessly pulling out from a close up to a full body shot of our talent. We knew resolution would be key in ensuring our image held up from start to finish. In the world of high resolution cinema cameras, nothing comes close to the resolution of the URSA 12K.

The commercial starts with a tight shot of a couple happily sleeping on their Koala Mattress. The image slowly pulls out to an overhead shot that includes people on each side of the first couple, all in their own beds. Using the URSA Mini Pro 12K’s high resolution, Topping was able to get an incredible amount of information for the entire image. This gave post production the data needed for creating movement in post without losing any resolution, even when digitally zooming from a close up of a much wider 12k frame.

The first step was to plan the positions of talent, and then how the sheet would flow between them in the final image,” he says. “After posing our talent in individual plates, and countless hours of sheet origami, we were able to line each plate up with the next, allowing Empire Post to seamlessly stitch everything together. From there we created the final camera move in post.

By shooting 12K, the production also saved a lot of time by pulling our stills directly from the vision, which were going to be the ongoing images used for print. “With each frame being the equivalent of 80megapixels, it’s the closest you’ll get to medium format stills from a cinema camera,” said Topping. Shooting in Blackmagic RAW allowed footage to be quickly sent electronically to The Empire Post and then brought seamlessly into DaVinci Resolve to create the plates that were then composited.

The commercial campaign is currently running across Australian, New Zealand and selected Asian markets, as well as on Koala Furniture’s global social media outlets.

Jay Topping is a director and cinematographer based in Sydney.

Slade Phillips is a writer based in Sydney.

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