Julian Gratton

Red C’s 2013 Christmas viral video

Inspired by a sketch from the Groove Tube, a low budget comedy film from the 1970s, we created a spoof Red C cooking show. The video opens on a female baker seen from the shoulders down, during the film she mixes and bakes a special Red C Christmas Cake to the bizarre instructions of the V.O.

To make this project work, we needed to write a script that would naturally set up plenty of visual gags and create genuine laugh out loud moments. That meant putting plenty of interesting things into our Christmas cake and careful thought of how those items would be added. To get the best performances possible from both our V.O. and actress, the timing and pacing of our script also needed to be spot on.

Casting was key too. We wanted a V.O. that would be warm, friendly and relaxed. Being American was also important as it gave the ad a tongue in cheek retro feel that we felt added to the comedy. So we chose Russ Cassell, a Radio DJ that has been working since 1980 for WFBC AM/FM in North Carolina, USA. His smooth, charismatic voice fitted the bill perfectly.

For the star of our piece, we wanted someone who wasn’t a ‘girly girl’ and wouldn’t be afraid to get stuck into the ingredients… and that was Lou, our cleaner. Casting Lou also came in handy when it came to cleaning up between scenes… inspired casting!

Our aim was to create a distinct contrast between the V.O. and actions of our actress to boost the comedy value. The V.O. would remain relaxed and smooth at all times while our actress would be clumsy and gradually more flustered by the strange instructions she receives.

Director, Chris Gaffey, who we were fortunate enough to be able to call upon for a favour, brought the project to life. We also managed to rope in the talents of Paul Lilley, a Director of Photography for camera duties. Big thanks also to Mike at White Noise for the late night piecing together of the video.

*By perfect we mean insane, inedible and just about intact.