Colourtrend is a well-known secret among people who know their paint. They know it’s top-class stuff with a wonderful palette. Yet many don’t know that Colourtrend is a long-established, family-owned Irish brand and takes inspiration for its range from the Irish countryside. Our task was to tell people.
AA: Eoghan, this is a very visual piece, so as art director I could take a lot of credit, but the reality is this was really your vision from the start, as creative director. Can you talk a little about how you came up with the concept? How did you get from paint to Gerard Manley Hopkins?
EN: Paint is prosaic stuff, but colour is brilliant and optimistic. The insight we brought was that colour is to the home what poetry is to language. After that, the notion of using a poem flowed easily. I had always loved the vivid and beautiful imagery of 'Pied Beauty' by Gerard Manley Hopkins. It's the perfect length and Fiona Shaw read it so wonderfully.
"Paint is prosaic stuff, but colour is brilliant and optimistic."
AA: Yes, it was great getting Fiona Shaw on board. I love the poem too – I remember it from school of course, but it was one of the ones that always stayed with me. I was excited about the project as soon as you told me the idea. Most of my work is in period filmmaking where all the colours tend to be quite muted (Grand Budapest Hotel excepted) so I jumped at the chance to work on this.
AA: How did you tackle the radio, it being such a visual product?
EN: John Fanning had helpfully deconstructed the task before we began, breaking the story into parts. Those parts were the brand provenance, i.e. the story of Ronan O'Connor, the founder, who had brought the paint technology back from the States in the 1950s, which lent itself well to audio. Then there is the acknowledged product superiority – people like Colourtrend because it's very good paint. The final part is the fact that Colourtrend draws inspiration from the Irish landscape; or as we expressed it, that Ronan 'didn't just want to put paint in Ireland, he wanted to put Ireland in paint.'
EN: The AV team was really important wasn't it? Finding people with good rapport and the right skills.
AA: Yes – Des Mullen directed, and he really brought our original storyboard to life. He’s also just so easy-going, it was a really relaxed shoot, which is important when you’re dealing with five different species of animals, a small boy, the Irish landscape and the weather. There’s so much nature in the video that Cian de Buitléar was a great choice of DP because he’s such a skilled wildlife photographer.
Thanks to Rocket for the production, Mutiny Dublin and Silk London for the sound, Rob Hegarty and Outer Limits for the Editing, John Walsh at Symphonic for the music, Fiona Shaw for her incredible voice, Jonathan McGonnell for the beautiful storyboarding, and Colourtrend for being such a trusting and enthusiastic client.