The concept of ‘Seeing is Believing’ is predicated on the idea that the mortgage process feels unreal and daunting when you start out. It doesn’t feel like it will ever be real and can feel isolating and overwhelming. Being left in the dark throughout the process only heightens this sensation. AIB’s My Mortgage Tool is the beacon of light that guides you home.
With these principals in mind we started this process looking at high contrast night photography. Pools of light in voids of darkness. This became a core approach for the art direction. However we also wanted to capture how the protagonists were feeling for the audience without any exposition on their part. In order to visually manifest their internal doubts and mounting hope, we looked to the world of practical effects and a technique traditionally employed in theatre called ‘pathetic fallacy’ whereby the surrounding environment and nature physically reflects the protagonist’s state of mind. This was a strong guiding principle in approaching the production of this film and led us to the unique staging, lighting and transition techniques employed as we progress.
We sought to create a sense of a half remembered dream by creating scenes that were at
once recognisable and completely unfamiliar. Scenes that feel real and tangible but also impossible. As we progress and the belief grows they become less surreal and more solid; more familiar as their dream begins to manifest in the real world.
The light itself was designed to be its own character, brought to life by our DOP Franz Lustig. A friendly characterisation of the app as a guide always winking on a step ahead, illuminating the next step and showcasing what you’ve already achieved. To reinforce the journey from the surreal to the real we gradually transition from the stark, disembodied artificial light of spotlights and neon in studio settings at the beginning, to magical light in heightened but real locations (we actually brought the studio sets/lights to the park), to completely natural light in fully real settings at the end.
We deliberately avoided the heavy use of CGI in an attempt to make the surreal feel as real as possible. All effects and transitions (bar app screens and tunnel) were achieved in camera by Conkerco and edited together in post to preserve the tangible nature of their journey.
All props and sets were built on location in Sofia Bulgaria, including the green post box and bollards. Hundreds of real lights were used in the Uploaded storefront and the neon shop sign was custom built.