Intaj takes up Iraqi ad challenge

Intaj, the production arm of VTR Beirut, recently undertook the creation of a challenging television commercial for the Iraqi government.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  February 2, 2006

Intaj, the production arm of VTR Beirut, recently undertook the creation of a challenging television commercial for the Iraqi government. Shot in Beirut with about 500 Iraqi nationals, the commercial shows people carrying signs that read Freedom, Security, Unity and so on. Then, they all turn their signs together, and reveal the Iraqi flag. “Technically, it took us three days to shoot the whole thing, and we used three cameras,” says Danielle Moussalli, managing director, Intaj. “We had about two days to rehearse and put numbers on the floor to indicate where people should stand in the area. But it took us about two months to plan the whole project. We needed about one month of preparation prior to the shoot; we also had to build a huge tower because the camera had to be at a special angle to shoot the whole thing. Everything needed to be precise in terms of where each person must stand, the size of the sign and the camera angle etc. Placement was critical. Of course, in the final ad, you see thousands of people, all of whom were duplicated within the VTR Beirut facility,” she adds. Intaj was in luck for this project as a similar commercial had been done a while ago for Kodak by an English director. Intaj managed to get him to work on this production as well, which saw almost 75 people working together in the crew. Much of the work including the Iraqi flag was brought to life at VTR Beirut’s facility, an exceptionally spacious post production house, and a one-of-a kind facility in the Middle East. A visit to the facility is necessary to appreciate the work that has gone into the building of both Intaj and VTR, and the kind of equipment that has been put into them. It took about three weeks to do the 3D animation and another two weeks on the Inferno to bring the commercial to life at VTR. “We brought in special talent from abroad to work on these machines as the facility is still fairly new. Flame and Inferno are still new to this part of the world so we don’t really have much Lebanese talent here for these solutions. Also, since foreign operators work on so many projects in different parts of the world, their minds are really open and their styles broader. The campaign itself was hugely successful and worked well for us,” she adds.

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