Mitsubishi Outlander Alan Robinson Interview

Clockwork Films and Little Black Book chat to senior producer, Alan Robinson about Mitsubishi Outlander with Russell Coight

All Aussies have a fond memory of the great Glenn Robbins. Whether it’s as Kel Knight in Kath and Kim, Wayne Wheeler in Upper Middle Bogan or perhaps his most iconic role as Russell Coight in Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures. He is essential to Australian humour and culture.Exploring the stereotypes of the many different versions of a typical Aussie, he has made millions laugh around the country and has made the rest of the world wonder… are Australians really like that?

Mitsubishi along with Clockwork Films dug dear old Russell Coight out from his campsite to explore the new possibilities for outdoor adventuring with their newest hybrid electric vehicle. Using classic slapstick comedy, the spot shows how the audience can be ‘Australian Ready’ with the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV. Afterall, it is endorsed by one of Australia’s most exceptional adventures.

Alan Robinson of Clockwork Films spoke to LBB’s Casey Martin on the use of comedy and getting the opportunity to work with a legend.

LBB: Talk us through the storyboarding process of this spot, were there any versions of the ad that didn’t make the cut?
Alan: Yes. This was one of the most extensive storyboarding processes we have encountered on a job for some time. Not only were there multiple scripts, but also multiple versions of each that all needed to be storyboarded. An ever changing creative, multiple script changes and challenging locations all contributed to how these films were going to look and how the humour was going to be portrayed in this short form approach.

LBB: What did you learn throughout this project? What were the challenges and highlights?
Alan: There were so many challenges on this job. 65 Crew in the outback across five days, what could possibly go wrong??!
Challenges included locations, schedules, weather, logistics, and not least of all the collaboration of so many talented creative heads all trying to deliver the humour while still doing enough to highlight the Outlander and also satisfy client expectations and ultimately the desired outcome, sell more cars! Highlights. There were equally as many highlights too. The level of care, responsibility, professionalism and humble collaboration between agency, director, Working Dog and client was heartwarming. The spontaneous laughter on set from a well-executed gag were a highlight and a reminder why we love the Coight character so much.

LBB: What was your favourite practical gag to shoot? The car rolling down the hill? The snake that’s actually a wire? The makeshift shower screen?
Alan: Hard to have a favourite. They all had their own evolution and layering to finally arrive at what you see in the edit. There were so many great moments along the way to get to that point.

LBB: With the car rolling down the hill… we have to know, was it rolling down by itself and was Glenn Robbins or Russell Coight actually holding onto the moving car?
Alan: Yes, Glenn was holding onto a moving car as it dragged him down the hill, but there was a driver in the car controlling the rate of descent. Still a tricky gag to pull off, but Glenn executed his stunt perfectly, every time.

LBB: Car spots can often be very flashy and smooth, almost like fashion editorials. What was the purpose of doing the complete opposite? What response has it had so far?
Alan: To be fair, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV does look amazing in every shot it appears in and that’s by design. The contrast Russell creates gives us a clear idea of how a modern all wheel drive electric vehicle can perform much like what is conceived to be a traditional “off-road” vehicle in harsh Australian conditions while dispelling some concerns people may have about electric vehicles. By trying to highlight these perceived shortcomings Russell Coight in fact proves the opposite and ends up highlighting all the advantages instead.

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