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Shooting Heat. Peek Behind the Scenes of the Global Campaign for Theraflu10.11.2020

The latest effort for Theraflu is a global campaign produced in Poland entirely remotely and shot using thermal imaging cameras. What did this unusual production setting look like and what challenges did the producers face? See our making-of video below. 

THERAFLU Behind the scenes

Three shooting days and three main characters—although the film itself it was shot in a Warsaw studio, producers were working in three different timezones. The director, the client, and the creative agency collaborated with Papaya Films remotely, dropping in from London and New York City. Everyone had real-time access to feeds from the main cameras plus a livestream showing what was happening on set. 

The production also used three cameras—two of which were thermal imaging cameras. “Gear like this is used primarily in the medical and military fields, whereas we decided to use it to film a commercial,” says Gosia Sarzyńska, production coordinator with Papaya Films. Using thermal imaging allowed the producers to show changes in the bodies of the characters triggered by the comforting and warming sensation of drinking a cup of Theraflu. 

Using thermal imaging, we were able to capture events and changes invisible to the naked eye. Equipment like that, however, brings its own set of challenges. Tomasz Augustynek, the DoP on the campaign, explains that in this commercial, it was lighting that was crucial, not heat: “Set decorations with a higher temperature show up in brighter colors in thermal imaging, while shade has a cooling effect. Or, to be more precise: blues and violets mean cold, while yellows and white indicate high temperatures.” 

So the primary task for the crew was to apply relevant colors to individual objects to produce an appropriate contrast and a consistent, clear image that would be readily understandable to the viewer. 

The production turned out a number of separate formats and spots for use across a variety of media, television and the Internet chief among them. See the results below.

Theraflu - Commercial
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