Chris Gaffey Director

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Market

188 Bet offer a no-nonsense approach to online gambling: Straight-forward markets and tasty prices, without all the gimmicks.

So I adopted a stripped back, two-shot approach for this and the preceding commercial in the campaign set in a restaurant. The monochromatic vision and luscious anamorphic lenses helped me evoke the necessary combination of quality+simplicity and establish a distinctive voice in a noisy, crowded market.

 

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Game Changer

International commercial to announce and celebrate Nexen – the dependable new team member and sponsor of Manchester City FC.

 

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PlayStation VR

90 second exhibition film to announce Sony PlayStation VR at the Paris Game Show 2015.

I was hired to conceive and direct this showcase for the Morpheus project – a collection of amazing, immersive experiences that introduce the imaginative possibilities of VR – which had a matter of days to be completed.
My aim was to capture the concept of crossing a threshold into an exciting new world, and the emotion and presence that players feel when placed inside the game.  Collaborating closely with 422, we connected the demo footage with live action CG/VFX bridging sequences to generate a seamless, immersive 360 experience for the audience.

The final film was projected on a giant, curved 9:1 ratio wraparound screen, 36m wide and 4m high. This cropped 16:9 version focuses solely on the central screen area and was used online after the launch event.

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Mr Perfect

A story about love and life. Commissioned by an international pharmaceutical brand. 70 second cut down of a 3 minute film.

Contact me for more information.

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BEER CAMP

My friends at Eccles RFC needed help to promote their fund-raising Eccles Beer Festival.  So I made them this film - to dramatise the dedicated preparation and serious training required for the two day event - pro bono publico, with the generous support of my friends.  
Shot one late June afternoon on the Phantom with Paul, edited with Rob, arranged Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra with Rik and polished off at 422 Manchester with Alex and mixed with Paul.  A community project, we turned it around in a week.
Beer Camp went live Wednesday 1st July. A week later it had over 5,000 views on Vimeo and over 180,000 views / 4,000 shares on Facebook! It was also featured by Manchester Evening News, awarded AD OF THE DAY by the Drum and received 5 stars on David Reviews!

 

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BECAUSE OF THEM

This film celebrates the daily efforts of migrant workers and their bond with dependent relatives back home.  World Remit’s online money transfer service helps noble heroes like these triumph over adversity everyday, ensuring families remain connected, despite the distances that separate them.

My aim was to generate admiration for the characters as we watch their daily experience unfold and intercut with their loved ones, waiting for news of their progress.  So I adopted an natural, emotive, observational style so we feel an intimacy and empathy with their stories. Capturing a cinematic yet contemplative quality was essential as the international nature of the campaign meant I couldn’t utilise dialogue.

A 5 day shoot – hand held with the amazing Alexa Amira – produced a body of material, which developed beyond a brand film to become a multi-platform content project, which you can check out here http://worldremitstories.com

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GO THE EXTRA

A dapper new commercial for Jacamo and McCann Manchester, featuring the winter collection and brand ambassador Freddy Flintoff

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We Are Evertonians

Commissioned by Everton Football Club as part of their new Season Ticket marketing campaign.
The story follows the journey to kick off taken by Evertonians on a typical match day and is a nostalgic and emotive call to arms.

Goodison Park is the centre of Evertonia. The film set out to capture and celebrate the uniquely individual pre-match superstitions and rituals observed by the faithful Evertonians, and see them come together – fans and players – as one family at the game.  There’s nothing like the live experience of taking your seat amongst the other ‘clan’ members.  My aim was to give proud ‘Blues’ the goosebumps.

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Rising Stars (Arsenal)

2013 African TV commercial for Airtel, sponsor of Arsenal FC, promoting their epic continental-wide search for footballing talent.

Conceived in Kenya. Shot on a vast stage at Warner Bros. Leavesden studios with messers Walcott, Wilshere, Sanga and Gervinho. Illuminations and chromatic aberrations created in Soho, London.

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Open Late

Commercial for Smyths Toys where the small heroes set off on an epic nocturnal quest to remind parents that the store is open late this Christmas.
Embracing the imaginative viewpoint of a kid, I got low with a periscope equipped Arri Alexa, and went through shit loads of batteries. All the participating toys were donated to children’s charities after filming. The cat is called Dave.

 

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Get Closer

The Rugby League World Cup 2013 was getting closer, and commissioned a raw, emotive film which would drive ticket sales and get fans behind England for the opening match of the tournament versus Australia.
Featuring internationals Sam Burgess and Gareth Widdop on location in Sydney; Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Tom Briscoe at England’s training camp in Leeds and Sam Tomkins in the Old Trafford dressing room, we were able to move fast and react to the player’s limited availability by shooting with a small crew on the impressive Canon 1Dc.
This web version was first screened at the Super League Grand Final for 70,000 RL fans. The 30-second TV cut was broadcast  October 2012

 

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Ultimate Selection

Commercial for Globul, a European telecoms sponsor of Manchester United, to announce their ‘flexible options put you in total control’.
However, control and flexibility was a bit in short supply for the production - I had less than 45 minutes to shoot this film!

The limited availability of the players, lead me to this graphic gameplay solution, with a stylised stadium dramatisation and the action choreographed to capture the shots I needed at great speed, using 2 x Arri Alexa, one steadicam mounted.  I don’t mind admitting I was ecstatic that Chicharito hit that sweat overhead volley in one take!

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Lather Maker

UK Commercial for Imperial Leather.
Shot at high speed on Phantom HD, much of the visual bubble wonder was actually caught for real, in camera.
We created the explosions by shooting lather-filled balloons with an air rifle!
The mysterious performer, Sam, is a Guinness world record holder and we tailored his costume around a vintage Edwardian piece.

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Keep Your Number

Commercial for Du mobile, UAE telecoms sponsor of Manchester United.
This charming idea by Leo Burnett Dubai gave me a great opportunity to work again with Ryan – wearer of the legendary United 11 shirt for over 20 years; and the most decorated player in English Football history. A great laugh with Danny, Antonio and all the lads at the MUFC Carrington training complex. Due the limited amount of time I had with the players, I shot with 3 x Arri Alexa.

For the record, I’m left-footed and I bestowed the number 11 to Giggsy when I retired to concentrate on making ads.

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The Unfriendly

The Legends return!  Now fit and battle ready, the United old guard need match practice before facing Real Madrid at Old Trafford.
 So Robbo and the Legends gate crash a local pitch for an un-friendly with an unsuspecting youth team. (I didn’t tell the kid’s who they were playing- as you can see from their expressions)
Shot on location in Old Trafford for the Manchester United Foundation to help promote their fund-raising charity event.

 

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The Comeback

Shot on location in Manchester and Salford during December 2012 for the Manchester United Foundation to help them promote a fund-raising charity Match.

With Old Trafford and Real Madrid waiting, the United old guard have to train hard through the winter to get fit.  Robbo puts his hand-picked team through a rigorous and tough training regime, until he is satisfied they are ready to pull on the famous red shirt again. THE LEGENDS ARE BACK!

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Hey, Let’s Play.

To tell the story of the toys’ epic quest to find a playmate I got down with the kids, literally to my knees, to embraced their viewpoint, imagination and adventurous spirit.   Devoted many hours to ‘researching’ the products. Over 400 real toys took part in the campaign which were donated to children’s charity after filming.

WINNER Best Integrated Campaign 2014 ROSES AWARD

 

 

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Peckish

UK TV commercial to launch Peckish, a brand new bird food for Westland.
Birds bring life and entertainment to your garden, so together with the BAFTA winning team at Jellyfish we completed extensive research into the behaviour and anatomy of birds to ensure the CG characters were both life like and amusing.  Choreographing their imaginary performances and embedding them into the live action scenes was fun! But certainly less painful than wrangling 100 real birds to form an orderly queue!

WINNER Best TV commercial 2012 ROSES AWARD

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Snail Stairway

Series of 3 TV sponsorship Idents for Westland Eraza and ITV Growing Gardens.
A Winter production, so I shot the live action on minature garden sets in a Studio. Research into the anatomy of the CG characters was necessary to ensure they were both life like and amusing. I used hi res plates of skin textures of the real Mollusks for the CG animation and referenced renaissance paintings for the heavenly cloudscapes! Completed with our own Slug and Snail VO and SFX.

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Slug Angel

Series of 3 TV sponsorship Idents for Westland Eraza and ITV Growing Gardens.
A Winter production, so I shot the live action on minature garden sets in a Studio. Research into the anatomy of the CG characters was necessary to ensure they were both life like and amusing. I used hi res plates of skin textures of the real Mollusks for the CG animation and referenced renaissance paintings for the heavenly cloudscapes! Completed with our own Slug and Snail VO and SFX.

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Tea

TV comercial for We Will Buy Your Car, extolling the virtues of the service, doing little and drinking tea.  Canon 5D.

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Wish You Were Here

2013 Commercial for Hoseasons.
This cut features some of my favourite scenes that didn’t make the 30″ TV ad. Shot on location in Norfolk, UK during September 2012, with some beautiful but typically changeable Great British summer weather.  No CG or post trickery. All done in camera – Alexa / C300 / 5D

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Working Hard

Commercial for Bradford & Bingley, shot on location in Cape Town 2008.
I think Production Designer Chris Rautenbach had a heart attack building me that Hay Cart from scratch. The Horses almost had one pulling it- a bastard to shoot but worth it. Love that hammock shot.

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Sweet Dreams

Bradford & Bingley commercial, shot in Cape Town 2008. 35mm.
On the first night we had cranes, rain machines and road closures. The second night was a fairly uneventful and quiet affair- Ronaldo missed a Penalty but United held Barca to a 0-0 semi-final at the Nou Camp and went on to Moscow. Sweat Dreams.

 

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Lavish Alice FALL

FALL was collaboration with Lavish Alice to launch their glittering 2011 Autumn Winter Collection.
The fanciful, glamorous garments inspired this dreamy tumbling, wonderland treatment and high speed cinematography helped us dramatise the luxurious fluidity of the key pieces. By shooting at 1000 fps on the Phantom we were able to suspend ‘Alice’ to capture a weightless elegance.

 

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Blown Away

Commercial for Bradford & Bingley, shot on location in Cape Town 2007.
The project encompassed designing a new brand identity and typographic style for the Bank – the animated floating dreams I designed for TV were then adopted across all the Branch POS and literature.  We staged the Train Station environment in a Business centre and used CG and VFX to complete the illusion- the gust of wind being delivered by giant gas canisters! Shot 35mm.

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Lights

Campaign of Sponsorship Idents for We Buy Any Car and UK TV Chanel Dave.
Interpreting the familiar brand audio device using only real recorded sounds from real vehicles, a ’Carchestra’ of several vehicles and a total of 10 unique films were created : This one featuring notes made by electronics and illuminations. A lot of experimentation and a lot of fun.

WINNER ‘Best TV campaign’ at the 2011 FRESH AWARDS

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Wipers

Campaign of Sponsorship Idents for We Buy Any Car and UK TV Chanel Dave.
The brief was interpret the familiar brand audio device using only real recorded sounds from real vehicles.
A ‘Carchestra’ of several vehicles was created from a phenomenal single day of shooting (PB of 106 slates!) and a total of 10 unique films were achieved from the results: This one featuring percussive notes made by wipers and washer jets.
Pre-production research and testing helped establish a beat map demo track. A lot of experimentation and a lot of fun. My thanks to Sound Design collaborators Bent Ear and Editor Bled for their skill and long hours on the project.

WINNER ‘Best TV campaign’ at the 2011 FRESH AWARDS

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Engine

Campaign of Sponsorship Idents for We Buy Any Car and UK TV Chanel Dave.
The brief was interpret the familiar brand audio device using only real recorded sounds from real vehicles.
A ‘Carchestra’ of several vehicles created 10 unique films: This one featuring engine throttle and exhaust notes.

My thanks to Sound Design collaborators Bent Ear and Editor Bled for their skill and long hours on the project.

WINNER ‘Best TV campaign’ at the 2011 FRESH AWARDS

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Sniper 2

To help build the tension and anticipation for the immersive Xbox/PlayStation game Sniper Ghost Warrior 2, I was hired to create this film, blending live action and CG elements to blur the lines between real and the augmented.
Working with RealtimeUk, every detail was planned to ensure accuracy of weapons and military special ops authenticity.  The Snipers themselves were ex forces and the firearms were the real thing.  I had a hand picked team and specialist equipment so we could move fast and light. We flew in. Got the shots and got home safe!
In its launch weekend it had 30,000 hits.

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PSP GT

TV Commercial and automotive assault for Sony PlayStation and LOVE.
Brings to life PSP and Gran Turismo’s accelerated mobile access to all your dream cars and tracks.
Combination of live action, location, green screen and CG elements.

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INFLUENTIAL

Influential is an expanding communications agency.  As part of their new brand identity, creative director Mark McGrath approached me to produce an abstract, transformative, impactful, visually arresting film.

We discussed the essence of influence, inspiration, energy, scale, power, creativity and how we could capture these things on screen and in sound. Having initially considered computer generated imagery we committed to an exploration of live-action, hi-speed, vibrant powder explosions and I put together a team.

We shot in 4k high definition at up to 1,000 fps on the Phantom Flex camera in a controlled studio space using compressed gas and other techniques to achieve a series of compelling, hypnotic effects.
Each shot (in the dark) was an exciting, unique experiment with an unknown result.
Thanks to all who collaborated to these spectacular results.  A really enjoyable project.

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Autumn

Shot on the Phantom HD Gold, Autumn 2010, in Manchester Woodland.  A personal project and experiment to test high speed capabilites in ambient, low light conditions. Inspired by seasonal colour and the desire to create something imaginative and cinematic- outside the camera’s usual technical/scientific remit.

The guys at Vision Research liked it and the film was screened by them, for the first time 15th Feb 2011, at the BVE, Earls Court, London.

My thanks to Amy Finnimore (Nemesis) who personified Autumn,  to 422.TV for their post production support and to Jez Clark for the loan of his vintage bike.

 

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THIS IS HOW I SEE THINGS

I tell stories, on screens.  Born in Salford, my own story began when I lost an eye in an accident. This turned out to be a huge advantage as its bionic replacement gave me the power to see through clothing and into the future.

I survived the same school as Danny Boyle and misspent my youth kicking balls, thrashing guitars and drawing stuff.  My fascination with things visual lead to Art College and after studying graphic design and advertising I began my career in Madchester 1987.

For the best part of two decades I was an Art Director and Creative Director conceiving campaigns for many agencies and brands in the UK and internationally.  I earned a shelf of awards.  I wrote a lot of ads.

I began directing in 2003 and was represented by The Mob Film Co. for six years.  I’m now with Black Label, London.  I get a kick out of working across broadcast and online platforms and enjoy choreographing performance with CG animation, GFX and VFX.  I have a passion for sport.

My point of view is you have to take risks to be noticed and that you have to say something meaningful to connect. Visual fascination is what I search for in my work and I try to achieve this by staying curious, making sketches, taking pictures, observing life.

The way I see it, we’re under siege from digital distractions.  So bombarded by shit in fact, that we rarely seem to have time to drag our gaze over the small horizon of our screens, just to have a look around. A lot of what is truly amazing and amusing passes us by unnoticed and uncelebrated.  So I try to occupy myself in a daily activity of keeping an eye out for the small human dramas, moments of illumination and magic that surround us.  Here on my site you can see some of the things I’m looking at.

I aim to create simple ideas through memorable images that captivate their audience. I have passion in what I do and take no joy from anything done half-hearted. I believe the harder you persevere, the more inspiring and satisfying your work. And that my friends is how I see things. Graft and craft.

When I’m not making films I work with wood.  Not everything I make is 16 x 9.

Contact

+44 7971 81 73 75

REPRESENTED IN LONDON BY BLACK LABEL

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