We hope you like the new TV advert and photography – what a pleasure to work on this and be part of making something we think is really special!
From the outset we were adamant we wanted a real family. Having worked with both real families and a group of actors before, the connection you get with a real family can’t be replicated. And after all, this is what we really wanted to get across. Watching the advert we want people to smile, reminisce, get excited about their next holiday and above all, feel emotionally connected what they are watching. Not only this, we needed the family to be able to work around ‘James’ – the invisible character who is silently doing the ‘little things’ that just happen on holiday.
Easier said than done. Although there are a lot of families on the books of casting agencies, we went through at least five rounds of auditions and recalls, but no one quite fitted the bill. Feeling despondent but not giving up we searched all over the UK and then, finally, a breakthrough. We were introduced to the Cole and Ross family; not only were the Mum, Dad and kids all family, so were the Grandparents. We waited nervously to get the audition tapes – could the Coles and Ross’ be ‘the one’?
Watching the tapes, within the first few seconds we knew we had the star family. They were down to earth with a genuine connection between everyone – relaxed, happy and above all they made us smile with some sort of nostalgia, thinking of our own families.
Roll on one month and we were boarding a plane to Cyprus, praying for good weather and a great eight days together. Immediately we all felt at ease; I must say what a lovely group of people to spend time with. In fact at the end of the trip it was quite sad to say goodbye, and for a few days I missed being around my new ‘James’ family.
If you’ve ever been involved in a photo shoot or filming you’ll know about the long days. Getting up before sunrise to get set up and get the first light; working through to the evening to get the twilight shots. Having children on the shoot as well as Sue, the fantastic Chaperone (“This is the best job I’ve ever had!”), we ensured there was plenty of down time and relaxation for the family. The gut feeling we got when watching the audition tapes rang true – we had picked a star family. Jesse and Ruby, the children, were amazing. Trying to keep Jesse out of the pool was no mean feat and shooting the water pistol shot, all Jesse wanted to do was get shot himself! Mum, Dad, Grandma and Granddad were an absolute pleasure to be around and get to know.
Over the course of the year we will tell you a little more about the family, as well as Richard, our genuinely charming and lovely ‘James’ character. We hope you enjoy watching the advert as much as we did making it, and that it inspires you to think about James Villas and your next holiday.