LIZ Murphy Takes Singapore Airlines On A New Ad Journey

22 August 2023

Written by

Candide McDonald for The Stable

Sweetshop director, Liz Murphy, has added her flair to Singapore Airlines’ latest global brand campaign, Welcome to World Class, by Six Toes and TBWA Singapore, giving the airline a fresh, modern look and feel.

The Sweetshop

The commercial steps outside the usual, following the cabin crew in their life outside the aeroplane as they meet people from all walks of life in every corner of the world. The viewer shifts seamlessly between scenes ranging from the vast breath-taking forests with softly illuminated intakes of breath to feet splashing rain-splattered neon-tinged sidewalks.

The Sweetshop's global chairperson and founding partner, Paul Prince, commented, “Congratulations to Singapore Airlines, TBWA and Six Toes for their latest ‘World Class’ campaign. I think director Liz Murphy and The Sweetshop crew crafted the story of Singapore Airlines beautifully; being a truly global airline, bringing best in class with intimacy and care, to the world. Truly ‘World Class’ all around. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Liz Murphy:

What did you see as the key challenges and opportunities in making a film like this?

Staying on top of the logistics of shooting in 5 different countries, and trying to keep a creative idea of the whole film in your head is definitely challenging. But a great advantage of shooting over a 30-day period is that you have time to review what you’ve shot, and get into the groove of what’s working well, adapting intuitively as you go.

What was your approach to casting? Were they actors or real cabin crew? What was it like directing, working with them on this film?

We were all drawn to their honesty and ease in front of the camera from their very first casting session. It’s rare to find non-actors who are so open, natural and intuitive on screen. The guys at the agency spent a few months interviewing 100s of cabin crew in Singapore before they went on flights. Gradually this group was refined down to the eight key people who were featured in the film across the various countries.

The film shifts between an intense variety of both places and faces, capturing the very big, and the very small. Yet it still feels seamless. How did you achieve this?

I think it’s the energy, enthusiasm and effortlessness on screen that really connects all of the people and places in the film.

Was there anything you tried to avoid when filming or with camera techniques?

My amazing DP, Sam Chiplin and I had a few rules – no slow motion, no camera movement that felt too Hollywood, no long lenses! We pretty much shot the film on a 14mm and 17mm. We also improvised a lot and found different scenarios on the fly depending on what was feeling authentic and engaging.

Executive Producer, Laura Geagea:

This was a huge job. How did you pull it off?

I have to say that as simple and cliche as it may sound it came down to having the right team. Although I kept a very close eye on the job from an Executive Producer standpoint, I had three fantastic producers running the job – Allison Lockwood, Luke Goodrum and also April Lee as the locally Asian-based producer. And they did a fantastic job.

We shot with our production partners in Singapore, Barcelona and Mumbai and with our own Sweetshop offices in and around Auckland and Shanghai. Using a nice mix overall of people we trust made sure things went as smoothly as they could during the process.

What were the challenges of the job and what did you see as the opportunities?

Obviously, the scale of the job meant that everything had to be very buttoned up. But at the same time, that scale is what also allowed Liz and Sam to go out and get some amazing shots in between shoot days, and during the plane and taxi rides across each city they were in.

This article was first published by The Stable on 23 March 2023.