A young man is sprawled on a bed, sleeping in his clothes. He wakes to the sight of giant roosters filling the room. This isn’t a surrealist dream - it’s the new MOTHER REVIVE TV commercial

Director Nicholas Reynolds describes the scene as a massive wake-up call. The advertisement, made as both a 30 and 15 second spot, is aimed at young men and women who are in need of an energy hit.

The story opens with a young man who wakes up exhausted after a late night at the office, and reaches gratefully for a can of MOTHER REVIVE. And it closes with a majestic eagle perched on the man’s arm as he walks down the street – an incredible transformation.

Filming was completed in one day at Sun Studios in Sydney’s inner western suburb of Alexandria. 

On set was a crew of 20, including the director of photography, an art director, grips and gaffers, and of course several animal handlers who worked with 10 roosters recruited for the commercial.

“When we were shooting we worked to the sounds of crowing roosters all day,” recalled Nicholas, who was surprised at how easy it was to work with the birds. The ten roosters, a mixture of breeds, were sourced from free-range farms in the Hunter Valley, selected for good behaviour and an inclination to crow.

The key to making the birds look natural on camera was to think like a rooster, according to Nicholas. “You have to project in your mind what the birds will do, and you work around that.”

“There’s a lot of post-production involved in cutting and pasting the birds and putting them in positions where you want them to be, so that their eye line works and you get the impression that they’re focusing their attention on the actor.”

Scaling up the roosters so they appeared oversized on screen was a unique undertaking. Each rooster had to be filmed up close to prevent the image losing it’s clarity due to the lack of definition when it was later enlarged so that they appeared as extremely large birds in context of the setting.

“When you see the roosters up close they’re very funny looking creatures,” Nicholas laughed.

The star of the show, an eagle called Soren from the Gold Coast hinterland, was more challenging to work with. Nicholas and his crew filmed Soren in the latter part of the day to ensure the right light, by which stage there was a very strong gusting wind. 

“This made it difficult for the eagle,” said Nicholas.  “[It] wouldn’t land on the protagonist’s arm as we’d planned.”

“Instead we used the owner of the bird to stand in and mimic the actions of our actor and we’d then marry the two scenes together in post [production].”

And that’s a wrap!