Creative Director Spencer Antle had been contemplating getting back into his previous profession of television commercial directing by doing a series of spots, bringing Island Company to life on the screen. In February, he took a tiny crew to the eco-chic resort town of Tulum, Mexico and shot 4 commercials in 9 days. The days were tiring, wet and long. ‘Never Return’ is Island Company’s first to be released.
“I had 4 completely different spots shot. This was the most obvious to finish immediately. We knew it in the hotel room as I was piecing it together on my laptop as we were shooting it… The song was the biggest click. I have a stash of hundreds of songs I have stored specifically for film, but they have to be utilized correctly to be effective. I went through about 5 and this John O’Callaghan track, Never Fade Away, just nailed it. I had to actually stop and ask the models and crew, ‘Is everyone feeling this like I am??’ It was a resounding yes. The yesses haven’t stopped. So I’m excited for everyone else to see it,” says director Spencer Antle.
Difficulties with weather, hotel rooms without power, a crew of only 4 and a budget small enough to barely feed your average commercial crew, Antle and Warrilow made do with what they had.
“I’ve shot spots in my old life that I defy you to tell me they weren’t made for $500,000. Spending money is about knowing HOW to spend it! Some of the best spots I’ve ever shot were for five grand….,” adds Spencer. “It was a fight, and not a fair one. You go into panic mode to try and get everything you need. If you miss one shot you’re screwed! Add weather and it’s a nightmare, especially with a micro budget!”
Longtime Director of Photography collaborator Pete Warrilow joined in on the sentiment, “It’s very difficult to shoot film projects; much more difficult than anyone can ever imagine unless you’ve done one. When it’s essentially for free there has to be a lot of passion involved to overcome the pitfalls. There was a lot of passion on this shoot.”