How acclaimed director brought the DMU story to life

The theme of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s new TV advert is 'Dare To Do', so the university needed a daring director to bring the concept to life.

Acclaimed director Max Fisher has worked on projects for Nike and the Royal Navy and his innovative style was a perfect fit at DMU.

Max said: “This has been a really exciting advert to work on. It’s a very strong concept 'dare to do' – the idea being that one can change one’s life and one’s future by being brave.

“To bring it to life we had to find a way to tell that story in a short amount of time, so we decided to tell the stories of young people on the cusp of doing something challenging or daring, and then show the pay-off.”

Max chose to work with DMU students for the advert, to make it as authentic as possible.

He explained: “I always use real people in my films, and I think if you cast real people and make films about their emotions then that makes a very resonant type of advert.

Max and his team visited the campus to identify the right locations to represent the stories in the advert and many scenes were shot on campus.

He said: “The first time I came here, I just thought it was a fantastic place, and it looked like a really interesting campus. I wish that I had been able to go to a university like this.”


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Scenes were also filmed at the King Power Stadium, home to Premier League Champions and DMU partners Leicester City Football Club, as well as in Ahmedabad where DMU’s Square Mile India is based.

But Max’s highlight involved filming on campus. He said: “My highlight was probably shooting on the roof at sunset. I really enjoyed the India shoot, then sometimes things fall right for you.

“It rained a lot that week and I really wanted an epic-style ending, and when that sunset came down we were waiting in the foyer of the building to get up on the roof.

“I was thinking, ‘come on, come on’ I wanted to get up there while the light was beautiful, and then we got that lovely filming session.”

As part of the recruitment and filming process Max and the team developed close working relationships with the students starring in the advert, and many of the students said they had enjoyed working with the team.


Wes Bingwa stars in the dance scenes in the advert and he said: “I found working with Max and the team was quite an experience, they’re very caring and it was a pleasure working with them.”

Max added: “I’m glad the students enjoyed the experience. It’s really important to me when we’re making adverts with real people that they really enjoy the process and understand the process.

“If you want to get genuine emotion out of people, they need to be really relaxed and a lot of that comes from putting them at ease and telling a version of their story that they believe in, rather than imposing your own vision.”

Comparing his work with DMU to previous projects with Nike and the Royal Navy, Max said: “In a way my Nike work is not dissimilar because it has got a lot of heart and the two things look quite similar.”

He added: “People in the Royal Navy really love the Royal Navy and students at DMU really love it here. It’s nice to work on an advert where everyone you want to film really believes in what you're doing.”

Posted on: Monday 05 September 2016

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