John Laurie

What Is Money For, If Not This? — NAB

As one of Australia’s big four banks, there was no down time for NAB through the COVID-19 pandemic, with this major brand campaign shot safely and beautifully during an easing of restrictions in June 2020.

Flexing his portrait and lifestyle photography muscles, John Laurie worked to find a range of different yet effective locations in and around Melbourne to highlight the different audiences and elements of banking, from businesses to agriculture, young adults to families, and even a team of youngsters kicking around an AFL ball in the early morning.

Shot, as it was, during the pandemic, and coming after the initial country-wide slowdown but before Victoria returned to its lockdown, the shoot presented myriad challenges that might not normally be expected — not least of which was an 11th hour request to add 6 second motion to the last six (of eight) executions.

As photography producers, Photoplay Photography worked with John to source locations that were within driving distance of the Melbourne CBD but offered enough diversity to represent all of Australia. Often a challenge at the best of times, it was further complicated by many local councils not accepting filming permits, meaning plenty of ‘first choice’ destinations were off the table.

To cast, we had to keep in mind the need for social distancing. Where the creative called for our talent to be within 1.5m of each other, this meant casting real families or households, people living together, a task executed with aplomb by Peta Dermatis of Studio P. The exception were our AFL kids, who we could shoot with enough distance between them, ensuring each of them had their own ball and never came too close together.

 With time of day always crucial for outdoor shooting, shooting in a Victorian winter had its benefits (though the temperature was definitely not one of them) as short days enabled us to keep working throughout the day without significant downtime. The weather behaved, and we even had beautiful rolling fog on the one morning we wanted it the most.

To minimise interstate travel for our team, we worked with a local on line production, who ensured a producer’s eye was cast over the recce and all Melbourne-specific elements of the production. To ensure numbers on set were kept to a minimum, the agency and client were remote, seamlessly connected via a combination of Zoom, FaceTime, phone, text and email throughout the four days of shooting.

This campaign showcases John Laurie’s versatile style — as adept with food as he is with people and places, there’s no brief he can’t tackle!

Photographer: John Laurie
Executive Producer: Ross Colebatch

Line Producer: John Sandow

Photography Assistants: Cam Cooke & Ryan Stamatiades

Digital Operator: Jake Lowe

Art Director/Stylist: Jodi Wuestewald

Hair & Make Up: Sara Morrison

Casting: Peta Dermatis @ Studio P

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne