YouTube-trained videographer showcases skills in two spots for Midas

Vehicle servicing company Midas New Zealand has used a little-known production company to create its latest set of TV advertisements.

The clips were made by 26-year-old Ben Journee from Side Project based in Auckland’s North Shore, a company which he says is made up of “… pretty much just me”.

His company started in 2012 when he started filming weddings, but before that he used to make dancing videos in his garage.

“I used to be a dancer back in the day and got a camera for my 21st birthday and my friend and I started mucking around making films.”

One of his advertisements urges drivers to get their breaks checked after a young man stops to pick up a sexy hitchhiker, only for his brakes to fail causing him to pick up a scruffy hobo a few metres further down the road.

The other was filmed in an incredible cardboard set and shows a car being serviced after breaking down outside a Midas garage. 

Journee, whose main business is still in wedding videos, says he was asked to put something together for Midas after filming a wedding for someone who works with the company.

Previously, the local arm of Midas had used Australian creative for its ads, but the company’s New Zealand general manager Jonathan Onyszkiewicz says that over the last two to three years all the creative has been made locally. 

The decision by Midas to give the creative reins to the relatively unknown producer came about because Journee had previously filmed Onyszkiewicz’s wedding video. So impressed was the Midas general manager with the end product that he decided to give Journee a shot at producing creative for the spots.  

Journee says that while the two ads were a lot of hard work, he was given creative freedom, and adds that he even suggested the cardboard concept himself.

“It was just a concept from me, from scratch and I didn’t think they would actually go for it and they said yes and it ended up being heaps of work. It’s all filmed live action, we got a remote control car. It took me about three months to build the whole town in my living room, they [Midas] were awesome to work with, they just trusted me to do this crazy idea.”

Journee’s work is impressive considering these are his first ads and he has no formal training in video editing, learning most of his skills on YouTube.

“I studied illustration, nothing to do with film. You can learn anything form YouTube.”

Journee says he hasn’t pursued any other work in advertising as the wedding season began in August, which will keep him busy until May, but hopes to make something happen come winter.

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