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  • Writer's pictureStuart

“Snide” – Boardrooms and Comic Strips

In this “Blast from the Past” series of some of my favourite projects, here we have a look behind the scenes of the making of the “Snide” project for The Anti-Counterfeiting Group.

The Brief

Create an entertaining series of videos for use in schools, highlighting the safety and economic risks posed by counterfeit goods. After previous successful projects for The Intellectual Property Office, and the British Video Association, we came to the attention of The Anti-Counterfeiting Group. We were presented us with a completely open brief to create a series of videos that could be used as part of presentations in schools, or could have a life of their own on the internet.

Drawing upon the the previous project for the British Video Association, we continued the concept of a nefarious criminal organisation called “Snide”, but we imagined that they were a company striving for recognition as a legitimate organisation – producing the cheap good that people want (irrespective of the quality, safety or economic impact of their counterfeit goods)

The Cast

After a enormously entertaining casting, arranged by casting agency Janis Jaffa Casting, we assembled our motley crew of characters:

Lenny ‘Crackers’ McVitie – Chief Executive Bob Bunco – Marketing Director Cuthbert Honeydew – Financial Director Evyline Garrotte-Onesto – Business Development Director Tudor Canibag – IT and Technical Director Vince Squarciare – Health and Safety Director Micky Nomark – Head of Sales

Some very fortuitous casting led to thousands of surprise hits on the videos.  Playing the character of “Bob Bunco” we cast actor Ian Midlane, who went on to play a Slitheen in Doctor Who spinoff show The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Much seeding of the videos in Doctor Who fansites led to many hundreds of hits.  By sheer chance (and only because the director and I are huge Doctor Who fans) we had Bob Bunco joke about selling ‘Snide’ Doctor Who merchandise – causing much debate in fan forums that our videos were a clever BBC viral campaign seeding an upcoming story!

Our character’s Twitter accounts may have helped with that…

Tudor Canibag’s Twitter account.

Also, the videos are still getting hits as Jonny Coyne (“Lennie “Crackers” McVitie”) hit the  Hollywood big time by being cast as a lead in J.J. Abrams primetime TV show Alcatraz and a string of subsequent high-profile film and TV roles.

Here are the crew at work on the film set:

Filming in progress with the Snide gang and crew.

In order that we could produce a wider range of content featuring the Snide gang, we commissioned graphic novel and 2000AD Judge Dredd artist Adrian Bamforth to recreate the cast as Grand Theft Auto-like characters.

The “Snide” Gang – created by graphic novel artist Adrian Bamforth.

This enabled us to create entirely new sketches – in the form of comic strips – without having the expense of a film shoot.

Snide – The Comic Strip. Drawn by Adrian Bamforth.

The videos are still being used, and we we often get feedback about the positive reception they get from a traditionally cynical audience – and they act as a great icebreaker to start discussions with school kids about the issues around counterfeit goods.

Production Credits

Producer Stuart Arnott

Director Keith Boak

Lighting Cameraman Chris Preston

Sound Recordist Karl Madert

Make-Up Artist Jo Drake

Filming Date Tuesday 22 January 2008

Location Rouse & Co International, Harbour Exchange Square, London


Lennie ‘Crackers’ McVitie Johnny Coyne

Bob Bunco Ian Midlane

Cuthbert Honeydew Stephen Ferrier

Evyline Garrotte-Onesto Rebecca Calder

Tudor Canibag Ricky Nixon

Vince Squarciare Rocco Salata

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