Viewed over 19-million times, Tourism Australia’s G’day, the short film has set a new bar for tourism videos. The short follows two talking toys, one a small unicorn from America (voiced by Will Arnett) and the other a native Australian Kangaroo (voiced by Rose Byrne), as they escape a souvenir store and embark on an adventure through Australia.
Cinematographer Matt Toll approached the project with considered camerawork and thoughtful references. Collaborating with director and fellow Australian Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) and with support from Panavision Sydney, Toll homed-in on the magic through a set of Primo Artiste lenses. Here, Toll reflects on the project that has viewers around the world considering booking their own trip to the land down under.
Panavision: How would you describe the look of G’day?
Matt Toll: Having two animated characters as our leads, director Michael Gracey and I discussed leaning into a storybook feel for this campaign. Tourism campaigns by their nature need to look inviting and beautiful, so this drove a lot of our visual ideas. We also referenced the Toy Story films for the energy of the camera language.
One of the challenges of commercial work is often telling a story in 15 or 30 seconds. So having the opportunity to really explore the environments and show off the beauty of Australia in a short film was an exciting opportunity.
What optical characteristics did you see in the Primo Artiste lenses that made them the right match for this project?
Toll: The Primo Artiste lenses tick a lot of boxes for me. Along with their beautiful roll-off and vintage imperfections, their modern build, good minimum focus and fast aperture give you the freedom you need on set to tell the story. I’ve had a relationship with Panavsion as an AC and DP now for over 30 years. On a long job like this with a large multi-camera kit, extreme conditions and thousands of kilometers of travel, their service and backup cannot be matched.
What inspired you to become a cinematographer — and what keeps you inspired today?
Toll: As an AC, I was fortunate enough to work with and learn from some of the best cinematographers in the world. Storytelling with talented directors, writers and actors, and working with talented, hard-working crews is what motivates me these days. What a privilege.