TV Commercial //

From Dojo to TV: How Karate Helped SKR Students Become TV Stars

Appearing in a TV commercial can be a thrilling experience, as Sensei Donna and five SKR junior students discovered as they were cast in the Natwest TV Commercial, “Magic”.

The day started early, with cast and crew arriving on set before sunrise to begin preparing for the shoot. Makeup artists and hair stylists worked to prep the talent, while the crew set up lighting and camera equipment on set. Once everything was in place, rehearsals began to ensure that everyone was on the same page and ready to start filming.

“I was absolutely thrilled when I entered entered onto the set and heard the announcement “Donna Ring is on set,” says Sensei Donna. “I wasn’t expecting the introduction, although standard for cast members. It felt magical and was an unforgettable experience and one I am immensly grateful for”

The adults reheased the set pieces first and the children were invited onto set much later with their chaperones so as not to tire. When it was time to start shooting, the director called “action” and the cameras started rolling. Everyone took up their designated role, and unlike a real Dojo, smoke machines filled the air with a gentle haze to soften the overall effect. All in all, about three hours of filming took place, and throughout the morning, despite the pace being fast and intense, there were breaks for meals and rest.

“The behind the scenes catering van was amazing! Caterers served everything you could wish for from a full English fry up to fruit and cereal. I had never really stopped to think about the entourage behind filming TV commercials, it felt like being on set for a feature movie. I can’t thank the support crew enough for taking such good care of us”

At the end of the shoot, there was a sense of relief and accomplishment. The production team wrapped up with the infamous words “It’s a wrap”, and began packing up to move onto the location for the afternoon’s filming. Sensei Donna, Jack and Ryan said goodbye to their fellow cast members and set off home, feeling very tired but totally in awe of the whole experience. Needless to say, Jack and Ryan who were eight years old at the time, slept in the car on the way home.

Being on set with my sons and three other SKR students (Jemima Bennett, Max Bennett and Oscar Bennett) was a unique and exciting opportunity. Jemima, Max and Oscar are registered with a casting agency, but it was their Karate background that helped them secure this acting role. It is great that we were invited and able to contribute to the production of a commercial. It’s an experience that we will hopefully get a chance to repeat again one day”