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The making of The Jenson Button ATM

ExperientialSantander is one of our biggest clients at WCRS and they call on us for everything from TV ads to posters… and at Christmas time, their Secret Santa(nder) event. Here’s how it works, each year Santander reward their customers by giving something back. This year, WCRS’s Howard de Smet came up with a cracker of an idea… the Jenson Button. Quite literally, Jenson Button, in an ATM. An unsuspecting Santander customer uses the ATM but is asked to “Press the Jenson Button” to receive their cash. Ah, just watch the video…

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Here’s a keep behind the scenes of how we make it happen.

Step 1: The very first sketch of the build in my notepad. Note also the list of things to buy. As it happens, it was pretty accurate from the get-go. I was desperate to build it all in my garage but thought better of it!

Step2: The ATM build. Hand constructed from MDF at a prop making workshop.

And from the back. Note the beginnings of a hinged screen holder and release mechanism.

Step 3: The late night installation. The build started at about 5pm.

Step 4: The final construction with decals and posters. You wouldn’t suspect a thing.

Step 5: With touchscreen installed. Note the hole above the screen where the GoPro is housed.

Step 6: Rigging camera and sound. There were about 8 cameras in total. Some mobile, some in the ceiling and some hidden in places you’d never suspect… like this speaker. The GoPro lens is in the middle of the top speaker cone! We even had one camera in a pram disguised as a baby. No, really.

Step 7: Setting up the system and the cash. Note the utility panel on the laptop and the small webcam feed. The webcam feed looked down on the fake ‘contactless pad’ so that we knew when someone wanted to start the process. The utility panel allowed me to control what the ATM screen displayed as well as feed back the cash amount the customer typed in so Jenson could use it in his dialogue.

If you’re interested, the control between screens was done in Flash using LocalConnection to send messages between the screens.

Step 8: Installing the Jenson. I’m a massive F1 fan so this was pretty special for me. I was sat on the other side of that black curtain to the right and handed Jenson the bundles of cash. Yes, I get paid to do this.

Step 9: The final, most important step… the slightly dorky selfie with the effortlessly cool Jenson just so that I could prove to my kids that I wasn’t making this up.

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