PayPal UK’s Summer of Possibilities in Bulgaria

5 min readSep 20, 2022


What’s better than one cool collaboration with the financial giant PayPal? The answer’s easy — doing it a second time!

Following our successful ‘Summer Moments’ Project for PayPal UK (which you can find here)

‍This April we produced a new commercial here in Sofia, Bulgaria for their international Summer of Possibilities campaign — a diverse, radiant and high-paced TVC that aimed at bringing just that extra little bit of sunshine to the summer.

Photographer: Mihail Novakov

The final result however, wasn’t the only high-paced part of the creative process of bringing the Summer of Possibilities to life. It already started off in 5th gear when we decided we wanted to win this project. Due to circumstances we only had 2 days left before the deadline to create and submit a winning treatment (of which you can catch a glimpse below), we started putting a team of our professionals together, brainstorming an approach and looking for faces who could be the perfect fits.

We had Viktor Ivanov, who also directed our previous project for PayPal, ready on board in no time, and alongside him starred Alexander Stanishev as DOP and our own Virginia Venkova as Producer, who made sure that the entire production sailed smoothly on a warm summer breeze.‍

We settled on a great approach in no time and started working on a script. We wanted to tell multiple stories of PayPal bringing people together during the summer, and really give PayPal the chance to take the sunny spotlight. With a proper script locked in, we started looking for faces and an extensive casting process followed.‍

Our goal for the casting was finding vibrant groups of real people, as PayPal was looking for stand out faces that would showcase the positivity and excitement of summer through their looks alone.‍

For producer Virginia Venkova, the casting wasn’t the only challenging part:

“Due to the limited pre-production time we had for this project, we made the decision to work with 2 production designers as all 4 of the scenes needed a lot of work. We split up the scenes between the 2 of them and trusted them with making sure that the quality and design of the 4 scenes came together well. This was a hard decision that involved a lot of trust because they had never met each other or seen each other’s work before this project, but I am incredibly happy with their work.”

For our director Viktor Ivanov, the challenges arrived with using the motion control arm for this project:

“The concept of replacing the furniture as people moved into the scene required the takes of the different pieces of furniture, and the takes of the actors to be perfectly aligned, the only way to achieve this was by rigging the camera to a Bolt, which is a motion control arm that can be programmed to make an exact movement multiple times in a row.”

Photographer: Mihail Novakov

“In most cases the sets are built around the arm as they are usually too big and heavy to get through a doorway or on location, so for some locations we had to do disassembly and find compromised solutions such as using a Modula, a smaller cinema robot. As someone who had not worked with a motion control arm before, I expected it to be able to do almost anything; wrong — there are a lot of limitations to keep in mind which required us to adapt the original ideas of the movements and transitions. Alexander, our DOP, helped a lot with figuring this out as he has a lot of previous experience with this technology, he was very enlightening regarding what exactly was possible and showed me the frame movements we should restrict ourselves to.”

While we were shooting the video footage, Mihail Novakov was working alongside us to provide the image content, his eye for capturing moments between people in a genuine way resulted in a gallery of images that perfectly suited the campaign and our video, his work is featured throughout this case study.

‍For this project, we ended up creating around a total of 120 different deliverables besides the main TVC, from GIF’s to images and short videos. We also expanded the reach of the commercial and the campaign by translating the content in Spanish, Italian and French, besides the original translations in English and German. The content is intended for digital platforms and social media as well as PayPal’s owned channels, and limited broadcast TV usage in Europe. The content will be distributed in Germany, Austria Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, the US and the UK.


Client: PayPal
Agency: Tongal
Director of Production: Stephen Iwanyk
Agency: Scholz & Friends
Creative Director: Christopher Bradford
Producer: Kerstin von Kieseritzky
Account Management: Diana Mueller

Director: Viktor Ivanov
DOP: Alexander Stanishev
Production Designers: Tsveta Dimova & Maria Ilieva
Production Design Assistants: Maria Kostadinova, Martin Kirilov, Saed Murad, Julian Iliev, Boris Kalev, Martin Ananiev, Kostadin Yanchev, Atanas Yanchev, Daniel Sholeikov, Hristo Bambalski
Stylist: Grozdan Mihaylov
Styling Assistant: Valentin Gergovski
MUA: Rositsa Zabunova
Hair: Parashkev Todorov — Finchi

1st AD: Goran Popovic
2nd AD: Krasimira Krasteva
3rd AD: Robin Vredenborg

Focus Puller: Boris Mitrev
2nd AC: Vasil Paunov
Video Control: Simeon Chengelski
DIT: Silviya Katsarska
Photographer: Mihail Novakov
Photography Assistant: Veliko Balabanov
Motion Control Operator: Zlatin Radev
Motion Control Assistant: Nikolay Kotev

Gaffer: Borislav Krastanov
Electricians: Dimitar Petrov, Lubomir Gotsev, Krasimir Yordanov
Key Grip: Eduard Moskalenko
Grips: Milcho Ivanov, Velizar Dzhabrilov, Martin Yakimov
Generator: Borislav Tolev

Casting Director: Nina Boyanova
Cast: Mariana Stancheva, Manuela Popova, Hristo Palhutev, Hristiyana Kancheva, Galina Bezlova, Valentin Kostadinov, Aleksandra Georgieva, Chinedu Romain, Elena Kayabasheva, Harita Asumani, Boris Avramov, Vesela Stoilova and Emeray Ibriyam

Editing: Viktor Ivanov
Color Grading: Boris Tivcheff
CGI / Composoting: Lubomir Todorov
Sound Design & Mix: Kamen Atanasov
Motion Graphics / Supers: Alex MItov

Set Manager: Vladimir Dimitrov
PAs: Nicola Cholakov, Simeon Vulkov, Petar Kirilov, Nikolay Kovachev
Location Manager: Iva Petkova and Luybov Cheresh
Medic on SET: Tsvetelina Hadzieva

Producer: Virginia Venkova

Quick Disclaimer: This is a non-commercial, directors cut featuring the song: Stunnin’ by: Curtis Waters ft. Harm Franklin.

Photographer: Mihail Novakov
Photographer: Mihail Novakov




handplayed is an award-winning full-service content creation studio, based in Sofia,Bulgaria. We produce commercials, music videos, films & experiences.