The Mayfair and surrounds are the retail face of the stately high-rise of inner-city Victoria Street. This is a tasteful precinct, busy but not frenetic, adequate foot traffic sustaining a handful of stylish businesses at street level, the facade black and shiny, the fonts of the signage sophisticated, reserved, less advertising than understated statement of the obvious. These are places with a touch of class, no announcements in gaudy plastic required.
I don't use the cafe - a little out of my price bracket - but it makes me feel better its there, setting an upper standard, quietly thriving, rarely changing, updates subtle, ambience seemingly perfected.
Good coffee, they say.
The tram flows by but the street is wide and the shopfronts convey a sense of sanctuary and plenty, their interiors reward for the rightfully affluent or discerning special occasion battlers. Customers smile here, they are well-dressed and their staff always appear enriched by their occupation.
This piece should be read by a soothing voice, confident, well-enunciated but not corny, no creamy FM DJ need apply. You will spend most of your budget getting the music right - forget by-the-metre muzak for this one - and that voice; the visuals speak for themselves, the lighting is immaculate, the surfaces gleam and recede in all the right places, these rooms tell your camera what to look at and capture, shoot (with the best filters) as it dictates.
But the voice of the Mayfair? Good luck! You'll have the whole thing shot and edited, the worthy words comfortably waiting, mercantile but respectful, the work of high-end creatives ... but that voice doesn't exist in the ranks of even the highest-class VO men in the business.
The voice must be distinctive, calm, effortlessly authoritative and convey nothing of the Mayfair's shadow; the dirty money, corrupt union deals, and be-suited thuggery which built it. Or the kiddy-fiddling eminences who frequent its enclave and launder their souls in its comforting space - the privileged of school, court, government, corporation protected by themselves. The voice must not betray the history of the site, the twentieth century's pointless sectarian viciousness, the petty neighbourhood bigotry behind the tall, strong fences and flourishing greenery; the blithe monocultural whiteness which followed the dispossession of firstly the poor and their tents and tin and before that, the roamers who had it to themselves and nature for a thousand generations.
No hint please from the voice that this building's neatness is actually dismayingly bland, exhibiting a store-bought faux European modesty, a second-hand, old-fashioned facsimile of elegance, an off-the-shelf, lowbrow grandeur, 'class' for the ignorant and the two-bob snobs. It is cream. It is beige. it is as big an affront to design as any outer suburban McMansion.
Your voice must not be suppressing awareness of any of these subversions; such buildings and businesses are more vulnerable than a melancholy Fish and Chip shop to a word of doubt. One chip of the marble facade [all but sprayed on - a great finish - but as skin deep as spray tan] and you may as well bring in the wrecking ball. Even a wry inflection could bring the whole shithouse crashing down!
I suggest you listen for that voice in the shops themselves, amongst the contented clientele, those who have bought in; you'll know it when you hear it - a true believer.
Like I said: Good Luck!