Commercial

“Dominoes”, No I Don’t Mean Pizza.

Power house video effects and production company Imaginary Forces have created a new spot to introduce the new Toyota fuel cell vehicle. The spot is deceptively simple, which is why I have posted the behind the scenes video first. This shows a great example of blending live action with CG effects using some very sophisticated motion control cameras. One of the things I like about the making of / behind the scenes video is the fact that they talk about the concept as much as the production. They could have just shown how the commercial was shot, but the tech is only one leg of the chair. How Imaginary Forces ties the creative, and storytelling component in is equally compelling. It’s a simple idea on the surface with many complex layers underneath.

Grey and 1st Ave. Machine’s “Piano” for Gillette.

In terms of clever advertising, Grey and1st Ave Machine got it right on with this spot for Gillette. This is a really nice way to do a product demo, and totally memorable. The crew rigged up 88 of Gillette’s new Flex Ball razors to piano keys, tied them to a matrix which ran to an alternate keyboard played by composer Son Lux. Lux plays a an elegant composition as the camera moves throgh various angles, details and close ups of the product. This is some really nice work that goes way outside the box for advertising a razor and blades.

Apple’s New Perspective.

Below is the new two and a half minute online spot for Apple. If you are not one of the 750,000 people that have already seen it, you are in for a treat. The video features tons of forced perspective, optical illusions, a little animated type, and one hell of a script. As always, Apple advertising is a total winner.

“Live The Language.”

Produced at New Land Directed by Gustav Johansson, this spot for EF International Language Centers takes you on a fifty year journey across continents, through fashion and technology trends, and shows how learning a new language has changed over the years. The learning component is subtle, and takes a bit before it really sinks in, but when it does the message resonates. The commercial has a really nice look to it moving from vintage to current without feeling forced. The look of the spot feels right through out. The vintage color grading and post treatment work because you are being taken on a journey across a period of time, rather then being something added because it is a current trend, or in-style fashion. One of the things that I love about this spot is that there is hardly any dialog spoken, and it uses a series of supers to effectively tell the story and help transition the viewer across the five decades. Really nice work.

Directed by Gustav Johansson
D.O.P: Evan Prosofsky
Typography: Albin Holmqvist

Finally a TV Ad That Doesn’t Make Dad Look Like a Complete Idiot.

Over the last decade or so there has been a trend in advertising that for the most part portrays men, father’s, as complete idiots when it comes to handling anything related to fatherhood, marriage, household chores, etc. The ads are supposed to be humorous, and in some cases are, but for the most part the men represented come off like complete fools. The kind of complete fool that makes you ask “Why did that person marry them in the first place?”, and “How the hell does this guy hold down a job if he can’t even figure out how to change a fucking diaper?”. So when Cheerios dropped there new TV spot for peanut butter Cheerios earlier this month I jumped for joy. Why? Because dad isn’t some lazy, ignorant, lame ass, jackwagon.

The new spot which is aimed squarely at dads features a well written script, an actor that knows how to deliver in a light hearted way yet still comes off like someone that has his shit together, and an authoritative male voice that is aimed straight at you. By that I mean the actor never takes his eyes off of the audience as he walks through the spot delivering dialog about how he has it together. Here we have a spot that shows a male figure capable of multitasking. Capable of controlling the situation. Capable. as opposed to the dad staring at the refrigerator wondering where the food comes from while the voice over from his wife plays him as a fool.

In this spot we have dad who is funny without being condescending, or stereotypically macho. Dad can’t control everything, but with a little help from Cheerios, he can. All the characters, especially the father figure come from a place of strength and support. There is a positive message here that runs fully against so much of the messaging in advertising that says, dad can’t do laundry, clean the house, feed the kids, get them to school, make the bed, and yes that is a dominant message in the majority of TV ads. It’s easy, so people use it. This spot however has a socially positive message that I find much easier to take, and much easier to get behind.

So kudos to General Mills and their agency of record for creating a spot that actually features a dad you would want to hang out with.

“Pens”, Amnesty International.

TBWA Paris, has produced a powerful and visually stunning spot for Amnesty International. Directed by   and co-produced by Troublemakers.tv the full CGI two minute commercial uses motion capture to create a fluid piece that epitomizes the potential of your signature. “Pens” highlights the voice that each person can bring about in the birth of a social movement. The animated short builds through visuals of protest, followed by oppression with a voice over that punctuates the power of freedom and liberty. As the short reaches it’s end it concludes with the words “your signature is more powerful than you think”.  The look is unforgettable, with a cool black and white finish, and a production quality that hooks you and keeps you watching until the very end.

Client – Amnesty International
Agency – TBWA Paris
Vice President – Anne Vincent
Account Management – Laure Lagarde
Account Management – Isabelle Dray
Clients – Bertin Leblanc, Arnaud Humblot
Creative Director – Philippe Taroux
Creative Director – Benoit Leroux
Art Director – Ingrid Varetz
Head of TV – Maxime Boiron
Agency Producer – Amer Zoghbi
Production Company – troublemakers.tv
Director – Onur Senturk
Producer – James Hagger
Production Manager – Aurelie Chevalier
Production Manager – Cecile Alvarez
Production Assistant – Charles-Philippe Bowles
1st Assistant Director – Thomas Bidart
Motion Capture – Mocaplab
Motion Capture Shoot Director – Remi Brun
Motion Capture Supervisor – Frank Vayssettes
Motion Capture Editor – Charles Fourgeront
Motion Capture Assistant – Ahmed Turki
Motion Capture Actor (Hero) – Romain Ogerau
Motion Capture Actor – Franck Pech
Motion Capture Actor – Charles Lelaure
Co-Producer & Post Production – One More
Post Producer – Benjamin Darras
Art Director – Johnny Alves
Post Production Coordinator – John Meunier
VFX Supervisor – Eddy Richard
3D Artist – Francois-Xavier Gonnet
Modelling, Setup – Gwenhael Glon
Layout – Romain Durr
Animation – Jérémie Vidal
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Jérome Rouvelet
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Thomas Rodriguez
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Tim Lebon
Layout, Lighting, Renders, Compositing – Victor Besse
R&D Supervisor – Alain Xerri
Editor – Nicolas Larrouquere
Additional Editing – Romain Bouileau
Flame Operator – Hervé Thouement
Music – Paolo Nutini, Dave Nelson & Charlie Chaplin
Music Art Direction – Philippe Mineur, Ferdinand Huet
Sound Producer – Benoit Dunaigre
Head of Music & Sound – Olivier Lefebvre

 

High Street Store John Lewis Celebrates 150 Years in 60 Seconds.

Serious editing built this clever spot for British store John Lewis. The ad celebrates John Lewis’ 150th anniversary on High Street, by creating an upbeat commercial built around the 1970 Kinks hit, “This Time Tomorrow”. The song is performed by the former lead singer of Supergrass, Gaz Coombs.

Over the course of the sixty second spot director Dougal Wilson and editor was Joe Guest create a joyous and celebratory look at life in Britain from past to present, reflecting the fact that John Lewis has been ever present in their customers’ lives, changing and responding to their needs over the past 150 years. The piece is tied to a social media campaign around the tag line, “You’ve never stood still. Neither have we. And the hash tag #JL150″.