Close-Up: Your Underwear Is Showing
When New York visual-effects shop Rhinoceros landed a Dockers spot from FCB, San Francisco, it had a twofold challenge: to create a way to show a woman with X-ray glasses discovering hidden pockets in the new Mobile pant and to do it without extending the one-day shoot.
“Normally when you take an X-ray, people’s clothes disappear. This had to be more like X-ray vision,” says CG director Arman Matin. A waitress’s thigh is visible, as well as the bra and panties under one (apparently eccentric) man’s suit, along with the gadgets stashed in the Dockers.
The most common means of producing that kind of animation, motion control and motion capture, would require a three-day shoot. For its pitch, Rhinoceros demonstrated an alternative, using a clip from There’s Something About Mary to show how X-ray vision animation could be added to completed film. That way the spot’s director, Jim Sonzero of HSI Productions, could concentrate on the performances.
At the shoot, the Rhino team collected still photos of everything that would appear as X-ray images, including the actors, to be used as models during 4,000 man hours of postproduction. Rhino’s ten animators added each object—right down to the man’s garter belt—in one of 60 layers of digital animation. The resulting 30-second spot breaks next month.
Controversy Leads to First Gig
Obscenity allegations may not be the most conventional way for photographers to attract the attention of the advertising world, but for Tierney Gearon, they resulted in her first ad gig, a print campaign for Kate Spade.
In February, Gearon’s shots of her children playing nude caught the eye of police when they were exhibited at Charles Saatchi’s London gallery. (No formal charges were ever made.) The photos also intrigued Kate Spade creative director and CEO Andy Spade, who admired Gear on’s ability to capture unscripted moments. “I really loved her work,” Spade says. “It never seemed contrived.”
He enlisted Gearon for Kate Spade’s fall ad campaign, running in August and September issues of fashion and life style magazines. The six shots showcase a real (fully clothed) family, acquaintances of Gearon. A couple with a young daughter and son get ready for a trip and pal around outside a family estate in Mount Kisco, N.Y. One shot, for example, shows a mother tying her son’s shoelace. “The bag is naturally in the scene,” Spade says. “Bags are usually forced in scenes.” Spade says he wasn’t offended by Gearon’s photo exhibit. “They weren’t controversial to me,” he says. “Her work is great.”
In a departure from their usual roles as fierce competitors, three agencies have teamed up for an integrated campaign. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam created a short film for their respective clients, Levi’s SilverTab, Motorola and Sony. The film, which appears in a series of 90-second epi sodes on the site LostChange.com, has been repackaged as 30-second spots for television. The Web series tells the story of friends who find a bag of cash and then travel to Bang kok, only to be pursued by the person who lost the money. Products from all three clients are featured in the film, which was shot on location in Thailand by Cyclops Films director Albert Watson. “This was a great opportunity to work with some of the best brains in the business,” says Mike Jurkovac, president of Cyclops. “The creative teams of Chiat/Day, Ogilvy and Young & Rubicam all worked together on this. That in itself is unprecedented. The result was truly innovative content branding.”
Rain is usually the enemy of an outdoor basketball shoot, but in the case of Fallon and sneaker company And1, it was a “blessing,” says Jamie Barrett, executive creative director at the New York shop. The agency used a rainout to winnow its lineup of what he calls basketball “freaks,” who served as hyperbolic commentators watching the street-ball action from the stands. Going into the shoot, the shop had nine would-be freaks, each cast separately. The extra day gave Fallon a chance to bring them together—at an indoor court—and, based on chemistry, pick the final five. They included a Bible-quoting preacher type and an old-school pops. In the six spots, the characters marvel at the fluid court action at a street-ball tournament in Harlem. “He ain’t a point guard, he’s a point God,” says the preacher in one spot. Directed by Tony Kaye, the spots broke last week on ESPN, BET and TNT. The $2-3 million campaign, which also includes print and radio ads, touts And1’s annual series of tour naments, the Mix Tape Tour.
Two agencies dominate the Emmy nominations for outstanding commercial, sponsored by The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Two spots for PBS, “Light” and “Photo Booth” from Fallon, Minneapolis, will compete with the Mercedes-Benz USA spots “Aaooga” and “Modern Ark” from Merkley Newman Harty, New York. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., rounds out the list with its Nike “Freestyle” spot. The winner will be announced on Sept. 8 at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which will be televised on E! on Sept. 9.
Close-Up: Your Underwear Is Showing