There are various things you can’t get away with depicting in an ad that you might be able to get away with in a TV show or film. Everything in an ad implies endorsement of the featured product. Coke can’t sue you if their billboard is in your documentary, but they can if it’s in your ad.
This problem gave me the ability to design a fighter plane and have someone else model it.
The spot was for Kia, and their spokesperson was pretending to be a fighter pilot. He would drive up to the catapult launch in a Kia instead of his fighter plane and espouse the virtues of the car. Legal said the carrier and the plane could not be real-world planes. We’d hire someone to handle the carrier, but when the plane design came up I shoved multiple people out of the way to be the designer.
I like fighter planes.
My design theme was “the f-35 is a fat, ugly plane.” I combined elements from the F-16 (wing profile), the F-18 (twin tails and engines), the Su-57 (intakes and neck) and spent a lot of time talking to the agency producer about the nuances of aircraft design and how this jet looked NOTHING like any real plane. When I saw the model had wingtips pointing downward I told the modeler to level them, later that day on vacation in Vermont I saw an F-16 in person up close. The wing tips point downward. I had the modeler keep my ignorant suggestion as another layer of legal buffer.
After delivery, the agency creatives told me someone was talking shit in the comments: “Why are there F-22’s on a carrier?”
This is my single favorite work-related internet comment.
It sums up every client’s fear of nit-picky internet people, and proves their fear unfounded. Here was someone who cared enough about military aircraft to complain about which planes do and don’t fly off carriers, yet they misidentified the plane in question.
Its rare I get to be an expert on the internet.
The website is still up, the youtube link long dead. I never got a reply.
Also, if anyone has any notes on how that shot is comped, I’d love to hear them. Just for my personal betterment. The clients were happy and still, years later, really like me because of this job.
I’m not sure what it is about it that bothers me, but there’s some aspect (or aspects) that don’t land for me.
hard to tell on this small screen, but it looks to me like the control tower off in the distance is more in focus than the nearer jet is. Is that what bothers you?
Any project is a successful project if it satisfies one the following (in descending level of importance)…
- You created or sustained a positive relationship.
- You got a nice spot for your reel.
- You got a nice shot for your reel.
Don’t get greedy, Andy. You already hit the jackpot.
awesome! this tale has it all!
designed jets, internet twat trolls, aircraft carriers, burnt rubber and kias!
i love it…
theres one thing wrong about this commercial… theres a blooming kia on a runway.
I think that’s part of it. I’m sure at the time I was just trying to show all my cool ass CG. But I think the lighting is somehow not right.
Love this story Andy! And I can only imagine just how satisfying it was to tell Mr. Internet person about the fake jet. Big compliment to you for making it look that good!
if you want a serious answer… the Kia and the jet has a considerable about of contrast which is nice but the promist feeling on the whole shot doesnt match as well… theres a lot of halation every where else which is a bit hazy… lifted blacks but also high contrast… very slightly weird. The Kia is a bright white shiny thing, and evrythign else is quite grey so its a hard thing to comp if the client wanted the kia clean and pristine… doesnt match its surroundings because its slightly unbelievable in luminance…
I do want serious answers. Thanks Theo!
Thats a tough one. As soon as you sit the car into the scene the client will complain that their white car is grey and the black tires are dirty. And, as Andy said…its an ad.
Theo and you have said the first things that sprang to mind. The lighting is wrong. It’s a cloudy day and car is too sharp and blacks too heavy. The car looks a bit front lit but the rest of the ship isn’t. Also the shadow under the car seems much denser than that under the jet. Normally I have the luxury of matching the plate and letting tk pretty it up. What’s the usual workflow outside a big shop?
That was done at a rather large shop. Can’t remember if we graded up front. Probably. It was 2014 or something.
Totally. It’s one of my favorite spots despite all the flaws I can see in it. But I think it’s a fun puzzle to think about because what it needs to look correct is less obvious than a lot of other shots.
It was shot in a parking lot in San Pedro, on an overcast day, with a few movie lights. I took some HDRs, but I remember my 3d lead wishing I had also gotten chrome balls from camera (esp cos all an HDR gets you is a generic skydome in this situation). I do not blame 3d for any of this. I think it’s a comp puzzle. 3d on this job was outstanding.
Just stand on the shoulders of the giant Aaaaandy Dil; one of my favourite pieces of compositing was this advert directed by Declan Lowney (Father Ted) and starting Jackie Chan. It wasn’t that complex but it was fun and I always retain a fondness for this job.
Well today I made another dog’s balls disappear. So take that.
What about the arsehole? Did you need to do that too?
I think one of my proudest moments is the Walter / David scene in Alien covenant.
3 other shops couldn’t do it, (on nuke), so I took it on. It was 3 minutes long.
This was the review in Variety:
“In the film’s best scene, David teaches Walter how to play the flute — an instrument that later serves as a deadly weapon. The moment is so compelling that we hardly stop to question how the filmmakers pulled it off with a single actor.”
I would love a breakdown on that. That scene is nuts.
I had to remove the arsehole on about 40 puppies once. For Andrex… Literally removing the entire point of the product (well, maybe not for dogs)
I feel like I tell this story all the time, but I met some guys from ILM at SIGGRAPH years ago, and they’d done nothing for the past 10 months but remove puppy assholes and genitalia for 102 Dalmatians. They had a rigged CG blank puppy groin with fur grooming - the whole 9 yards. I decided short form work was A-OK with me then and there.