Alkaseltzer "Clam"

Completed December 11, 1999
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There were a total of 5 spots created for Bayer Mexico, under my direction. The advertising agency was BBDO Mexico and I had the pleasure of working with creative director Carl Jones. All of the spots called for live action integration, so there was a fair amount of shooting done for these jobs, also under my supervision. The live action shooting was conducted by “Generator” in Toronto, under the direction of George Morita, also a pleasure to work with. The sound mix was conducted by Clive Barker at “Louder” in Toronto. I’m quite pleased with how the spots turned out, and this is a result of having extremely talented people to work with.

Alkaseltzer “Termite” and “Clam” also won a couple of awards.

  • alkaseltzer_clam_image05
  • alkaseltzer_clam_image10

All spots were animated using Softimage 3.8, rendered with Mental Ray and composited with Discreet products. The motion blur pass was done with a post-render custom plugin (written by Colin Withers) which was much faster than Mental Ray’s. The last spot, Alkaseltzer “Termite”, was rendered in Mental Ray using global illumination to achieve the photoreal look.

This is one of my favorite spots simply because the whole thing is such a strange, grotesque, and ludicrous concept. I think that it if for these reasons that it is so funny and has managed to win several awards. This spot involved heavy live action compositing which was shot in one day, and turned out to be an accurate depiction of my animatic. This animatic proved to be indispensable as it worked out camera fielding, staging, composition, timing, etc, thus leaving the entire shooting day for just that – shooting, instead of wasting time working out any of these last minute issues. The live action shoot went smoothly, with the exception of the glass rig which involved sucking out the water from the glass quickly through a vacuum, as the clam drinks it. The props lady couldn’t hold the glass steady enough and we ended up having to rotoscope it out of each frame, stabilize it in Flame, and re-comp it.

The set design worked out nicely, especially since I managed to find a checkered tablecloth which exaggerated the forced perspective, with the long vertical and horizontal red lines. In addition, the set’s color palette makes the clam stand out and brings the viewer’s attention to it throughout the spot.

The clam model is based after a particular type of clam which is very common in Mexico. We shot many reference photographs while at the pre-production meeting down there for lighting, modeling and texture maps.

Finally, we created two final versions of this spot: the client version and the director’s version. In the former, the clam releases a sigh of relief at the end and, in the latter, he boasts a loud “Barney Gumble” burp.

This spot was modeled and animated with Softimage, rendered with Mental Ray, and composited with Discreet’s Flame.

Credits

Directed by Richard Rosenman.
Animated by Richard Rosenman and Chris Johnson.
Composited by Marco Polsinelli.

Produced at Topix.

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