Creative Solutions for the Moving Image

The Challenge:

I was tasked with creating a production and visual effects solution for a TV commercial for an Opel compact van. This was not a typical car commercial. The agency creatives Lars Killi and Jo Johansson took a very creative and oblique approach which resulted in commercial that won awards at the Cannes Festival and within the McCann Worldwide Group.  I co-directed the spots with Agency producer Torleif Hauge.

The Solution:

I wanted to keep the simplicity of the concept which needed careful planning. My main task was in solving the visual effects requirements and the helping to produce the shooting of the film. Bringing in animal expert Trevor Smith helped to solve the spot with a mouse which could appear to interact with an elephant. The mouse had a co-star, a rat that performed the scenes of standing since it had the ability to stand on hind-legs. The mouse appears only at the beginning with it moving into frame, after which the rat takes over. Pheromones applied in a straight line gave the rat, a mark to follow. The animal was resized to look more like a mouse. The elephant trunk was a model created by Julian Parry. The rest of the spots involving a tennis racket and football involved a sugar glass window which was added to the back of the van allowing for a great glass effect when filmed at high-speed. Today this would all be done in CG, including the car.

The Result:

The spot is great example of a great concept, with a minimal style and a successful execution. The sound is of course another big part of the story, with great work by Pete Leggett of Clearcut. Garnering a number of awards, the films once again put the spotlight on the very creative work being done in Norway at the time.