Wrigley’s | Universe
With the help of some friends at DDB Chicago, we were able to craft the creation and destruction of the entire universe… don’t worry, it’s only fruit. If you’re into primordial ooze, dinosaurs, sasquatch, ice ages, vikings, and fruity apocalypse in general, then keep reading…
Creating the Universe
So check it out… Wrigleys gum lasts longer than it took to create the universe. We were approached by DDB Chicago with a pretty fleshed out concept. The agency had already created a solid animatic that hit all the beats they wanted to hit. We were like… so wait… what do you want us to do exactly?
But it was pretty obvious what was missing… good design. After a little discussion, we decided that we wanted to follow the evolution of this fruity planet as if it were a technicolor wonderland physically created entirely out of fruit. Every single element within the landscape was to have a basis in photographic reality. We did an initial style exploration pass, then knocked those frames into a storyboard/color script. Heres what all that looked like.
In addition, the script called for little characters to populate this planet. We thought it would be cool if we designed original little dudes, then stuck them in there as if they were little paper cutouts living amongst the fruit. We took these photos as a test for our pitch.
We scheduled a massive shoot, with ultimately four separate crews shooting. All of these units generated an overwhelming amount of elements to mess with. It was a bit daunting to go through, but it left us with more than enough material to create a cool piece. Heres how shit broke down on the day…
Our hero still photography unit was headed by Christine Peters, she lit and shot the assortment of fruit to look absolutely beautiful. This commercial is all about taste appeal!
On top of the regular fruit she was shooting, we had a couple of fruit carvers and sculptors whipping up some buildings for the fruit city part of the spot. They were totally freestyling it, coming up with sweet shit on the spot.
A second general photography unit was led by our pal Teri Fisher. She came down on short notice and just whipped through a ton of stuff. We needed a lot of angles of stuff to pick and choose from, and she was there getting down and dirty covering this stuff from every imaginable angle. Her shots came in very handy.
Ultimately our stills units took over 3000 photos, totaling 65.7 Gigs. It was a horrendous task to go through it, make selects, and begin the fun process of isolating the fruit from the bg. As much as we try not to, sometimes our interns gotta do crap like that. Big props to Max!
So much fruit was harmed in the making of this commercial, it was a real shame.
Next door to stills, fellow Greendot director Rebecca Baehler did us a solid and DP’d our 35mm motion unit. Rebecca and her crew shot a ton of practical fruity motion effects plate; everything from watermelon turntables, to timelapse ice melting on a field of blackberries, to a giant strawberry being dropped into a tank of orange juice. She handed us some of the fucking cleanest bluescreen photography we’ve seen. Shit was tight.
Whilst researching high speed photography we learned of Nathan Nebeker and his Millisecond camera. The thing shoots an obnoxious 12,000 frames per second. The guys over at West FX rigged up some sweet explosives inside lots of different fruit, and we let’r rip. The camera itself was like a goddamned freight train. It was loud and scary. At the safety meeting, we were told that if someone bumped the camera while it was charged and spinning, that because of its internal inertia, it would roll right through a person, and most likely the walls of the building. Rad. Here’s what we collected with that bad boy, a lot of this shows up in the front and endtags.
FOR LOVE OF GOD WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!
By the end of the high speed shoot, our protected fruit exploding staging area was a disgusting filthy stinky room of sloppy death. Because of our requests for a couple of different materials to be exploded, a bag of honey, and a balloon filled with milk, it was pretty rank when it came time to clean up. Overall, the entire shoot was a behemoth, but it was really fun. Have a look!
P.S. On a side note. Just because you freeze something in liquid nitrogen, doesn’t mean it will shatter like the T-1000. A simple quarter is quite strong. Strawberries on the other hand… not so much.
It’s all pretty straight forward from there. We took all of these assets back to the lair and got to work. Our designers sat down and got to work on fleshing out the initial design boards, expanding on areas that needed expanding, and shuffling things around to always maintain positive taste appeal.
We also took this as an opportunity to knock out a ton of cool little dudes to populate the world. One of our friends/interns, Tuna Bora, really went to town and blasted through tons of ideas.
Layouts were designed and approved, a time-lapse style of animation was blocked out through the length of the spot and all of our fanciness was added. Take a look at one of our early progress prints of the spot if you wanna see how shitty this stuff looks as its developing.
We met some great new folks on the job, and strengthened relationships with some old pals. It was a great experience all around. Just look at how much fun everyone’s having!!!
Once it was over… we prepped ourselves for part 2 of the campaign.
Now go check out Evolution!