craftsmanship
effects
commercials

The making of a great commercial

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I didn’t watch the Superbowl, so I didn’t see any of the commercials. Had I watched, I would have seen — and thoroughly enjoyed — this Old Spice body wash commercial. Leo Laporte saw it, though, and was so utterly blown away by it that he got the creative team who created it on for an interview. The interview is illuminating in several aspects, but the whole point of the discussion was to find out whether the commercial was composited using digital tricks, or if it was all done in real time. It’s the difference between Star Wars Episode One’s digital trickery and the visual — but not digital — trickery of Star Wars Episode IV.

Watch the whole thing. It’s nineteen minutes long, but it’s good for you.

You watched it all, right? You aren’t peeking down here while it’s still playing, are you?

Seriously, you’re done?

No? I’ll wait.

So, you watched it. You know now that it was all done with visual tricks, but not digital tricks. I can’t express in words how happy it made me watching this commercial, and then learning that it was done with real sets, real cranes, and real old-fashioned ingenuity. The next time some kid asks you why they should stay in school, and go to shop class, or learn any kind of basic carpentry, point them to this commercial. There’s still a place, and a very important place at that, for real things: real craftsmanship and real cleverness.

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