Filed in: Camera, Commercials, News, Postproduction, Visual FX
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DDB London and Brand New School Collaborate for Philips Campaign

November 17, 2011 | By

London-based production company and design studio Brand New School (BNS) recently collaborated with DDB London to create a commercial campaign for Philips’ new PerfectCare iron.

The PerfectCare iron maintains an optimal combination of temperature and steam to keep its soleplate at a constant temperature. This makes it possible to iron fabrics of any fibre content at one temperature. Even when left on fabrics for up to five minutes, there is no risk of burning or marking of garments.

To introduce the product, DDB’s creative team proposed making a road through a landscape of clothes.

“The idea is lovely and the script was beautifully written,” said BNS founder and director Jonathan Notaro. “We simply interpreted it, translating that idea into a serene drive mimicking landscapes a bit more deliberately, and having fun with translating fabric textures and clothes into a narrative arch. We all agreed that a whimsical ending connecting the fabric trail with the real world would be effective, so I thought of introducing a cresting wave idea… drawing on my surfing background much more than any deep understanding of ironing. Tonally, we also wanted to keep the story simple and charming, rather than some grand VFX journey.”

Through the use of practical cinematography, the spots present a seamless cinematic journey showing the PerfectCare ironing different types of clothing. Ultimately, BNS delivered multiple versions of the :30 spot featuring the product in its different colors, along with many shorter versions.

The BNS crew pre-visualized the camera move in 3D, then translated the measurements to construct a set designed with production designer Olly Williams. The art department spent two days building and dressing the set, allowing Notaro and director of photography Tim Green to program the motion control move – and also play with the details in the palette of fabrics. “It was a very collaborative process throughout, and everyone got to pick through our piles of clothes on set and contribute,” Notaro added. “We captured everything in-camera as separate passes for the sun flare (a light), wind, dust, and even steam elements. At one point – to the dismay of the camera folks – we fastened the steamer to the motion control rig to get a believable trail.”

The motion control move and various effects passes were shot against a blue screen using the ARRI Alexa camera system with a Cyclops motion control rig. Adding 3D elements created in Autodesk Maya for the transition from the fabric trail into a home, BNS lead compositor Blake Huber combined all the passes in Autodesk Flame to finish the picture seamlessly.

“Philips’ PerfectCare iron is a genuinely innovative product, which brought with it a real creative opportunity,” said Tom Kingham, of DDB. “The resulting [spot] stems from a fantastic idea, and working with Brand New School allowed us to execute it in the best possible way. The result is a charming and stylish advert, communicating its core idea in an imaginative and unusual fashion.”

For DDB London, the team consisted of creative directors Neil Dawson and Scott Walker, copywriter Ric Hooley, art director Vix Jagger, agency producers Rachel Amess and Vicky Cullen, global business director Dudley Desborough, account director Tom Kingham, account manager Lauren Tomlinson and account executive Naphtali Torrance. Additional BNS credits include London executive producers Kayt Hall and Geraldine McCarthy, producer Georgina Poushkine, VFX supervisor Des Anwar, production manager Michaela Miesen, 3D artist Sam Brody and VFX artists James Ballard and Attilla.

Philips PerfectCare from Brand New School on Vimeo.

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