STORY’s David Orr recently used a combination of stop motion and motion control to create the illusion of rooms that furnish themselves in three spots for VCF via agency SBC Advertising. In the spots empty rooms become populated with sofas, beds, tables, dressers and other handsome accoutrements as happy couples look on.
The new spots pick up on an earlier series of ads, also directed by Orr, aimed at refreshing VCF’s brand and making the retailer more appealing to younger consumers seeking style and low prices. “The first spots were very colorful and brought a new energy to VCF’s advertising,” explained Orr. “This time around, we went further, adding even more energy and creating animation in larger rooms with wider vistas.”
The illusions of the self-assembling rooms were created through a combination of stop motion and motion control techniques and required meticulous planning and art direction. “There were a lot of moving parts and they all had to be tied together in a seamless whole,” said Orr. “We needed to be very meticulous while shooting, because if we made a single mistake, we’d have to start over.”
The director explained that the secret to making it work was to shoot in reverse. The production team started with fully furnished rooms, then removed one item at a time. In the finished spots, each sequence plays backwards. “Each sequence is designed so that the talent interacts with the very last item that appears,” Orr noted. “We wanted natural reactions so made sure they weren’t thinking about marks. It worked flawlessly, and kept the energy up.”
“Orr and the entire STORY crew were epic,” said SBC Advertising executive creative director Scott Mylin. “Not only did they make $300,000 worth of VCF furniture look amazing, they did it with a little something called panache. Also, they pulled it off in the middle of a polar vortex that shut down the entire city of Chicago and made a complex shoot more complex. You’ve got to love a director who will look you square in the eyeballs and tell you that frostbite is ‘not a problem.’ We couldn’t be happier with the result.”