A new TV spot for Old Navy, entitled “Happy Pants,” recently integrated the highly innovative PhotoBubble tool into its production. The spot stars Julia Louis-Drefus, and was shot on a soundstage at Sony Studios in late August by Hungry Man Productions, through New York’s Chandelier Creative ad agency.
The PhotoBubble gives filmmakers, videographers and FX companies an inflatable, externally-lit, 360-degree filming environment. PhotoBubbles serve as a backlit inflatable structure – in essence, a giant “soft box” for reflection-free photography – and each one is custom designed and built, either on a stage, or within another large open-space structure. PhotoBubbles are designed for one-time use, and are removed upon completion of each production.
The PhotoBubble used for the Old Navy spot was 50 feet wide x 75 feet long x 25 feet tall, and housed within it a “fashion show” set with the premise that Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays a fashion designer. Wearing a white wig with purple tips, a sleek black dress and faking a thick French accent, Louis-Drefus orders everyone around backstage during a fashion show. She runs into three women who are wearing jeans from Old Navy. When she learns that all jeans at the store are on sale for $15, she whispers in her regular American accent that she’s putting the three women in charge of the fashion show, while she heads off to an Old Navy store.
“It was interesting working with a PhotoBubble for the second time,” said production designer Laura Fox “You realize the possibilities are endless. The first time we had to create a surreal brain. For this new Old Navy shoot ‘Happy Pants,’ we had to create the backstage of a fashion show and hint at the fashion show going on. Neither commercial had the money to build sets large enough, where you could shoot 360-degrees and never see off your sets. I know many people think the PhotoBubble is mainly for car shoots because you can get such a beautiful even light. But I really see so many more applications for this unique production tool.”
Invented in 2003 by director Roman Coppola for a Prius TV spot he was directing, the PhotoBubble has since evolved into a company that has serviced dozens of projects for major end-clients, including KIA Motors, Chevrolet, Toyota, Bud Light, Intel, Ford, BMW, FOX TV and Kraft.