Visual effects house Timber recently contributed effects for an ongoing ad campaign for 1-800 Contacts via agency Pereira & O’Dell. Directed by Epoch’s Phil Morrison and edited by Arcade’s Greg Scruton, the campaign uses absurd narratives to capture the real panic people feel when running out of contact lenses. In “Snake,” an animal control officer attempts to help a man who has been swallowed by an enormous snake.
Originally slated to run in January, the agency team shifted the airdate when they recognized the intense interest in the Discovery show Eaten Alive. To further connect the two, the spot’s voice over was updated to have the snake-eaten man murmur “I hope this makes me famous.”
The spot was shot with a practical snake created by Legacy FX, which began as a 3D model. A Legacy team member assumed the physical role of the man inside the snake, which was manipulated by an external artist using mechanics and a rod during the shoot. Timber then rebuilt the snake digitally using over 50 photographs to form the model. This was then animated and composited to blend in with the giant rubber reptile. Timber also digitally recreated the hand of the animal control officer, who is too distracted by his need for contacts to offer much help.
“We always love working with Phil and the people at Pereira & O’Dell were really fun and easy to collaborate with,” said Timber creative director Jonah Hall. “We were really excited when we found out that ‘Snake’ was going out early because of Eaten Alive because it was such a great context.”