'Behind the scenes'
The aim for this project was to bring to life the different personalities of the Desperado’s beer range- Original, Red and Mas. The bottles needed to be the life and soul of the party, drawing all of the focus to it whilst conveying the characteristics of each flavour within the environment, lighting and design.
This was a complete creative production by TJ from the initial concept development to final delivery. Agency Dufresne Corrigan Scarlett was clear that they didn’t want to rely on the use of props or people in the scene, to ensure the focus would remain on the product. As with all of our projects, it is important for us to capture our client’s vision right from the start, so we created various mood boards showing different styles of bar, wall and lighting, to hone in on the core elements. We also looked at previous beer campaigns to see what the competition is doing and help us Desperado stand out from the crowd. This developed the creative brief and influenced the way we approached the production from a technical and creative point of view.
Each bottle has its own characteristics which needed to be conveyed in both the design of the shot and the lighting. Focussing here on the newest addition to the Desperado’s family, Red, the aim was to capture the energy and electricity emanating from the bottle. The scene lighting for Red needed to be strong, colourful, nightclub lighting. It was important to give the impression of a very red light, without merely flooding the scene with it.
Housing all of our creative services under one roof; we were free to approach the production using the most suitable techniques for the brief, combining photography with CGI and creative retouching. Once the mood boards had been finalised and the different materials and environments agreed with the client, we decided on the layout for the various elements exploding around the bottle, playing with both the foreground and background to create a depth and richness to the images. To ensure a smooth integration between CGI and photography, we created an angle and composition study to confirm the position of the bottle, bar and background. This allowed us to match our virtual CGI lens with our physical photographic lens for perfect perspective matching.
The first stage of production was to photograph the ‘Red’ bottle. We commissioned photographer Simon Thorpe, who we’ve worked with for many years, to setup the shoot on a bar-style surface in our studio, as agreed in our moodboards. With a guide for how the photography would ultimately interact with the CGI elements within the layout, we were able to accurately direct the shoot so that all necessary imagery was captured first time, ensuring time and cost efficiency, the client was present on-set to sign off angles and shots as they came in. By allowing clients to have such an active role throughout most of our projects, we minimize any creative setbacks and gain the benefit of their insights at the correct times in the production process.
Visually, we liked the idea of making the bottle feel lit from within, giving a sense of energy and strengthening the scene’s connection with electricity. We used accents of blue spotlights to subtly reflect onto the bottle and various gels to split the tones in the highlights. We used a huge plasma ball as the main reference when it came to creating the electrical bolts shooting out of the bottle, fitting with the brief that included blue lightning bolts. We also photographed the plasma ball hundreds of times to build a large library of energy bolts that we could begin to isolate and rebuild into our perfect bottle shaped explosion. To really make the image pop, we also constructed some strands and beams of light in 3D to add some credible depth and perspective to the shot.
Next, we created an identical bottle and bar in 3D, which allowed us to build and render the background and the lightning bolts interacting with the bottle. At this stage, we can create reflections of the light that perfectly integrate with the bottle and bar-top, this is a crucial stage in production as it ties all the elements together.
The final stage in the process is post production; all the elements of both CGI and Photography are passed to our creative retouchers who get to work really bringing the image to life. Using the agency layouts as a base to build on, the image is reconstructed from the ground up, carefully bringing in all the elements to ensure maximum flexibility. Our retouchers also communicate directly with the client to ensure we’re always ticking the right boxes. The photographic bottle and floor are combined with the lighting effects and the CGI background to create our completed scene. Its during the final stages that the importance of all the hard work becomes clear, the angle studies and sign offs mean that all the sections slot together like a jigsaw and ensures a totally photorealistic end result.
The final outcome is as the client intended- a dynamic and eye-catching shot that captures the true essence of Desperados Red. Our ability to effectively manage and creatively lead a project like this, seamlessly blending multiple disciplines in-house, means we can produce the highest quality campaigns on budget and in time.
PRE-PRODUCTION/BAR SCENE STUDY