Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Fantastic Commercial


(Video Link)


AdFreak suggests that this commercial might be the best of the year so far. It's for Johnny Walker brand whiskey, and traces the history of that brand in one long, continuous take for six minutes. Unless there clever and hidden special effects, actor Robert Carlyle had to have, and did, flawless timing.

HT: TigerHawk

36 comments:

truevyne said...

brilliant!

Rev. Jeremy Smith said...

I see some special effects at the TV sideshow (around 4:00): the background mountains don't zoom properly (which could indicate a blue screen). But otherwise, well done.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of places where a cut could have occured, i.e. the first at the grocery door. An uncut master shot like this is technically possible but would take so much time and money that this piece was almost certainly shot in more manageable pieces. Children of Men has a much bigger master shot set-piece during a chaotic battle. Even that has a digitally edited cut in the middle. However Palma's Snake Eyes has a very impressive opening shot without any trickery. The rest of the film is also technically impressive, pity the plot and acting don't match up.

Anonymous said...

Actually I was wrong - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120832/trivia

Anonymous said...

@Jeremy Smith
It's not a bluescreen it's a dolly zoom, they up the focal so as not to reveal too soon the different props along the roadside, making the timing of the camerwork all the more impressive

José said...

There are "VFX" credits, but I'm not sure if that really means anything.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of really long scenes from the movies (Fin de Semaine anyone?) check out Slingblade, if you haven't already. The party scene, which quickly turns into a big ugly fight, is one of the greatest one take scenes ever. Multiple characters, lots of dialogue, and the whole thing depends on this kid (great actor, don't remember his name) coming in on cue and giving a really emotional performance, which he does, throwing beer cans and such. It's very impressive, really. Just had to mention it.

Olive said...

I wonder how the dolly was set up.
Steadycam with a dolly grip, grip with hands on camera operators hips? Nah!
Process car with insanely good suspension? The rocks on the road and the quality of the terrain are daunting to say the least.
Golf cart with steadycam on it?
Hot air balloon?
UFO?
Majik?

matlewy said...

Check out the opening of "The Player" for a great long take.

Anonymous said...

I hope you all are aware of the extremely long cut at the beginning of Welles's Touch of Evil.

Will said...

The longshot in "Atonement" was quite impressive.

John Julian said...

According to the director, this is one take..

Here is the interview:
http://www.shots.net/article_detail.asp?atype=1&id=9071

Anonymous said...

Let's not nitpick at it. It is what it is. Great.

wafflesnfalafel said...

Stay thirsty my friend...

Jimbo said...

"Rev. Jeremy Smith said...

I see some special effects at the TV sideshow (around 4:00): the background mountains don't zoom properly (which could indicate a blue screen). But otherwise, well done."

As Anonymous above pointed out, that wasn't a blue screen or composition error... but a classic cinema technique of framing a shot and inducing a sense of feeling into it... The Dolly Zoom. Also known as the "vertigo shot", Hitchcock Zoom, Depth of Field Shot and Flat Zoom. You'll see lots of examples of it on youtube. (Best one is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vm54QL8iZc ) You see it the most during panic inducing or "grim realization" moments on film.

It involves zooming in (or out) the camera's lense while going in the opposite direction at the same rate of zoom on a track, stedicam or cart. Since the cart/stedicam was definitely moving backwards, they zoomed IN towards Robert in order to prevent the TV's from showing too soon... which gives you the impression that the mountains just suddenly grew apart from everything else.

The reason for Robert didn't zoom in along with the mountains is because the pace of the camera slightly picked up during the zoom, keeping Robert roughly the same size until the cameras zoomed back out again (you see more of his legs after the zoom out).

The effect was done probably to help time the reveal, but I liked a (probably unintended) affect it had: Setting up a slightly disorientated feeling to heighten the reveal.

Impressive work on this commercial.

Anonymous said...

I DO NOT believe the cow is real.

The director says it is, but what does that prove?

Anonymous said...

That was a fantastic advert! However is should NOT have been subtitled. The subtitles lure the eye away from the advert and he's speaking in a scottish accent not another language for fucks sake!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, seriously. Why in the fuckin' hell must modern television put subtitles on everything? Drives me insane? I've seen subtitles on Brits, people from the Deep South in the States and a guy from Jersey. WTF.

Anonymous said...

er...for deaf viewers?
Dohhhhhhhhhhh

ReverendTed said...

Toward the end, he kept looking down. I'm wondering if he was watching where he was walking or if there was a prompter traveling with the camera.

Yank said...

Thank God for subtitles!

Jadu Saikia said...

Awesome.Nice short movie.

http://all-mixed.blogspot.com/search/label/Funny

Anonymous said...

No wonder it's the most favourite Scotch Whisky loved by Indians across the board.I loved the ad. specially the secial effects.It can win the Global Award for the best ad. Keep up the good work.....Tony Chainani, Mumbai, India.

Anonymous said...

Too long!

Anonymous said...

BECAUSE OF ITS POPULARITY IT IS BEING WIDELY ADULTERED AND I HOPE SOMETHING IS DONE FOR HIM TO "KEEP WALKING"

RGP

Anonymous said...

fun to watch as a short film but in a way its a failure of a commercial. it touts the brands status as a big corporate mass market commercial whiskey as opposed to something crafty and tasty...

Anonymous said...

I loved the bit at the start when he told the piper to "shut it". However, I found the rest of the advert well performed but boring.

David said...

Great ad but why did the toilet cleaner not also get a mention in the 20% of the clip? Wish I could get the same amount of useful information when I buy a burger. Meat from Dolly, Slaughtered by... Knife held by... Blood drained by.... etc. What's with these wanks?

Anonymous said...

Very good,

I missed the bit where he talked about benefitting for many years on the hard working people of Kilmarnock, then shutting up shop and abandoning the town to save some money for Diageo.

Johnny would be turning in his grave.

Freelance Cameraman said...

Great piece of camera work for this job. I just wonder where the rest of the crew were when the camera pans left as Robert Carlyle walks into the distance.

Anonymous said...

Why does the chap mention malt whisky when the lable on the bottles (Black, Gold & Red) do not.

AGAPE said...

The cows real cos in the acknowledgements, an animal handler is present.

subbarao.jaggaram said...

simply classic..i will keep walking with you johnnie

neelamekan said...

impressive!imformative to johnny walker range lovers, they too will walk along towards the journey that may not end.

Anonymous said...

Why do people keep referring to "whiskey" ?
There's no "e" in Scotch !

Anonymous said...

I don't care what all the comments are about the special effects,but as far as I am concerned A Black Label will always be my drink