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Click 3x Ignites Price War for Meijer

Studio Produces New Campaign Where Saws and Sweaters Duke It Out

Click 3x provided end-to-end production and post production services to New York ad agency Devito/Verdi for a new campaign for Meijer Stores in which sweaters, saws, DVD players and other products go head to head in a battle of low prices. Taking the project from pre-production through final delivery, Click 3x provided a package of services that included 3D pre-visualization, live action and tabletop production, editorial, visual effects and compositing, and final post.

The campaign includes five spots, each featuring a pair of items, identical except for their cost with clever sight gags used to illustrate the point that ?a low price beats a high price every time. One spot shows a pair of fans, with the low-priced one turning toward the other and blowing it out of the frame. Another spots pairs DVD players as a sheriff, appearing in a scene from an old movie Western on the low priced system, shoots a villain pictured on the high priced player. Each spot ends with a graphic of the Meijer tagline, ?Higher Standards. Lower prices.

Click 3x Peter Corbett directed the spots and employed an incredible assortment of in-camera and post production visual effects techniques to pull off the jokes. For Jigsaw, where one saw cuts a hole around its rival, Corbett used a motion control unit to precisely control the speed and path of the saws and they moved through the wood.

?We initially discussed a CG approach, but settled on a practical, almost retro execution to emphasize the fact that this is real stuff, Corbett observed. ?We pre-visualized the spot in CG, to get the timing right and to perfect our plan of attack, but from there it was largely accomplished in-camera.

Corbett employed similar ingenuity in Snowplow, where one machine buries another in an avalanche of snow. The director had the two plows positioned on a platform and used a snow making machine to through artificial flakes from one side to the other. In post, Click 3x compositor Mark Szumski stitched together frames drawn from an extended take of this action to build the finished spot and make it appear as though the snow is coming from the machine on the right.

One element that required extensive post work was the Western footage used in DVD Player. ?We needed a moment of the good guy and bad guy staring each other done, explained Click 3s Flame artist Mark Szumski. ?As that didnt exist in the footage, we created it from still frames. I animated the characters arms, put in camera moves, and added 3D tumbleweed, dust and even a horse into the background.

Szumski added that the sequences final moment involved similar digital manipulation. ?I morphed between two shots of the hero to make it appear as though he drops to one knee after firing, he said.

Perhaps the most complex blending of techniques occurs in Sweater where a pair of pullovers hanging in a closet engage in sleeve to sleeve combat. Corbett hired a team of puppeteers who manipulated the sweaters with a system of plastic rods. In post Szumski removed the rods and seamlessly joined parts of seven different film takes to create the Punch and Judy fight sequence.

?We morphed between shots and added motion blur to make it all to appear to be one take, Szumski said. ?Touching up the sweaters after we removed the puppeteers rigs was also a challenge due to the texture of the sweaters. It was very thick. As a result we not only had to deal with light and dark areas in the fabric, we also had to ensure that the textures were consistent.

Corbett later noted that Sweater had a special resonance for him. ?I have twin boys who are fond of fighting with each other, so I knew exactly what this spot was about, he said. ?One of the key things I did with the shooting boards was to show how each sweater contributed to the escalating violence.

Jason Mayo was executive producer for Click 3x.

Click 3X provides visual effects, computer animation and broadcast design services to the advertising and television industries. The studio is located at 16 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010. For more information, contact Phil McIntyre, Click 3X Partner and Head of National Sales and Marketing at (212) 627-1900, or visit

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Related Keywords:Click 3x, Meijer Stores , Peter Corbett


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