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Northern Lights Post Creates Subway Ride for Reeses Puffs

How do you turn a moment between friends on the subway into a ride through a dream world of chocolate and peanut butter? Simple, add Reeses Puffs cereal and some spectacular effects, animation and editorial from New Yorks Northern Lights Post (, as evidenced in ?Subway, a new spot created by Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and directed by Clay Williams of MJZ, Los Angeles, CA.

?Our main challenge on ?Subway was creating ways to integrate the live action and special effects throughout the editorial and compositing phases of the project. explains David Gioiella, editor and founding partner at Northern Lights. ?Saatchi & Saatchi showed a lot of trust in our abilities and gave us leeway to take this spot to the next creative level.

?Subway begins with a young teen gleefully snapping pictures of subway riders with his cell phone camera, while his companion looks on embarrassed. His voiceover explains that it is his cousins first subway ride. After his cousin says he had Reeses Puffs cereal for breakfast, the spot quickly veers imaginatively with the subway car turning into a 3D animated chocolate and peanut butter-covered express.

The Physics of Chocolate
For Gioiella, who oversaw the entire post process, the spot posed several illuminating, albeit strange, questions such as, how would liquid chocolate ripple when clinging to a fast-moving train?

?From the beginning, we wanted our train to be realistic, yet still fit easily into the Reeses fantasy world, explains Gioiella. ?I mean, how would chocolate react when clinging to a train moving that fast? What is the density of the chocolate versus the viscosity of the peanut butter? In the end, it came down to some hardcore dynamics and physics to make everything look good.

While Gioiella and NLP handled all 2D animation, digital painting, compositing, art direction and editorial, they collaborated with animation house IBC Digital, Buffalo, NY who handled the 3D work. IBC lead animator Dan Macarin and animation director Ben Porcari both joined Gioiella in supervising the live action shoot.

?We shot a tremendous number of high-resolution stills to use as texture maps on the 3D model, explains Gioiella. ?We also shot the two actors against greenscreen so we could composite them into the fantasy scenes later, all of your standard on set effects tricks.  The key to the spot was how these elements were used later on in the process.

Digital Graffiti
In keeping with the subway theme, vivid orange and yellow designs flare and pulsate behind the kids as they experience the taste of the cereal, simultaneously elevating the sense of excitement and intense flavor that runs through the spot.

?We tried to give the transition elements an energetic, graffiti-like look, says Porcari. ?One of our artists at IBC actually does a lot of graffiti in his spare time. I paired him up with our CGI guys and the resulting effect is fantastic, maintaining a genuinely urban feel even as it expresses this orange and yellow burst of flavor.

The full train was modeled in 3D and the interior shot of the kids were added as a 2D element and tracked to the moving train. From there, NLP and IBC built the interior of the train around the kids.

?The spot has been very well received and shows what can come out of a good working collaboration between all parties involved, says Gioiella. ?We are proud of the spot because it evolves the level of creativity and excellence found in the campaign.

About Northern Lights Post:
Named one of Inc Magazines 500 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in America, Northern Lights Post was founded in 1995 by editors Mark Littman and David Gioiella. Since then the company has earned a reputation as a leading creative editorial/post production house thanks to its work for such top advertising agencies as Saatchi & Saatchi, J. Walter Thompson, Lowe and Ogilvy; and television networks Comedy Central, OLN, Sci-Fi Channel, USA Network and Voom HD. In addition, the company has edited numerous long-form television shows includes MTV's popular show Cribs and numerous VH1 specials. Long-time supporters of the independent film scene, the company has also been behind such films as ?Ursa Minor, a 20 minute short co-directed and edited by Gioiella (2003 NY Independent Film Festival) and the feature documentary ?Red, White and Yellow, directed, produced and edited by Littman (winner of the Audience Award at the 1998 The Hamptons Film Festival; screened at the New York and Chicago Underground Festivals and the Bangkok (Thailand) Film Festival). 

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Creative Credits:
Client:   Reeses Puffs Cereal
Project:   ?Subway (:30)
Airdate:   July 2004

Agency:  Saatchi & Saatchi, New York
Creative Director:  David Shea
Producer:   Hafeez Saheed
Art Director:   Moss Freedman 
Copywriter:    Eric Mintz

Editorial/Post:  Northern Lights Post, New York
Editor:    David Gioiella
Sound Designer   David Gioiella
Assitant Editor:   Jerry Petitto
Executive Producer:   Arthur Tremeau

Production Company: MJZ, Los Angeles, CA
Director:   Clay Williams
Producer:   Lisa Ruffler

3D Animation:  IBC Digital, Buffalo, NY
Animation Director:  Ben Porcari
Lead Animator:   Dan Macarin

Music:   Bang Music & Sound Design, New York
Composer:   Espen Noreger
Producer:   Sara Russo

Transfer Facility: Nice Shoes, New York
Telecine Artist:   Scott Burch

Audio Mixing Facility: Sound Lounge, New York
Audio Mixer:   Glenn Landrum, Philip Loeb


Page: 1

Related Keywords:Northern Lights Post, Saatchi & Saatchi, Reese?s Puffs

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