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Quiet Man Shows Pepsi in Big Slam

(July 19, 2001)
The ballpark is packed for the All Star game. Ken Griffey Jr., is at the plate. The pitcher unleashes a 96 mile-per-hour fastball, but wait, Griffey seems distracted by something in a new commercial for Pepsi-Cola, from BBDO and Pytka with visual effects by Quiet Man.

The spot "Big Slam" (:30, :60), which premiered during the MLB All Star game, takes one inside Mr. Griffey's mind at the instant the pitcher releases the ball. Time slows to a crawl, even as the ball is cruising at 96 mph. But Griffey is at ease, the voice-over revealing his thoughts wander to piano lessons, fretting over the care of his fish, even humming a few tunes, all while the ball appears to inch into range. Griffey's quiet time is interrupted, however, when he notices All Star teammate Sammy Sosa in the dugout about to sample his Pepsi. With a split second decision, Griffey swats the ball directly into the dugout inches from Sosa.

"This was one of those jobs where just about every shot was a composite and no viewer will notice any of them," laughs Quiet Man founder and lead visual effects artist Johnnie Semarad. "Which, I suppose, is thankless, but then again, if it wasn't thankless I wouldn't be doing a good job."

"The initial challenge was that the spot is set during the All Star game, which was weeks off. So we essentially had to create it. Director Joe Pytka filmed a game earlier in the season to get crowd shots and the field, and later shot the players performing in front of a green screen. It was my job to meld the two together into one seamless whole."

The composites, are in fact completely seamless, leading one to believe that a game is actually taking place. "That's the other side of the job," stated Semarad. "There are the effects that are supposed to pop out at you, like the slow moving ball. If it's physically impossible, it has to be an effect. But, something like Ken Griffey Jr. at the plate and Sammy Sosa in the dugout, that's completely indicative to the setting and the believability of the story has to slide by unnoticed, or it all falls apart. So, its not just about creating objects, but rather about the entire scenario."

Quiet Man is the winner of 2001 Cannes Grand Prix for Commercials and of a Gold Lion, The One Show Best of Show," and Best of Show at the Addy's for several Fox Sports network campaigns for agency Cliff Freeman & Partners.

Quiet Man, a creative problem solving visual effects company founded in 1995 by Flame artist Johnnie Semerad and executive producer Amy Taylor has attracted leading brands like Pepsi and Nike and won all of the industry's top awards, including: Clios, Emmys, One Show, Pencils, American Advertising Awards, Cannes Lions, a Grammy and AICP recognition. The Quiet Man philosophy-Do it with style. Keep it comfortable for everyone concerned and pay dividends.

Spot: Pepsi Title: "Big Slam" (:30) Air Date: July 10, 2001

Agency: BBDO, NYC Agency Producer: Gene Lafaro

Production Co.: PYTKA, NYC Director: Joe Pytka Director of Photography: Joe Pytka Director of Art: Chris Cole Copywriter: Mark Wegwerth

Visual Effects: Quiet Man, NYC Executive Producer: Amy Taylor Producer: Dave Moore Lead Art: Johnnie Semerad 3D Artists: David Bernkopf, Michael Wharton, Flame Artists: Charles Quinn, Colin Stackpole

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