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R!OT Bounces Back With Office Maxs Rubber Band Man

Spot nominated for Emmy in ?Outstanding Commercial? category (September 16, 2004)

R!OT Santa Monica turned June gloom into a sunny day at the beach in providing visual effects and compositing services for OfficeMax. Out of Chicago agency, DDB, the 30-second commercial marks the return of the Rubber Band Man, the young man with the towering head of hair and a cart filled with office supplies whose appearance in an earlier Office Max ad made it among the most popular commercials of the year.

In the new spot, the Rubber Band Man heralds the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year by quashing kids vacation fun. Snatching items from his cart, the funky fellow exchanges their baseball bats for T-squares, basketballs for globes and life-preservers for backpacks.

R!OT Visual Effects Artist, Les Umberger, worked extensively on the beach sequence that opens the spot. As the scene was shot on an overcast day, Umberger replaced the gray skies with a field of blue. ?I also replaced the ocean with an element from a separate telecine pass, color corrected to make the water a deeper blue, Umberger recalled. ?And I did a lot of work on the sand, adding shadows and highlights that werent there because of the cloud cover.

A brief insert showing the rearview mirror of the Rubber Band Mans cart was pieced together almost entirely in post. ?The mirror itself was shot against green screen and I composited in both the beach background and the image of the Rubber Band Man ?reflected in the glass, Umberger explained. ?I also animated the mirror so that it appears to bounce the way it would if the cart was being pushed along on the sand. To make that look natural, all of the elements had to be stabilized and tracked together.

Similar tricks occur in other parts of the spot. One of the more clever visuals shows the Rubber Band Man placing a notebook in the hand of a skateboarder as he flies off a ramp and turns in the air. The shot was accomplished via a split screen effect. ?The skateboarder had the notebook in his hand from the beginning of the shot and I simply erased it up to the point of the hand off, Umberger said. ?I painted in the notebook by hand in the frames where the hand off actually occurs.

About Ascent Media Group
Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L, LMC.B), provides creative and technical services to the media and entertainment industries through its Creative Services, Creative Sound Services, Media Management Services and Networks Services groups. At more than 70 facilities in the regions of Southern California, New York, London, Atlanta and Singapore and at locations throughout the world, Ascent Media Group provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content.

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Commercial Credits

Air date: July

Title: The Partys Over

Length: 30-seconds

Client: Office Max

Agency: DDB, Chicago. Bob Scarpelli, Chief Creative Officer; Don Pogany, Group Creative Director; Vinny Warren, Creative Director; Scott Smith, Tim Nichols and Bruce Ritter, Associate Creative Directors; Pete Taylor, Art Director; Shane Colton, Copywriter; Paul Gunnarson, Producer.

Production Company:  Anonymous Content, Culver City, CA. David Kellogg, director; Andy Trainees, executive producer; Phil Rose, producer; Jonathan Schwartzman, director of photography.

Location: Los Angeles.

Editing Company: Chrome, Santa Monica, CA. Adam Parker, editor.

Music Company:  Licensed track (?Rubberband Man) by The Spinners.  

Visual EFX Company: R!OT Santa Monica. Les Umberger, Visual Effects Artist/Compositor.


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Related Keywords:R!OT, Office Max, Emmy, R!OT Santa Monica, visual effects, compositing, DDB, Les Umberger, Liberty Media Corporation,

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