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Suspect Creates a Universe of Colors for Canon


Visual effects and design studio SUSPECT has created a universe of colors for a pair of :30s,  Color Montage A-Series and Color Montage Elph, HD and NTSC versions,  for a new campaign for Canon USA Inc., the company which revolutionized digital photography. Touting its DIGIC chip, the digital brain that provides vibrant colors for more beautiful pictures, the Canon spots, created by DCA Advertising  (New York, NY), bowed nationally during the World Series.

What does color really look like? ?At the heart of the design process was the problem of visualizing color. We were given the task of designing dynamic, eye-catching transitions between vignettes, to create the essence of pure color. The solution had to describe the vast universe of colors available with Canon products, explained Tim Crean, SUSPECT Partner/Creative Director/Visual Effects Designer, who directed the 3D artist to craft the look which is a combination of 3D construction and additional 2D sweetening in flame. ?Ultimately, we created a universe of colors and light, color streams which eventually form the palate of the picture it was becoming, he continued. 

His partner, SUSPECT Executive Producer Rob Appelblatt added,?Not only was the task at hand to deliver stunning, integrated transitions, but furthermore to strengthen the Canon and DIGIC chip brand as one that is synonymous with vibrant color and beautiful imagery. 

For the transitions, SUSPECT took cues from the live-action footage. Instead of having them emanate randomly from an image, they tied the transitions to the live-action the throwing of the red pillow in one spot, a balloon in another, activates a transition. Others come out of the camera lens. ?We wanted the transitions to be more interesting, more playful, more unexpected, stated Crean.

For the endtag, Crean and his SUSPECT team created a dynamic horizontal palate, an aesthetically pleasing canvas for the Canon logo and product shots. 

There was also a great deal of traditional live-action compositing including a young boy falling backwards into a vibrant blue swimming pool, a biker in the second spot was composited over an exquisite altered mountainscape, as well as all Canon products and in-camera product imagery.   

Appelblatt added, ?We had an additional design problem to solve. Canon is positioning itself as a company that allows its customers to take photographs but also print them maintaining the high fidelity of the colors. The client wanted their full screen images to feel like snapshots. They really wanted to press home the idea that these moving images can become photos. We tried a number of approaches and ultimately did an additional element shoot in our studios to recompose the scenes. We took great pains to make the photos look as though the live-action film shots were actually pictures casually arranged on a table, ready to be put into a family album.

DCA Advertising Executive Creative Director/Art Director Ron Rosen said of his experience working with SUSPECT, "We had the concept. We shot the footage. But it was SUSPECT that brought the spots to life. They made the commercials interesting to look at. They're smart, creative and dedicated people.

Executive Producer Scott Weitz of Driver Media (New York, NY), the agency producers, added, ?They are incredibly creative and can do people.  They just are able to understand the creative problem, come up with very creative, smart solutions, and work very hard to deliver those solutions when you need them. They were a pleasure to work with.

The SUSPECT creative team, lead by Tim Crean, company Partner/Creative Director/Visual Effects Designer, included Partner/Executive Producer Rob Appelblatt and 3D Artist Floyd Gillis.

DCA Advertising  was represented by Executive Creative Director/Art Director Ron Rosen and Creative Director/Copywriter Steven Biegel. Driver Media (New York, NY) and Executive Producer Scott Weitz, Music Producer Rob Kaplan and Assistant Producer Monika Magda served as the agency producers on the campaign. 

The Elph spot was lensed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Conspiracao Films (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Director Andrucha Waddington, Director of Photography Ricardo Della Rosa and  Executive Producer Alex Mehedff.  A-Series was filmed  in Prague in the Czech Republic Stillking Films (London, UK and Prague, Czech Republic) with Director Toby Tremlett, Director of Photography Thierry Pouget, Executive Producer  Nick Saward and Producer Petr Moravec. 

The editorial assignment was completed by Final Cut  (New York, NY) and Offline Editor Jim Weedon, assisted by Akiko Iwakawa-Grieve and Terressa Tate.

The film-to-tape transfer was completed at Company 3 (New York, NY) by Colorist Billy Gabor.

The final audio mix was engineered at  Sound Lounge (New York, NY) by Mixer Peter Holcolmb.

The spots were underscored by a Rufus Wainwright rendition of the Beatles classic  ?Across the Universe.


In their effects and design studio, located in the heart of Manhattans Flatiron District, Rob Appelblatt and Tim Crean have created a work environment that reflects their personal style and creative sensibilities, a key element of which is never limiting themselves to traditional solutions or boundaries when theyre looking for a creative solution. The studio currently houses two high definition Discreet Flame suites along with an array of Mac and PC -based 2D and 3D software solutions.

Since the companys formation in January 2003, the conceptual design, animation and visual effects company, which services the commercial, broadcast, film, and music industries, has attracted a diverse client base including, Canon, Visa, Samsung, Burger King, Footlocker, FedEx, MTV, Revlon, Sears, Reebok, Schwinn, DKNY, Ricoh, Song Airways, Verizon, Motorola, Tic Tac, Miller Lite, Titleist, MasterCard, Smirnoff, Jolly Rancher, Bass Ale, and Levitra, among many others.
SUSPECT is headquartered at 32 West 22 Street, third floor, New York, New York 10010.  For more information, or to see a reel, contact Executive Producer Rob Appelblatt, phone: 212-358-8475, fax: 212-242-3588 or email: [email protected]   Visit the SUSPECT website at

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