Spot Title: It’s Time for Real / Eat Local, Eat Real
Client: Unilever Canada
Brand: Hellmann’s

Agency: Ogilvy, Toronto
Chief Creative Officer: Nancy Vonk
Associate Creative Director/AD: Ivan Pols
Copywriter: Siobhan Dempsey
Agency Producer: Brenda Surminski

Director Live Action: Steve Gordon
Director Animation & VFX: Crush
Production Companies: Sons and Daughters, Toronto
& Crush, Toronto
Executive Producers: Dan Ford, Sons and Daughters, Jo-ann Cook, Crush
Producers: Kate Dale, Sons and Daughters, Stephanie Pennington, Crush
Creative Directors (Crush): Gary Thomas, Stefan Woronko
Art Director (Crush): Yoho Hang Yue
Animation/CG Supervisor (Crush): Aylwin Fernando
Editor: Kim Knight, Crush Cuts

Music: Pirate, Toronto

Interactive: Dashboard, Toronto

Q&A with Crush Creative Director Gary Thomas

Q: How did the job come to Crush?

Gary Thomas: Ogilvy contacted us early in the New Year with this project. They were looking at a variety of animation/design and live action houses. The concept was in place but the specifics were still open. They had been through a number of houses and then we came into the mix. Stefan Woronko took a stab at presenting a statistic and bringing his inimitable magic to it. The creative team (Ivan Pols, Siobhan Dempsey and Nancy Vonk) responded really well, but wanted to make sure that food was the star of the piece. We decided to work with director Steve Gordon, at Sons and Daughters, to create something that was part table top, part graphics and part documentary.

Q: Tell me about the production process of this spot.

Gary Thomas: We have done other interactive pieces, but this was far and away the biggest single project. For a start, it’s nearly three minutes long, involved a twenty hour shoot with two sets of stop frame animation, a month of CG pre viz where we literally built every shot in CG ahead of time so that everyone could be a part of the process. The schedule had a really tight finishing schedule so we really needed to have all the nuts and bolts worked out before the shoot.

We had a lot of Crush on this project at various points. Stefan Woronko and myself were initially responsible for the creative direction on the Crush side, taking the hard dry statistics and finding different ways to present them in our “world” (a family dinner table). We then added Yoho Yue and Gav Patel who added design and animation elements. The CG team consisted of department head Aylwin Fernando (who didn’t sleep very much), and a team four other animators. We also had four Flame artists led by Greg Dunlop who tracked cleaned roto’d and composited all the shots. We had Kim Knight at Crush Cuts as our editor so we were able the process streamlined.

Q: What were the challenges and what was your favourite part?

Gary Thomas: We all found the statistics pretty eye opening. I think everyone involved changed the way we buy our food. Yoho’s wife had a baby girl in the middle of the project, and I grew a playoff beard which I’ve been reluctant to shave (just superstitious I guess). Challenges early on were the levels of legal approval the team at Unilever and Ogilvy had to go through on all the stats. Everyone wanted to make sure that the information was fair and irrefutable. All the food in the shoot was Canadian, which is no small challenge in spring. I don’t think I’ve ever been hugged by agency and their clients in twenty years in the business. That was definitely a high point.

Q: Anything else you think I should know?

Gary Thomas: You should think about where your food comes from.