"You smell like you look ama.." "Amazing, I know"
The Old Spice Dange Zone "jungle Wilderness" ad brings our hero through piranha-infested waters, gator-swamps, trafficated jungle roads, and trees full of jungle snakes. Of course this does not stop him, even if he's picked clean to the bone below the belt (lacking that bit of anatomy one might want to use when getting lucky with the ladies, I'll note... Yes, I went there.)
Wieden + Kennedy Portland’s new Old Spice campaign, ‘Danger Zone’, treks determinedly into the action-adventure genre with ‘Jungle’. The spot features a new Old Spice guy who will stop at nothing to meet his lovely lady. Shot on location in Auckland, NZ, Biscuit’s Tim Godsall directed and, in another winning collaboration with W+K on Old Spice, The Mill LA produced VFX.
“The big challenge was getting all that action into one spot,” says Robert Sethi, our VFX Supervisor/Lead 3D Artist on ‘Jungle’. The shoot included over a week of prep during which rehearsals meticulously choreographed encounters with a crocodile, jungle snakes, piranhas and a speeding truck.
Although puppeteered snakes and an animatronic croc were considered, their performances fell short, Sethi says. So ‘Jungle’s’ reptilian stars were created in CG. The Mill team faced some challenges creating the snakes, such as tracking on a white suit and getting the right movement and performance even as our hero moves so quickly through the jungle. “They had to look aggressive and dangerous,” Sethi explains. “To separate the snakes from the background, we used strong poses that build anticipation they are about to attack. Their natural colors help camouflage them, so we used a little extra rim lighting which also separated them from the background.”
The crocodile scene depicted an aggressive croc with a humorous bent. “We put a rig on the character’s leg to pull his weight once he got bitten,” Sethi explains. “So the guy is pulling the crocodile along which is not what would really happen. We added muscle and fat simulations on the underside of his belly so it jiggles when he moves. That grounds the crocodile in his environment, and together with the great animation, gives him a realistic look and weight even though the guy is dragging the croc along.”
‘Jungle’s’ last scene features our hero emerging from a lake of flesh-eating piranhas, but nonetheless as cool and debonair as ever. Giles Cheetham, our Lead 2D Artist, explains he was filmed in his chic white suit with blue leggings against blue screen; they were removed then a CG skeleton was matched to his legs. Our Old Spice guy and his lady love were removed from the background and tracked in a CG matte painting. Dust particles, lens flares and foreground and mid-ground vegetation were comped together.
“It’s a classic VFX shot,” Cheetham says. “It has a bit of everything in there, from 2D trickery to high-end CG and animation. It was great fun to work on and a pleasure to team up with Wieden on Old Spice again!”