LOS ANGELES—Ross Ching of A Common Thread has directed a new campaign for Shaw Floors that reveals where the company’s new Caress carpet gets its luxurious feel: it comes “squarely” from the softest things on earth. Conceived by Three Atlanta, the four spots present a series of vignettes involving soft objects, including a child’s blanket, a grazing sheep, a pair of fuzzy slippers, cotton candy and a cloud, each of which has a square carved out of its center. The voiceover explains, “All the softness you love is now in your carpet.”
The imagery consists of beautiful, charming family scenes, with the cut-out objects lending them a magical flair. “It’s as though the creators of Shaw’s Caress line scoured the earth in search of the softest surfaces possible,’” says Ching. “That was our motivation behind every single shot.”
Ching used a variety of subtle camera techniques to enhance the story’s “soft” theme. In some vignettes, the camera dollies slowly, allowing viewers to “discover” the missing squares. In other cases, squares are revealed unexpectedly by an actor’s movement. He also makes the squares seem more surprising to viewers by making them unsurprising to the people on screen. In one instance, a boy is handed cotton candy by a park vendor. “As we crane down, the boy’s eyes light up…but he seems to ignore that fact that the center of his candy is missing,” Ching says.
The director adds further to the gentle atmosphere through careful lighting techniques. “We use nothing but soft, beautiful lighting,” Ching says. “The light tends to wrap around objects, casting diffuse shadows with soft edges. Colors are of variable saturation and tone, but are always true-to-life. The set design is focused on modern living.”
Ching ran a highly efficient production; many of the shooting locations were chosen for their ability to serve as multiple, diverse scenes. That allowed him to capture more story segments than were originally planned in the storyboards. The director also added value to the production through hands-on involvement in post-production. “I like to shepherded projects through post, and edit a majority of the spots that I direct,” he says. “Remaining involved through the post-production process is part of my signature approach and helps to ensure the best spots possible.”
A Common Thread is located at 4081 Redwood Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90066. For more information, call 310.823.7300 or visit http://www.acommonthread.tv