Charlex recently completed Dual, the second in a series of three new spots with Doner for client Sherwin-Williams and their line of Krylon paints. The spot's title refers to the fact that a single can of Krylon Dual now contains both primer and paint in one, "so the whole point of the spot was to show off just how easy it is to restore your troubled items to their former glory," explains director Ryan Dunn of Charlex. "For example, now you don't need to spray on two coats of primer then another two coats of paint. It gets expensive and time consuming. Now all you need is a can of Dual. Our art department was quite pleased with this news, I have to say."
"The concept that came to us from Doner was similar to the finished spot in that there was always a can in the center of the shot, and we were wiping various backyard items - chairs, a swing set, a bird house, etc. - from rusty to freshly painted," says Dunn. "The only difference was that I suggested giving it a starting and ending point, and have the can lift off a surface to magically float across the yard. I always imagined the spot to be a sort of modern Scrubbing Bubbles homage, only with a floating can instead. I liked this idea of a unique shot that people wouldn't necessarily expect - DIY magic, if you will. It just seemed in keeping with the style and rhythm of the first spot we did."
That first spot, Brand, used stop-motion animation, and Dunn set out to unify the two spots - along with the third, Project - in terms of technique. "There's a little bit of a stop-motion feel to this spot, even though it's technically motion control. I think it brings the 'do-it-yourself' spirit to an otherwise slick spot."
However, the two spots differed in a few ways, he notes. "First of all, we were on-location instead of shooting on a stage, as we did for Brand. We spent a day outside in Arcadia, CA. I had to employ a second unit to remain back on stage to continue animating Brand. Second, we had an animated camera that had to be repeatable, in order to pull off the wiping effect. This required multiple takes with different set dressings. I had to do the rusty version of all the props, and then the clean painted version, a background pass, and a can-only pass. We quickly realized this spot required motion control to pull off the effect."
To this end, the team put the camera on a Cheetah rig and ran a series of takes so they could rebuild the layers in post. "Doing the post back at Charlex made the job seamless and allowed me to look in throughout the process. It was a labor-intensive process, but somewhat straightforward as we had several elements to isolate, properly expose, and composite back in to a single cohesive sequence," explains Dunn.
Doing the project from beginning to end under one roof also made it extremely simple to collaborate with the agency and respond to the needs of their client.