Superstudio Shoots Bud Light Viral Campaign With Panasonic AG-HVX200 P2 HD Camcorders

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Last Updated: October 30, 2008 4:08 pm GMT
(Secaucus, New Jersey--October 30, 2008) Director and VFX artist Johannes Gamble of production company superstudio (Santa Monica, CA) partnered with ad agency DDB Chicago on a viral video campaign for Anheuser-Busch’s 2008 beer introduction, Bud Light Lime. Shot with Panasonic’s solid-state AG-HVX200 P2 HD camcorders and created for YouTube consumption, the playful spots introduce Bud Light Lime mascot Limey, and feature the tagline, “It’s amazing what a little lime can do.”

The campaign encompasses three 60-second spots, with Limey performing party tricks, riding a skateboard and breakdancing. Gamble also shot an eight-minute “backstage” mock-umentary bio of Limey. The Director of Photography was internationally-respected skateboarding filmmaker Ty Evans, recently added as a director at superstudio. In addition to its YouTube life, the Bud Limey spots have been seen on ESPN’s SportsCenter, and displayed in high-definition at beverage industry venues. Visit http://www.superstudio.tv/JOHANNES_reel.html to view the spots.

Several of superstudio’s creatives own HVX200s and the company has made prolific use of the camera, including viral campaigns for Nissan’s Mazemaster 1 & 2 (on-line games promoting the company’s 2009 Rogue crossover vehicle), and a series of local commercials for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

Gamble went the distance in pitching DDB Chicago on the Bud Light Lime assignment, going so far as produce a proof-of-concept video in which he created a temporary Limey outfit from his wife’s yoga ball and wore a blue shirt, which enabled him to chroma-key the top of his body off and move his arms down.

“The agency wanted a small green character that could do amazing stunts,” said Gamble. “Living in the world of YouTube and Internet movies, I felt I knew the playing field and how to capture the right essence of this genre. Our work had to be authentic to the YouTube audience.”

“There’s a fine line between the commercial requirements and making the content natural for YouTube,” he continued. “We decided to shoot the elements nicer than they needed to be with the HVX200s and worked backwards to ‘degrade’ things from there.”

Gamble has worked extensively with the HVX200 (he was a key creative player on the Nissan assignment and also DP’d And VFX’d a Ray-Ban viral campaign with the camera), and prizes the P2 HD handheld for its flexibility and friendliness to visual effects.

“We chose to shoot HD as we were confident that it could give different looks to the material,” Gamble said. “Lucky we did, as shortly after shooting we had to produce an HD version for a Budweiser corporate presentation. I knew all along the campaign could go HD. I was hoping it would only be for the Web because it was easier to do the effects, but when the client made the call, I had to go back in. What were broad strokes had to become more detailed.”

The production had three HVX200s on set. All the Limey spots and faux bio were shot within two days, and teaser versions of the spots were edited and finished within eight days of around-the-clock work for the client to premiere at a vendor convention.

DP Evans is likewise an experienced HVX200 shooter and owner, and traveled worldwide shooting the skateboard film Fully Flared with the camera. Evans has used the camera on many commercial shoots, including a 30-second spot for Mountain Dew soda.

“The camera was a natural choice for an assignment shot on such a tight timeframe,” Evans said. “It’s so portable, ideal for quick set-ups, and I knew it would save us valuable time—and money—on the Limey shoot.”

“The cameras responded well to a variety of lighting demands, and were used indoors and outdoors,” the DP added. “Dynamic range was super flexible and performed great for both indoor and outdoor shots.
Outdoors, we used the camera default white balance 5.6k, 1/64th ND, and 4.0 iris, all with natural lighting.
Indoors, we used the camera default white balance 3.2k, ND off, and 2.4 iris, lit with china balls.”

Evans shot the three spots in 720/24pN, and the Limey bio in 720/60p. The shoot utilized 14 P2 cards of assorted capacities. “We had an off-loader—we called him the P2 ‘wrangler’—who swapped out cards as they were being dumped,” the DP said. “The workflow process was very organized and protected, and final MXF files were backed up to 1TB G-RAID drives.”

“The HVX200 is a game-changing camera that has signaled a new, affordable way of filmmaking,” Evans said. “The camera has opened up doors and simplified the creative process for a lot less money.”

Gamble edited the Limey pieces on Final Cut Pro, and created the sophisticated visual effects in After Effects. Dana Garman and Nathan de la Rionda (both of superstudio) served as Executive Producer and Producer on the assignment.

About the AG-HVX200A
Panasonic recently introduced its new AG-HVX200A, an enhanced version of the HVX200. The 1/3” 3-CCD handheld P2 HD/DV camcorder now features improved progressive 3-CCD imagers, a DSP that increases sensitivity while lowering noise and smear, and a new 13X zoom lens. The ultra-versatile HVX200A records in 1080i and 720p in production-proven 100 Mbps DVCPRO HD quality, with the ability to capture images in 21 record modes. The DVCPRO HD format offers users cost-effective, intra-frame compression, where each frame stands on its own for editing, and its full 4:2:2 color sampling allows the image to hold up under color correction. The camera records video on a P2 card as IT-friendly MXF files in 1080/60i, 30p and 24p; in 720/60p, 30p and 24p; in 50Mbps DVCPRO50 and in 25Mbps DVCPRO or DV. The HVX200A can capture fast or slow action in 720p at various frame rates: the shooting frame rate in 720p native mode can be set for any of 11 steps between 12fps and 60fps including 24fps and 30fps. For more information on the HVX200A, visit www.panasonic.com/P2HD.

About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE Symbol: PC) the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

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