Freschetta: Simply Inspired by Cannonball for Freschetta

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Freschetta: Simply Inspired

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Industry Grocery and Other foods
Media Film
Market United States
Agency Cannonball
Production Vitamin
Released July 2011

Credits & Description

The winning concept features a woman shopping for pizza in a supermarket
packed with bland frozen pizzas. She falls through a trap door into a
Wonka-like world filled with overgrown fruits and vegetables showcasing all
of the fresh ingredients used in each of Freschetta’s Simply Inspired
pizzas.
Creative Director Danny DelPurgatorio led the Vitamin team who worked with
creatives from Cannonball in designing the alternate worlds of the
supermarket and the Freschetta fantasy land. “The supermarket looks like a
typical grocery store, except that everything is ultra-bland and stale,”
explains DelPurgatorio.“That is contrasted by the fantasy world that is
bright, lush, grand, brimming with color and sunshine."
Vitamin’s visual effects team initially prepared an animatic of the spot,
indicating the position of the talent, the background environment and all of
the various CG elements—as well as camera movements and lighting set ups for
every shot. That served as a blueprint for the two-day live action shoot.
CG artists then prepared dozens of photoreal fruits and vegetables, using
colors, lighting and textures drawn from still photographs shot on the set
by photographer Rob Foster. “The vegetables had to look real and appealing,
because everyone knows how a pepper and a mushroom look,” observes Vitamin
Art Director / CG Lead Linas Jodwalis. “It wasn’t something we could cheat.”
The Compositing team, meanwhile, was led by Filmworkers Visual Effects
Director Rob Churchill. It was their task to integrate the various elements
into scenes that look rich and seamless. Churchill oversaw a team of four
compositors who carried out a virtual round-the-clock effort to complete the
work.
“We spent a lot of time in pre-production working with Vitamin to determine
which elements would be shot, which would be practical, which CG, and so
on,” Churchill recalls. “So when it came time to shoot, we knew exactly what
we needed and how to get it, and it also meant we were well prepared when we
got into post production.” Still, Churchill added, each scene in the
commercial required nearly a week to composite as dozens of elements had to
be carefully integrated into the backgrounds and balanced to match with
other elements in the shots.
Color grading was performed by Filmworkers’ Michael Mazur. “It was a
monumental task given the number of elements and the fact that they
originated in so many different media,” Mazur explains. “We also wanted to
sharpen the contrast between the supermarket scene that opens the spot and
the surreal environment that follows.”
Churchill and DelPurgatorio explain that the project can serve as a model
for other projects involving complex visual effects and design elements.
Having all the work done under one roof by a team of artists who are
familiar with and supportive of one another’s work has enormous advantages
in terms of creative consistency and production efficiency.
“It was a great experience working along side Vitamin in taking a project
from start to finish,” Churchill notes. “It showed that we can do things no
other company in Chicago can do and it will lead to other opportunities in
the future.”
DelPurgatorio may have summed up the experience best. “It was great to have
the opportunity to take a project from storyboard to screen,” he says. “And
it was also fun for our artists to collaborate with Filmworkers. That was
the most exciting and rewarding part of the project.”

Credits:
Title: Simply Inspired
Client: Freschetta
Agency: Cannonball, St. Louis.
Garry Gassel, Producer; Brian Fauss, Associate Creative Director; Brad
Gutting, Art Director; Monica Vansaghi, Art Director.
Production: Vitamin, Chicago. Filmworkers, Chicago.
Danny DelPurgatorio, Creative Director; Paul Schneider , Live Action
Director ; Tom Lazarevich, Director of Photography ; Marsie Wallach, Line
Producer ; Alison Becker, Production Coordinator ; Joe Bristol, Production
Designer ; Rob Churchill and Linas Jodwalis, VFX Supervisors; Rob Foster,
Still Photography; Tony Legato and Dave Pasciuto, Matte Painters; Rob
Churchill, Rick Thompson, Matt Beharry, Tony Legato, Dave Pasciuto and Frank
Donnangelo, Designers ; Linas Jodwalis, Charlie Peterson, Morgan James,
Chris Green, Brian Bullock and Evaldas Cesnavicius, 3D Artists; Rob
Churchill, Editorial ; Rob Churchill, Rick Thompson and Andy Davis, Flame
Compositors; Matt Beharry and Rob Foster, After Effects Compositors ; Justin
Winkler and Steven Kocian, Flame Assistants; Michael Mazur, Colorist; James
Cadenas, Assistant Colorist; Lisa Long, Executive Producer/Filmworkers;
Larissa Shames, Senior Producer/Vitamin; Derek de Board,
Producer/Filmworkers; Nina Yoo, Associate, Producer/Vitamin.
Music : Another Country