Seeing Is Believing, Part 3

Continuing the series of posts containing videos that are (not) real, here’s Leo LaPorte interviewing Craig Allen and Eric Kallman of Wieden + Kennedy about the making of the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl.

The bottom line, for those who don’t want to watch the video: It’s real. It’s all one take (albeit, take fifty-six on day three of shooting), and with two exceptions, it’s all “practical” effects — no computers, no in-camera trickery.

The two exceptions are this: The part where the tickets in his hand turn into diamonds, then into a bottle of Old Spice, was composited in. And the mechanism they used to move him onto the horse was painted out in the final wide shot. Everything else — the bathroom, the boat, and (yes) the horse — was real. If you were on the set, it would have looked just like what you see in the commerical.

With the possible exception of the Saints’ come-from-behind win and the way the game was still on the line in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, this was my favorite part of Super Bowl Sunday. Of course, effects notwithstanding, it’s mostly actor Isaiah Mustafa’s delivery that makes it work. Christie D’Zurilla, writing in the LA Times’ Ministry of Gossip blog (It’s the guy in the Old Spice commercial: Isaiah Mustafa), says:

The Old Spice body wash audition was like any other except …

… the night before, he called a college buddy, quarterback Jake Plummer, most recently of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, to shoot the breeze. Jake wasn’t home, but Jake’s answering machine was — so Isaiah, schooled in improvisation, did an over-the-top mini performance of the script he had in hand…

“I just did it for him, and I did it extra big, and then when I hung up, I thought, ‘Maybe I should try it that way and see if they like it.’ ”

They did.

Good stuff. And real!

Here’s just the commercial, if you’d prefer your Isaiah Mustafa with no Leo LaPorte:

Update: Heh. From reddit user seraphseven:

Hello voters! Look at your rep, now back to me. Now back to your rep, now back to me! Sadly, he isn’t me. But if he stopped voting with his head up his ass, and switched to the Democratic Party, he could vote like he’s me. Look down — back up. Where are you? You’re at a rally, with the pol your rep could vote like. What’s in your hand? — back at me. I have it! It’s a bill, with appropriations for that thing you need. Look again — the appropriations are now health care. Anything is possible when your representative votes like a Democrat and not a lady. I’m on a horse.

2 Responses to “Seeing Is Believing, Part 3”

  1. beachton Says:

    OK, now it’s your turn to give me a topic. What are we blogging about tomorrow?

  2. enkidu Says:

    update lol!
    extra serendipitously funny since the fam just returned from a chilly Florida visit with my parents where every bathroom was stocked with… yes, Old Spice Hair and Body Wash!

    I like this much better than those HP commercials where the people walked blithely along while CG made their environments flip flop and slide and transmogrify around them. Felt alienating and dislocating instead of cool and hip or whatever effect they were shooting for (and missed). ymmv

    I’m on a horse too!

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