In Goodby Silverstein & Partners' entertaining new spot for Sonic, 'Your Heart's Desire', a hungry customer - our hero - is cast amongst a dreamy landscape of his favorite Sonic treats. While you might expect to see burgers, hot dogs, French fries and onion rings served up on trays, instead there are life-sized versions of the delectable treats, some 40 times bigger than actual size. They induce such euphoria in our hero it evokes The Dude's dream sequence in The Big Lebowski. Hungry Man's Hank Perlman directed and The Mill LA created VFX.
"Making the commercial was an enjoyable process," says Chris
Knight, our VFX Supervisor/Co-Head of 2D. "The agency team - Jack
Woodworth and Craig Mangan-along with Hank, created a collaborative
and fun shoot. The DP Larry Fong (Super 8) really
delivered as lighting was integral to scaling the food."
Real Sonic food was filmed at a tabletop shoot to scale the food
then composite into scenes with our hero, Knight explains. The hot
dog, for instance, was shot swaying to and fro on a motorized rig.
Knight furnished various scaled cutout models of our hero that
stood in front of the real hot dog, helping to visualize the
scaling and match the studio plates of our dancing hero.
The onion ring that materializes in our man's eye and transports
us into his dream was filmed with fake oversized food for reference
then re-built in Flame with real onions from the tabletop shoot.
That scene also used a camera move into the eye that involved
stabilizing of the eye.
A lot of oversized food-the pickles and jalapeños for
instance-was filmed then replaced, with textures added to make it
look more authentic. The starry black sky was created in Flame and
the fireworks in CG. During a studio shoot, our hero was shot on
green screen and the skaters on black.
"The idea was to go into our hero's imagination as it runs
wild," Knight offers. "I think having him ride off into the starry
night on a chili pepper over a Burger Mountain that makes your
mouth water fits the brief!"