The VFX ingredients to creating ‘The Saweetie Meal’

The Saweetie Meal by McDonald's is here! We chatted with the Senior Lead Compositor and VFX Supervisor, Jade Kim, on bringing the singer's "Icy" look to this 30-second spot for the famous fast-food company.
Work August 9, 2021

At face value, this is a food advertisement for McDonald’s but the spot has an overarching theme of a beauty ad almost. How did the VFX team go about seamlessly blending these two different genres?

Maybe less of a beauty ad and more a music video, but yes, it’s definitely one of the more stylistically daring spots I’ve seen for McDonald’s and very exciting to be a part of. Director Hannah Lux Davis wanted every frame, every little detail to be drenched with Saweetie’s signature “icy” look, with a whole lot of pink and bling, and there were lots of fun little things for us to help push that look further. But it was equally important for the food to look appetizing while not looking out of place. 

What were the key visual elements (or ingredients in this case) to perfecting the look and feel for The Saweetie Meal? 

With matte painting, we created an “iced out LA” with fluffy pink clouds, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and the bling of city lights in the distance. It sets the tone nicely for the whole spot right from the beginning and works as a connecting thread throughout all the transformations: Saweetie’s meal, her outfit, and the set go through in the spot. 

 What was the biggest challenge during this project and how did you and the VFX team tackle it?

We had a condensed schedule to turn around the main TVC. Having a rough WIP of the matte painting ready on set was helpful for the crew to see and allowed us to develop it very quickly once we actually sat down to work. And, as always, having a killer team of very talented artists was crucial!

Jade Kim, Senior Lead Compositor/VFX Supervisor

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