Director Mariano Bergara of the Argentinian studio Can Can Club calls the process of producing their recent Danone yogurt commercial, “…kind of crazy…really really big, with a ton of pre-pro and calculations to make. And also a very challenging shoot.”
When the agency came to them and said they wanted to create pixel art animations using cups filled with yogurt and fruit to create pixels, they arranged just under 4000 cups in a large table specially built for the project, then shot everything with a MoCo rig they had to lift onto a 4m high scaffolding in order to get a full shot of the cups.
“During pre-pro,” Bergara said, “we had to design a lot of animations and designs and created a projection system that we later placed above the yogurt cup grid in order to have a reference on what colors we should remove, swap or just leave. We needed to meter really fast because the food would start to look bad very quickly too.
“On shoot it was really fun and we had like 10 people setting up each shot just to clean the glass of the cup and make them look awesome. Behind the curtains we also had to set up an army of food stylist that were slicing fruits to feed a small town.”
In addition to battling fruit decay, the scale of the project became a growing challenge during production. “During the pitch we tested animation in a 20 by 20 grid made out of paper cups,” he told us, “and turned out it could be done pretty nicely and we could be more ambitious. Later on when we started designing animations. The copy needed to be represented by designs that weren’t as iconographic as a heart (the drawing we tested out first) so the grid need to be enlarged.
“It turned out being super big, the final cup count per frame in the wider shots was 3982 cups filled with fake yogurt. The close up shots were easier to do and actually looked way nicer, so we focused into those ones a lot more.”
Now that this giant set has been struck and the commercial is in the bag, we asked the team what else they had coming down the pike. In addition to some ads and other collaborative projects, Bergara told us, “We are currently developing 3 TV animated series projects of our own that we hope they see the light soon, we still need to get the funding to go all the way with any of them but we managed to create a pilot for each so we hope to let you know about any of those very soon.”