Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Making of the Third Generation Prius Ad

It's Summer, so time for some lighter fare (don't worry, more news from Washington is coming later this week.)

I'm a Prius driver and will likely be replacing our older Toyota Highlander with another Prius, which will be my wife's and my daughter's car.

The Third Generation Prius advertisement features a unique combination of people, amazing graphics, and digital assembly - over 1,000,000 people were created from 200 extras.

Here's a You Tube Video that explains how the entire commerical was created. Incredible.


GreenLeaves said...

John, thank you. I really enjoyed this Prius ad. Not having a TV does preclude me from some of the occasional great creativity on that medium.
This brings to mind a Honda ad from a few years back which not environmental does show some amazing persistence by the makers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYabfifhEPE

A little background: Honda commercial in the UK. Very important that you understand: There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film. Everything you see really happened in real time exactly as you see it. The film took 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work. They would then have to set the whole thing up again. The crew spent weeks shooting night and day. By the time it was over, they were ready to change professions. The film cost six million dollars and took three months to complete including a full engineering the sequence. In addition, it's two minutes long so every time Honda airs the film on British television, they're shelling out enough dough to keep any one of us in clover for a lifetime. However, it is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself simply in "free" viewings (Honda isn't paying a dime to have you watch this commercial!). When the ad was pitched to senior executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation -- including the costs. There are six and only six hand-made Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make the film. Everything you see in the film (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and complete Honda Accord) are parts from those two cars. The voiceover is Garrison Keillor. When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing computer graphics have gotten. They fell off their chairs when they found out it was for real. Oh. And about those funky windshield wipers. On the new Accords, the windshield wipers have water sensors and are designed to start doing their thing automatically as soon as they become wet. It looks a bit weird in the commercial.

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