PC: Holiday

Here is a compilation of spots from the President’s Choice Holiday campaign.  This campaign was watershed moment — it was the last major project I worked on that was shot on 35mm.  And while I do love the look, the workflow was pretty annoying. See below for my thoughts on each of the pieces.

Teaser :15

This would appear to be a very straight up piece from a post perspective, but as always the devil is in the details.

Reconciling the static ‘before shot’ and the moving ‘after shot’ with the timing of the script and the desired end position on the table took some time-ramp finessing. As well, the hand holding the magazine needed to be stabilized just enough as to be legible, but not so much as to look unnatural.


Appetizers :30

This spot was part of the Holiday ’09 campaign for President’s Choice, showcasing the retailer’s multitude of frozen appetizers. The piece was shot on a mix of 35mm film for the bulk of the spot and Phantom HD for the high speed stuff.

One might think cutting a spot would be easy as opposed to animation – just follow the script with straight cuts for the dialog and dissolve to the pretty product shots. But editing live action commercials requires one to identify and balance nuances of both performance and timing.  It is not uncommon for me to present as many as five cuts of any given piece in the initial rough cut stages.  It’s a delicate art that you don’t even notice until it’s wrong.

For the record – I highly recommend the Fig and Goat Cheese hors d’oeuvres.

Desserts :30

From the Holiday ’09 campaign showcasing PC’s vast array of frozen desserts.  Although all the dessert boxes were captured in camera, the Advertising Standards Council requires products to be ‘colour correct’, which is rarely what you get in camera. I didn’t actually comp the shot (Mr. Dale Codling take a bow), I did have to go through all the massive EPS files used for printing and create versions for both english and french markets. Sometimes success is when you’re work goes unnoticed, and this is just such a case.


Turkey :30

This piece was part of the Holiday ’09 campaign for President’s Choice promoting Turkey. Get ready for a bombshell 10 seconds in – the leading national brand (Butter Bag or something?) doesn’t actually use butter…

WHAT?!?!?!? Sorry to burst your bubble, but don’t you feel better knowing the truth?


Xmas Tree :30

As I mentioned up top, this whole campaign was shot with 35mm film.  Well almost the whole thing — that slow motion shot of the ornament was shot on Phantom.


Client: Loblaw’s
Agency: Bensimon Byrne
Post Production: The Studio Upstairs