BUD LIGHT BOTTLES & WHEAT - Costumes.
3- six foot tall Bottles & 3- four foot tall Golden Wheat costumes.
Bottle- vacuum formed plastic, paint, printed vinyl.
Wheat- vacuum formed plastic, plastic tubes, cast soft foam, broom bristles, fabric belt.
For this series of Bud Light commercials, we created three Bud Light bottle costumes and three Golden Wheat costumes.
To create the Bud Light bottle costume, we lathe turned a giant bottle form, then vacuum formed two layers of plastic over it, one for the warm brown beer color and one for the clear bottle glass, that also served as a protective layer. Specific label artwork was printed and stuck on the bottles. A separate bottle cap form was created for vacuum forming the bottle caps.
We determined the size of the bottle costumes based on the size of the actor that was going to wear the costumes. For the costume to work and give the actor's arms fully mobility, the bottle forms needed to fit very accurately over the actor's shoulders. To keep the bottle pristine, we did not put any scrim or eye holes in for the actor- this meant that he had to perform everything he did totally blind. Some of the shots were very demanding, for instance, in a shot that was not used, the actor had to roller skate, without being able to see anything (he followed careful step by step directions over a wireless earpiece), on the Santa Monica boardwalk, and the action called for him to skate right up to the edge of the boardwalk then fall over into the sand. A stunt like this in a costume like the bottle can be very dangerous, to both the performer and the costume, but we determined that if the actor spun as he fell and rolled on his shoulder -instead of flat on his face- the impact would be greatly absorbed and reduced. This strategy worked exactly as planned, and it not only saved the actor, it saved the costume from damage too.
For another shot, the Bud Light bottle is in the Venice canals, romantically rowing his beloved Golden Wheat on a sunny day. To allow the bottle costume to sit without deforming the bottle form under the actor's sitting weight, we had to cut the back of the costume away so the actor could sit directly on the rowboat, and not on the costume. Special effects can involve an enormous number of considerations and strategies involved behind the scenes, and when they are done right, you don't even notice or think about them.
Although they look simple in person, the Golden Wheat costumes were a bit more complex. To create the the impression of a bundle of golden wheat, we first created a vacuum formed upper tube form and lower skirt form, both with wheat stalk shapes vacuum formed into them. Over these background forms, we added a layer of loose rods with cast soft foam wheat tops with broom bristles (yes, broom bristles, you read it right- we search far and wide for just the right materials to achieve our effects, and anything is fair game) stuck in them to mimic just the right look of the tops of real wheat stalks. The loose wheat stalks were tethered to the background vacuum forms in a way that they could sway and move, but not too much to give away the illusion. The actress could see through a section of scrim in the vacuum formed plastic. A fabric belt covered the seam between the upper and lower costume sections, appearing to cinch in the 'waist' of the costume.
All in all, in the beautiful way the wheat stalks loosely swayed as the actress moved, while still maintaining the illusion of a full bundle of wheat- the effect we planned and worked toward was successfully achieved with perfection. With every job, we work hard to create the very best in special effects. When everything is just right and it all comes together, then real magic happens on set. These costumes achieved a simple beauty, poetry, and magic.
The Bud Light and Golden Wheat campaign was very well received, and it was so successful that we wound up making another five sets of Bud Light bottle and Golden Wheat costumes for walk around appearances and conventions.
BUD LIGHT BOTTLE & GOLDEN WHEAT costumes - Credits
BUD LIGHT "Hook Up/Montage" Justin Reardon, director.
BUD LIGHT "Hook Up/Elevator" Justin Reardon, director.
BUD LIGHT "Hook Up/Persistence" Justin Reardon, director.