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 turned a giant bottle form on a mechanical lathe, then vacuum formed two layers of plastic over it, one for a base of warm brown beer color and a second layer 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 the actor had to perform everything totally blind. Some of the shots were very demanding- for instance, in a shot that wound up not even being used, the actor had to roller skate blind on the Santa Monica boardwalk. As if this was not difficult enough, the action called for him to also skate right up to the edge of the boardwalk then fall over into the sand. To help guide the suit actor, we gave him a wireless earpiece, so we could prompt him to steer right and left, as well as let him know when he had reached the sand to take his dive. 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 so he could absorb the impact and roll on his shoulder instead of falling flat on his face the impact would be greatly absorbed and reduced. Fortunately, this strategy worked exactly as planned, and it not only saved the actor, it also saved the costume from being badly damaged.
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 down in the boat 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 consideration and strategizing behind the scenes. Ironically though, by definition, almost all special effects are designed to be invisible and go unnoticed. When they are designed and staged correctly, most people don't even realize they are even present or think about how what they just saw was achieved.
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 thin plastic upper form and a 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 stuck in them (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) 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.
Creating special effects can become very complex at times, but you always need to keep in mind that the final effect must be simple and able to be very quickly and clearly recognized as the thing you are essentially tricking the viewer into perceiving. The effect we planned and worked toward with the wheat stalk costumes was achieved with great success- the wheat stalks swayed beautifully when the actress moved in the suit and everything contributed perfectly to sustain the illusion of a realistic bundle of wheat with arms and legs. 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. It was so successful that we wound up making five more sets of Bud Light bottle and Golden Wheat costumes for walk-around appearances and conventions.
"Hook Up / Montage"
"Hook Up / Elevator"
"Hook Up / Persistence"
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.