Chemical Effects Wraps up 2010 With High-Spirited Holiday Spotwork for Chevrolet, GMC and Southwest Airlines

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Visual effects company

Chemical Effects

wrapped up its ‘launch’ year with a series of high-spirited holiday spots. GSD&M Idea City, Leo Burnett and MacLaren McCann all tapped the company’s creative handiwork in campaigns for Southwest Airlines, GMC and Chevrolet, which are airing this month in the US and Canada. For a whimsical series of three :30 spots promoting Chevrolet’s holiday sales event, MacLaren McCann and director Nick Piper (also Chemical Effects’ creative director) took the concept of holiday shopping to the dealership floor, inventing a scenario where car shoppers could ‘try on’ cars like clothes, literally flipping through them — while sitting in them — at the touch of a screen. To create the playful effect, Piper and Chemical Effects used computer generated (CG) models of each of the hero vehicles to achieve the dramatic car-flipping action. To transition seamlessly back and forth between live action and CG burly crew members rocked the vehicles by hand.

For GMC’s “Most Wonderful Time� and “Nutcracker� spots out of Leo Burnett, Piper and Chemical Effects turned their talents to creating a whole new mood for the Sierra. Delving back into footage shot for an earlier campaign, the creative team turned the truck from a hard-driving, terrain-crushing vehicle to a nimble, festive frolicker, enjoying rather than conquering nature. Visual Effects Supervisor Tim Rudgard and the Chemical Effects team added elegant plumes of airborne snow surging from beneath the truck’s tires and brilliant lens flares, and extended snow across the environment to give the landscape a pristine feel.

Taking an opportunity to remind holiday travelers about Southwest Airlines’ ‘bags fly free’ policy, GSD&M Idea City and directors The Hoffman Brothers took a ‘70s-cop-drama approach on its series of national spots. Featuring a S.W.A.T. team of Southwest employees in various scenarios where they free bags held hostage by a competing airline, the spots include key shots of competing airline jets — recognizable by their white bodies and blue/red markings, but with branding blurred. The actual planes shot were Southwest’s own distinctive blue and red aircraft. Enter Chemical Effects to color correct this key story element and create a nifty crash zoom-in on an official-looking in-camera badge that becomes a stylized emblem for the Bags Fly Free patrol. “These spots gave us the perfect opportunity to show what we can do,� said Chemical Effects’ Creative Director Piper. “We brought together a fresh team of artists and producers to launch Chemical Effects about six months ago and since then we’ve been able to work on some exciting projects with really great clients. These holiday spots are all spirited and upbeat and challenged us creatively in different ways. We had a lot of fun working on them.� The GMC spots began airing across the US in November and run through January. The Chevrolet spots began airing in Canada in November and also run through January, and the Southwest spots are airing nationally in December. See spots from the campaign here:

About Chemical Effects

Chemical Effects, launched in 2010, directs, creates, animates and integrates visual effects for the world’s most successful commercials. Their collective creative work spans SuperBowl ads and Cannes Lion awards; spots for Pepsi, Toyota, Apple and other brands; music videos for Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue and Lenny Kravitz; clients including GSD&M, TBWA/Chiat Day, J. Walter Thompson and more. Visit them in Santa Monica or at


GMC Chevrolet “Season’s Best Event�

Agency: MacLaren McCann Producer: Revital Grunberg Creative Director: Sean Davison Group Creative Director: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna Art Director: Marc Melanson Copywriters: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Andre Bell Production Company: Imported Artists Director: Nick Piper DP: Simon Mestel Exec Producer: Suzanne Allan Producer: Marie Robertson Offline Editorial: Stealing Time Editor: Alex Eaton Producer: Denise Shearer Telecine: Alter Ego Colorist: Eric Whipp Visual Effects: Chemical Effects Creative Director: Nick Piper 3D Animation: Rusty Ippolito (Make VFX) Flame Artist: Tim Rudgard Exec Producer: Sandy Beladino Producer: Liz Hiza Audio: Keen Music __________

GMC Winter Event “Nutcracker�

Agency: Leo Burnett Exec Producer: Erik Zaar Creative Director: Chris McCarthy Production Company: Backyard Director: Nick Piper DP: Zubin Mistry Exec Producer: Kris Mather Offline Editorial: General Editorial Editor: Matt Dunlap Exec Producer: Robert Parker Telecine: New Hat Colorist: Beau Leon Producer: Wyatt Valentine Visual Effects: Chemical Effects Creative Director: Nick Piper Flame Artists: Tim Rudgard, Shauna Prescott, Dan Lorenzini Flame Assist: Jorge Tanaka Exec Producer: Sandy Beladino Producer: Liz Hiza Audio: Finger Music ______________

Southwest Airlines – “Good Cop Bag Cop Campaign� “We’ve Got a Runner�

Agency: GSD&M Idea City Exec Producer: Monique Veilette Producer: Maria Ivicic Creative Director / Art Director: Bryan Pudder Copywriter: Clay Hudson, Bill Bayne Group Creative Director: David Crawford Chief Creative Officer: Mike Wilson Production Company: Harvest Director: The Hoffman Brothers DP: Roman Jakobi Exec Producers: Bonnie Goldfarb, Scott Howard Line Producer: Mark Conley Producer: Rob Sexton Offline Editorial: Cut & Run Editor: Jay Nelson Assistant Editor: Sterling Robertson Producer: Carr Schilling Telecine: New Hat Colorist: Beau Leon Producer: Wyatt Valentine Graphics: Superfad Visual Effects: Chemical Effects Creative Director: Nick Piper Flame Artist: Pete Mayor Flame Assist: Jorge Tanaka Exec Producer: Sandy Beladino Producer: Liz Hiza Audio: PLAY Mixer: John Bolen Composer: Matt Downs Producer: Sara Hartman