The Making of Blue Moon Brewmaster’s Inspiration
Being part of the in-house team at Moo Studios, I had the privilege of working on the Blue Moon “Artfully Crafted” campaign, collaborating with the ad agency The Integer Group. Brewmaster's Inspiration wasn't the first TV commercial for Blue Moon I worked on. At the beginning of 2012, I was involved in the shooting and post-production of Brewmaster's Touch. Both spots play on the metaphor of the brewmaster as an artist. Brewmaster's Touch shows how the brewmaster, with his magic “Midas touch” turns everything he touches into paintings. The production involved shooting the entire spot in stop-motion shoot, then layering thick, painted brush strokes on top of the footage, to have everything the brewmaster touched shifting into a painted world.
When The Integer Group came to us with a rough storyboard of what the latest spot, Brewmaster's Inspiration, was going to be about, the director Shaun Sewter and I immediately thought it would be a cool, challenging project. Then we asked ourselves, “How the hell are we gonna make this?” The storyboard showed the brewmaster opening a book, wherein on each page, beer bottles, glasses, ingredients and environment elements grew up from the sketches, coming out of the book. They were not photo-real. They lived in the same painted world we saw in the previous spot. Like a pop-up book, they came out of the pages. However, unlike a pop-up book, they weren't made of paper. They were three-dimensional painted objects.
I suggested we take a CG approach to the production. We knew that layering brush strokes on top of live action footage, as we did in the previous spot, would not work this time, since the painted elements had to form from the beginning in their final style. In other words, we would never see real looking oranges or wheat. We would only see them in the painted style. Plus, we were intrigued by the idea of featuring the three-dimensionality of the paintings with a nice, slow camera move lasting for the entire long main shot of the commercial.
We made a motion test to show the agency our approach and to get familiar with the process, which they liked. The test used a mix of stop-motion and CG animation.
One of the most important factors in the “feel” of the spot lies in the stop-motion animation. It helps to give the actors and pages tactile movements perfectly matching the “artfully crafted” image of Blue Moon. We decided that everything except the elements coming to life from the pencil sketches (and the beer kettles in the first and last shot) would be shot in stop-motion.