TOPIX/Mad Dog Dance With The Relaunch Of Eatons' Department Stores
Toronto-based TOPIX/Mad Dog (T/MD) created the visual effects for the relaunch of T. Eaton Company Ltd., the Canadian department store chain now owned by Sears Canada, Inc. The new campaign was developed by Ammirati Puris of Toronto, and directed by Floria Sigismondi. The campaign contains one 1:55 spot, one 2:35 spot, one 90-, 60- and 30-second spot and three 5-second Billboard spots. The spots recreate the feel of a 1950s Hollywood musical. The spots feature three principal characters: Gracie, the heroine; Harry Carmichael, Gracie's boss; and Arch, Gracie's right-hand man. The first two spots set the stage for a big musical number in the final spot. TOPIX/Mad Dog's inferno* artist Susan Armstrong explained, "It was important to us to keep the spinning transitions within the capabilities of effects work done in the Fifties. By adding small details, like the black line in the clock wipe, we kept the look simple yet authentic. We took to the streets with a 35mm camera and shot the buildings of Toronto from different angles and added more buildings to create the long corridor of skyscrapers needed for the scene in which Gracie walks down the block. Later we scanned and color corrected the images so that the footage would appear seamless and added smoke to enhance the sky, giving it a richer look with more atmosphere." Another effect the T/MD team produced was bringing to life a mannequin. Armstrong said, "For us to blend in a real eye, it was crucial that the angle at which it was shot be perfect. Because it was aligned correctly, we were able to execute a flawless effect." In addition, Armstrong said, "The art director was filmed running down the street holding the flyer that was attached to a wire, so that it would have the right motion. We painted him out and composited the paperback in for Gracie's big revelatory scene. We also comped a 7-foot ostrich alongside a shot of a model both of which were against green screen." The TOPIX/Mad Dog team included artists Kara Blake, Dominik Bochenski, Aaron Weintraub and Marco Polsinelli; producer Cheyenne Bloomfield; and executive producer Sylvain Taillon.