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Rhino and Director Iain Mackenzie Team Up For Mercedes

Rhino Creative Director/Visual Effects Supervisor Vico Sharabani collaborated with director Iain Mackenzie of Paydirt and Merkley+Partners to develop two spots introducing the Mercedes 2009 GLK model, a new smaller, sleeker SUV.

The spots showcase the agility, beauty, and functionality of the new model, as it navigates the winding streets of old Italy with ease, squeezing between two semis unscathed, and passing through the trunk of a redwood without a splinter. The beautiful footage, shot by Mackenzie, was enhanced through a Flame color correction system that was specifically tailored for Mercedes by Vico and Rhino lead artist Mickey Gorenstein. Gorenstein developed an eye for Flame color correction working at Gravity Visual Effects in Tel Aviv before moving to Rhino.

Vico noted, "Incorporating these color correction techniques enabled some creative exploration of different palettes and textures, giving us more precision and allowing contextual replacements that just wouldn't have been possible in Telecine. Our system enables our Flame artist to color correct isolated images while compositing. It's a more specific process, and a more efficient process, highlighting individual elements and color correcting them independently."

Additionally, because the vignettes were shot at different times of the day in different locations, the Rhino team had to replace the backgrounds, reconstruct the landscapes, adjust the lighting and luminance and color per scene for seamless continuity. "This kind of work comes up frequently in car spots," said Managing Director, Rick Wagonheim. "The money isn't available anymore for directors to wait for the perfectly sunlit moment to shoot. Ian is a brilliant director and gave us brilliant looking film, but he too is at the mercy of reality, and our job is to create a better reality, another reason for color correcting in Flame."

The ongoing partnership between Rhino, Merkley+Partners and Mercedes-Benz includes two-dozen design-heavy effects spots, many of which Vico was the Creative Director/Visual Effects Supervisor.

Rhino's work for Mercedes is the latest in a string of successful ventures for major brands and feature films including recent Oscar nominee, THE READER, DreamWorks' comedy, GHOST TOWN, SOUL MEN, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and spots for Cadillac, Verizon, Subway, ESPN and Toyota.


Client: Mercedes-BenzSpot Titles: NEW ARRIVAL, NARROWAirdate: January 2009

Agency: Merkley + PartnersExec CD/Partner (New Arrival): Andy Hirsch, Randy SaittaGroup CD (Narrow): Scott Zacaroli, David FoxSenior Producer: Rachel Novak

Prod Co: PaydirtDirector: Iain MackenzieEP: Jonathon Ker

Post/Effects: RhinoCD: Vico SharabaniLead Flame Artist: Micky Gorenstein Flame Artists: Theodore Maniatis, Steve KoenigProducer: Linda GallagherCOO/ Sr. EP: Camille GeierManaging Director: Rick Wagonheim

Editorial: BUGEditor: Andre BetzEP: Jane Weintraub