OUR PARTNERS IN CRIME MUGSY MIND OVER EYE VCE, INC. THE CREW DAREN DOCHTERMAN JON TERADA PHIL CARBONARO
WHO IS MOVING TARGET? BRIAN JOCHUM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Likewise, Brian won’t list his two decades of feature film and commercial work as producer, executive producer, production manager and 1st assistant director. As heir to the Bulgarian throne, he feels it’s undignified to parade one’s achievements. ALAN MUNRO DIRECTOR Alan detests inflated self-serving biographies. In that spirit he won’t comment on his early years at Oxford and The Sorbonne, or any of his various doctoral degrees (17 at last count). The time he spent lumberjacking in the Northwest, and Formula I racing across Europe won’t be discussed. Neither will his CIA assignments inside Iran. Could he write this bio in 26 different languages? Sure he could, but why show off. Instead he’ll just mention his 100+ feature film credits, and the 200+ national commercials he’s directed. He’ll add on the titles of former executive board member of the Visual Effects branch of the Motion Picture Academy, original member of the Visual Effects Society, and BAFTA nominee for visual effects. What about his Pulitzer Prize? Well, if he talked about that he’d have to get into the whole Nobel thing. And who wants to hear that story again.
WHAT IS MOVING TARGET? Experienced. Brian and Alan first joined forces on The Addams Family, doing effects and 2nd Unit. 100 feature films, 200 national commercials, and a dozen TV shows later they’re still at it. Alan directing, Brian producing. Commercial production, visual effects, title sequences, graphics, 2nd Unit direction, post production, and editing. There’s not a continent they haven’t filmed on or an awkward place they haven’t shoved a camera. Forward-Looking. Keeping up with the latest technology is a must. But it’s just a starting point. Around here, forward-looking means sniffing for a fresh approach — be it hi-tech, lo-tech, or no tech at all. Trusted. The same clients keep drinking our smoothies and stealing our copies of Us magazine. Moving Target is lots of other adjectives: Fun, Fast, Enthusiastic, Reliable, Budget-Conscious. About the only thing we’re not is boring.
COMPLETED: JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK Director: Edward Zwick Starring : Tom Cruise Visual Effects, Title Sequence BOSCH Director: Various Starring: Titus Welliver Main Titles LAND OF STEADY HABITS Director: Nicole Holofcener Starring: Ben Meldelshon Title Sequence FREEDOM AUTO :60 Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Fernando del Rosario IN THE WORKS: TRIAL BY FIRE Director: Edward Zwick Starring : Jack O’Connell Visual Effects, Main and End Titles
COMMERCIAL CLIENTS SPIN MASTER DELTRAN MATTEL KRAFT FOODS POST CEREALS EA GAMES McDONALDS MAZDA BANDAI BROTHER TIME-WARNER DURACELL COCO’S RESTAURANTS TYCO NISSIN FREEDOM AUTO GROUP PLAYMATES SPCA TV and VIDEOS BOSCH (SEASON 1, 2, 3 and 4) SHAMELESS MICHAEL JACKSON’S HISTORY ONCE AND AGAIN RELATIVITY HERCULES XENA FATHERLAND IS THIS SCARY? FEATURE FILMS JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK THE FOUNDER PAWN SACRIFICE THE DEVIL’S HAND AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY ENOUGH SAID AFTER EARTH CUT BANK SAFE GET THE GRINGO LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS THE COMPANY MEN DEFIANCE BLOOD DIAMOND THE LAST SAMURAI SLEEPY HOLLOW FOUR FEATHERS MEN IN BLACK THE FIFTH ELEMENT LEGENDS OF THE FALL THE ADDAMS FAMILY ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES GLORY BEETLEJUICE EDWARD SCISSORHANDS PREDATOR NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET V COURAGE UNDER FIRE MISERY A FEW GOOD MEN SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE THE SEIGE POINT BREAK BLUE STEEL NEAR DARK BARTON FINK INDECENT PROPOSAL STUART LITTLE JACK FROST BATTLEFIELD: EARTH RUNAWAY TRAIN JACK THE BEAR DANGEROUS BEAUTY BOGUS MISSING IN ACTION III INVADERS FROM MARS KING SOLOMON’S MINES ALLEN QUARTERMAIN UNDERCOVER BLIND FURY ODDBALL HALL THE FROG PRINCE AMERICAN NINJA AMERICAN NINJA II BEHIND ENEMY LINES ARENA HOT DOG THE MOVIE HAMBURGER THE MOTION PICTURE THE WRAITH TOYS DENNIS THE MENACE LITTLE MONSTERS LEAVING NORMAL AVENGING FORCE CUTHROAT ISLAND TRINITY AND BEYOND … and about 50 more
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THE TERROR 043015 UNTITLED FONT TEST 092214 UNTITLED FONT TEST 062914 UNTITLED ENTERTAINMENT LOGO PROPOSAL 111113 606 FILMS LOGO PROPOSAL 020915 ENOUGH SAID TITLE DESIGN BOTOX COMMERCIAL STORYBOARD 030413 FREEDOM FLIGHT SKETCHES 112813 THE OCCULT MAIN TITLE PROPOSAL 02/06/13 PREDATOR DESIGN PORTFOLIO YUKON WINTER VODKA PROPOSAL CUT BANK TITLE DESIGN THE CROWDED ROOM POSTERS PT 1 THE CROWDED ROOM POSTERS PT 2 T’AO T’IEH DESIGNS 1 T’AO T’IEH DESIGNS 2 T’AO T’IEH DESIGNS 3 GREAT WALL SC 132 PT 2 GREAT WALL SC 132 PT 3 GREAT WALL SC 132 PT 4 GREAT WALL SC 132 PT 5 GREAT WALL SC 132 PT 6 GREAT WALL SC 134 135 136
NEW YORK MUGSY 111 John St, Ste. 1805 New York, NY 10038 Tel: 212.608.4500 mugsy.tv Sean Reilly Executive Producer firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer Hertslet East Coast Representation email@example.com LOS ANGELES MOVING TARGET 24025 Park Sorrento, Ste. 280 Calabasas, CA 91302 Tel: 310.394.0110 firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Jochum Executive Producer email@example.com Alan Munro Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Designer/Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio Paramount Vantage Director Edward Zwick It started as an abstract Saul Bass title treatment. But very quickly we realized the movie needed a short prologue — something to explain who, what, and where. Quite a challenge to condense World War II into five title cards and a half dozen images. After four months of snooping through the world’s most depressing film archives, we managed to get there. Gruesome but very rewarding. By the way, we also shot a lot of the second unit on the flm. Check it out here.
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Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Mind Over Eye Identifying Mind Over Eye as the agency is a misnomer. Co-creator is more like it. In fact, I’m not sure who exactly came up with the concept. All of us, I guess. In the latter stages, Mind Over Eye handled the animation, while Moving Target focused on the design and direction — but really it was a group effort all the way.
2nd Unit Director Alan Munro Studio Paramount Director Tim Burton Director Tim Burton and I have always shared a love for the Hammer horror films of the 60s. What a thrill to actually shoot one — and in England no less. And what a logistical nightmare. The forest was built inside an aircraft hangar — just long enough for the coach to get up to speed. Add to that, the ceiling was only 22 feet high — the horseman’s swinging sword was barely missing the lights. As a result, every edit is pretty much the entire usable piece of film; on the next frame you’re seeing off the set. Painstaking, but worth it. A childhood dream come true. For a further sampling of my Sleepy Hollow 2nd Unit work, click here. Or if you’d rather look at previous collaborations with Mr. Burton, check this out.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Draft FCB For EA, this is a rare foray into live action. The concept springs from an early client briefing: How to portray the game’s lead character, Sean Devlin, through different aspects of his personality. This first spot needed to establish his Irish heritage, his sense of humor, and his aptitude for cold-blooded assassination. Check out the other two commercials in the series, Handy and Talented.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R One of the few Hot Wheels spots that’s actually shot outdoors. To get the proper background, we commandeered the upper floor of a downtown Vancouver parking lot. The results, thanks mostly to ace cameraman Reed Smoot, were stunnung. Some terrific kid performances in here too.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Hard to believe, but the toughest shot was Bio the villian ducking under the water. To get the required f-stop, hundreds of foot-candles of light were needed, which brought the shallow water near to boiling. The problem is, water must be freezing cold to film in (or else it goes cloudy). By day’s end, every ice machine in Vancouver had been cleaned out. They must’ve thought we had a serious kegger going on.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The golden rule of toy commercials: Don’t ask the adults, ask the kids. To a grown-up, watching a car change color is about as exciting as, well, watching paint dry. To an 8 year-old boy, there’s nothing more cool than a green Humvee that can turn purple. The moment this spot hit the airwaves, Color Shifters flew off the shelves.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Elegant isn’t a word usually associated with Hot Wheels, but this Ferrari XV spot is a beautiful exception. A sleek track on a simple black-on-black set, lit to perfection by ace d.p. Reed Smoot. And as an added bonus, it’s got a soundtrack by Hot Wheels’ rapmaster Eric Kawaguchi: “Call ‘em hardcore, Watch ‘em race across the floor.” Better than this, it doesn’t get.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R A terrific Night In The Museum inspired concept coupled with a great little dino-themed playset. How can you top that? Watch for the fully-articulated T-Rex claw arm that steals the show — literally.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R A city full of giant Hot Wheels playsets? What’s not to love about that! And as terrific as that opening is, the play footage is even better. You gotta love how the camera glides past each set just as it’s activated, and how boldly the product stands out against the background. Also, this has most ambitious fast-build ever: an hour-long time exposure of kids covering an entire room in track. End to end, this one is a gem.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Working on a franchise as important as Harry Potter is always a political minefield. Doubly so when you’re recreating something as famous as the Quidditch flying sequence. The Warner Brothers’ hierarchy could’ve saved themselves the Pepto Bismol. After seeing the completed spot, a studio executive remarked, “Wow, your broom-flying shots look better than ours.” Best professional compliment we’ve ever gotten.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Really nice Harry figure — and all the magic tricks actually worked. Lots of fun. Too bad Harry had to grow up.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R How did we get all these tracking shots? Easy — we built the whole set on a big rubber conveyor belt. No kidding. As each take went on, and the belt continued to spin, the set would gradually disintegrate. Sounds bizarre, but it really did the trick. See for yourself.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Mantraps, knives, twin missile cannons, spiked balls of punji sticks — never before or since did so much toy-on-toy sadism get stuffed into 30 seconds. Boy, did the crew have fun filming this one. By the way, the knife-throwing was done in reverse. Even Max Steel isn’t that good.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R It started as a great concept from agency creative Fernando del Rosario: unfold the story in a continuos scroll. It became a 50 Tylenol headache trying to overlap the action, while emphasizing the key toy features, and not running afoul of toy-spot legal requirements. The results were more than worth the migraines.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency It’s all about the bling. And I don’t just mean the jewelry. We cast the girls for maximum sparkle. Did they ever deliver — smiling and bouncing and dancing and gemming for ten solid hours. We only had a day to shoot this, but sometimes a spot is better because you have to work fast.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R My Scene was a major effort to update Barbie’s image. That meant giving the dolls a strong sense of life, of personality. The shoot was a short one, so every gag had to be intricately coreographed during prep. Lots of rehearsals, lots of video pre-viz, but it really paid off.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Ogilvy The whole spot was shot in three hours — three hours of total insanity. The camera kept rolling, the kid kept popping in and out, we kept handing him new props, tossing him lines. Much as the adults would like to take credit, the kid came up with the “I’m gunna buy a monkey” tag. Inspired.
2nd Unit Director Alan Munro Studio Paramount Vantage Director Edward Zwick Aside from two complete sequences (which are here and here), I also directed establishing shots and transitions. Chiefly I handled the changes of seasons and the refugees march into the woods. Full disclosure: Not everything here is in the final film. The shot of actor George MacKay braving the Polish winter is part of a lengthy sequence that ended up on the cold cutting room floor. It now makes its debut. By the way, a couple of these scenes are matte paintings. If you want to check out our visual effects work on Defiance, click here.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Draft FCB In this last installment, we wanted to slip in some sex. Even Sean Devlin needs to unwind between massacres. For the record, we didn’t use any explosives on set. In fact, we didn’t use much set. The street is mostly a matte painting. Missed the first two episodes? You can catch them here and here.
Thanks for stopping by. Before you begin your tour, here’s a few things to keep in mind: All the commercials were produced by Brian Jochum and directed by Alan Munro. On most of the non-Mattel spots, Moving Target also supervised the post-production. All visual effects were either designed or supervised by Alan. Everything for the past decade was produced by Brian through Moving Target. Same goes for the title sequences. The second unit work was all directed by Alan.* More stuff could’ve been posted — a lot more — but we figured this was plenty. It should give you a good idea of where we’ve been, where we’re going, and what we could do for you. Enjoy. * One thing we can’t claim as our own is the tagline, “More fun than gum.” That phrase comes courtesy of ace ad man David Heise. He didn’t say it about us, but it sure seemed apt.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Fernando Del Rosario Filming with Nascar driver Carl Edwards was a revelation. He looked over the copy, then asked, “How much time do I have?” “Only 5 seconds,” I replied. He read it aloud — only once — while we timed him. He shook his head: “That’s more like 6.5 seconds.” The stopwatch read 6.4. I guess that’s why he’s a world class driver. As for the toy footage: Hands-down, the best car crashes we’ve ever staged. Plus my all-time favorite soundtrack courtesy of rap-master Eric Kawaguchi. Unbeatable.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The only thing cooler than four cars in a head-on collision is four cars in a head-on collision at 2000 frames per second. Throw in a Matrix freeze-frame shot, and set it all in Sin City, and you’ve got a Hot Wheels classic.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency FCB Shooting the “fast-builds” was especially tricky. With a toy this big, it’s not easy to frame a shot and keep the hand model’s body out. This particular model was a small-handed woman — and no one ever looked less like a little boy than she did. This is the first Mega Rig commercial — and still one of the best. One other point of pride: the cutaway of the boy wiping his brow appears in dozens of other Mattel spots.
Designer/Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum A sampler’s plate of our main title work. There’s something for every taste: The Gulf War, the Holocaust, conflict diamonds, Viagra, samurai warriors, out-of-work businessmen, dysfunctional families, dead people, and even icky bugs.* If you’d like to see some of these scenes in their full unedited glory click here. * No actual bugs were squished during the filming of this sequence.
Designer/Director/Supervisor Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum A taster’s menu of our latest visual effects work. You’ll notice, some of the clips are pretty short. Worry not. Most shots can be seen in their full length glory on other reels. Just click here.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency FCB Every once in awhile Mattel lets us turn the dial up to 11. For this one, we got to bring out the complete Gene Simmons party pack: Wind machines, air cannons, lightning. We didn’t douse the kid with lighter fluid and set him on fire, but we thought about it. A terrific spot.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R I love the look of all these Yu-Gi-Oh spots. We don’t get to do moody underlighting like this very often. Stylish toy, terrific young actors. What more could you want.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R This is the follow-up to Monster Jam, and it has another fabulous CG fantasy opening. Love the grunge cage-match look of the play footage. A personal favorite. By the way the monster truck driver also played the lead in the three Saboteur spots we did for EA.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R It’s not often when a toy spot concentrates on narrative rather than on highlighting features. In this case, the toy had no real features to highlight. That left us free to shoot a spot about a runty kid beating up on the class bully. Metaphorically beating him up, that is. Wish we could do more like this. Love the desaturated color styling. A very bold choice for a toy commercial.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Colby & Partners Every aspect of this spot — framing, design, color palette, lighting — was preplanned in minute detail. The reason for this: The toys, although pretty to look at, didn’t really do anything. You’d never know it from the finished spot.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R To get the shot of the skateboard 720, we actually mounted Max and the camera to an automotive steering wheel. The camera could simultaneously dolly, pan, tilt and twirl. Been looking for another occasion to use this rig. Also, we did cheat a tiny bit to get the water balloons to explode on cue — we hid pins in the dirt. Don’t tell legal.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The lava is a mixture of water, methocel, red food coloring, and oatmeal — the same recipe they used in the 1960 version of The Time Machine. Always loved that film, always read about it in “making-of” books on visual effects. Only one thing the books don’t tell you: After a few hours under the hot lights, oatmeal goes rancid. Yuck.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R I love everything about this spot. Love the sawing-through-aluminum-foil scene and the breadstick-beheading scene. Really love the helicopter-one-armed-overhead-Psycho toss. More wicked than this, it doesn’t get.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Two of my favorite shots: Max reflected in the aluminum foil, Max frozen in mid-kick as the camera spins round. Another Max classic.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The playset is activated, the camera spins, and the room literally flies apart. The only spot ever where the fantasy sequence is staged in a ‘real’ boy’s bedroom, while the toy play happens in a ‘fantasy’ monster truck arena. Combine that with some in-your-face crashing and bashing, and you’ve got a terrific toy spot. So terrific it even inspired a sequel.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The best thing about shooting Max Steel: You get to recreate your favorite movie moments in miniature. For this outing, we got to do the collapsing rope bridge gag. What fun. Originally the gorge was a lot deeper, but the legal department objected. They said it wasn’t safe for young boys — or plastic dogs.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The best part of any Max Steel spot is trying to figure out how to bump off the villain. This one, with its teeter-totter of death, is a particular favorite. Also I love the lab shots, with the bubbling colored potions.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R A companion to the Batmobile spot. This one, with its too-many characters and too-many play features, was an even bigger nightmare to plan out. Nice to look at, but kinda hard to follow. Something about Robin escaping an ice cube prison.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The toys may have been tiny, but the setting was huge. Masters needs to feel epic. That meant lots of atmospheric smoke, lots of set dressing, and very very wide lenses. The background cyc was 40X60. Even at that, we barely stayed on it — and these were 6″ action figures! Painful (especially the lighting bill), but worth every penny.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Without doubt, the most beautiful model kits Mattel ever produced. We still have a set on display in our office.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Love the set, with its gridded glass table top, and its thin venetian blinds. Very James Bond — which seems appropriate for showcasing a missile launching spider.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Colby & Partners Let’s talk about the trampoline footage. It was the last set-up of a long day. Our young cast, serious atheletes all, wowed us with spectacular trampoline moves (only short clips are used in the spot). After we wrapped, a few hearty crew members started bouncing around. Pretty soon everybody was taking a turn — crew, client, agency. There was alcohol involved. We filmed all of it. Sadly we’ve lost track of that footage. Or maybe happily.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency FCB A really fun construction toy. We did a whole series of these. Despite all the fast-builds, the tag shots were actually the hardest. Getting the pieces to pour out neatly across a table took a lot of fiddling. And the shot of pieces falling at the lens took forever. Now we’d just do these in CG. And they probably wouldn’t look as interesting.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The cartoon version of the Batmobile. A super-neat toy with lots of features, but very hard to shoot. Legally cars like this have to be hand-activated (toy-speak for pushed by hand). Nearly impossible to push a car this large for any distance and not see the pushee’s face. Why is this a problem? Because our pushee is not a kid. In fact, he’s not a he — he’s a young lady. Quite a beautiful young lady. Lots of very precise camera operating is needed to keep the frame face-free. Watch closely — the camera choreography in this spot is flawless. Also I love the death scene.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Not all Bat Spots are created equal. There is “real” Batman which is based on the movies, and then there is “cartoon” Batman which is based on the animated series. This particular spot stars cartoon Batman. He’s much trickier to work with, as he’s far less articulate than his “real” counterpart. Thank goodness he only had to sit in his batjet. Sadly, his nemesis Bane had to do some real actual menacing — something he wasn’t very good at. It was painstaking, but we managed to mask his physical limitations (he only had three movable joints) quite successfully. That is, I think we were successful.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R My all-time favorite piece of toy commercial set dressing. What kid doesn’t want a secret bat-cabinet hidden behind their bookcase? Love every shot in this spot. A winner.
Designer/Supervisor Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio 20th Century Fox Director Edward Zwick Probably you’re saying to yourself: “If the movie is about a Viagra salesman, shouldn’t the titles be in a Viagra-style font?” Well, that’s how we felt — at first. After all, it’s the obvious choice. Which is exactly why director Ed Zwick argued against it. In the end, he got his way and rescued the title sequence from devolving into a silly — and obvious — joke. Thank goodness for directors with taste. As with the rest of the movie, there’s a lot of invisible effects work going on (Jake Gyllenhaal’s bloody nose, for instance). If you want to see more, click here.
Designer/Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio The Weinstein Company Director John Wells Despite its simplicity, this sequence was quite an ordeal. Lots of cuts, recuts and general fiddling with the video clips. Thanks to ace editor Rob Frazen the credits have a gradually accelerating tempo which gives the whole scene a wonderful sense of anticipation. Always great when the titles can set the scene and the mood. In case you didn’t notice (and we’re hoping you didn’t), the shot of Ben’s car arriving at the GTX Building is a matte painting. For more of our Company Men effects work, watch this.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R These samurai warrior Masters were on stilts, which made them very unsteady — and thereby nearly impossible to puppeteer. By contrast, their battle raptor stallions were beautifully made and easy to manipulate. Filming this was slow going. Thankfully it doesn’t show.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Draft FCB The middle portion of the Saboteur triptych (the other spots are here and here). This outing needed to show Sean Devlin at his most devious. Cutting a radio’s power cable and then using it as a garrote seemed to have the requisite amount of elegance and perversity. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse for some Edith Piaf source music.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Colby & Partners Another dino-themed playset (check out Xtractaurs and Dino Pop Up), only this time with a techno twist. Shooting this spot was seriously fun. If you really want to connect with your inner eight year-old try disintegrating a rock pile with a power drill.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Clients — quite rightly — want to see their whole playset. The problem is, vertical objects framed in a horizontal format always leave tons of negative space on each side. Ugh. Add to that, this particular vertical toy was wall-mounted so the background couldn’t have any depth. Double-ugh. To top it off, this playset was made for the rather inarticulate cartoon Batman figures. Triple-ugh. Fortunately, it was a damned fun toy, and conceptually a very well designed spot. Not half bad, if you ask me.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R For those unfamiliar with toy lore, Max Steel is a sort of poly vinyl chloride James Bond. Always facing devious criminal masterminds, always victorious. In the first episode Max battles Bio, a four-armed reptilian, in his underwater cave hideout. In the second, Max is pitted against arch-enemy Psycho and his robot slave. Let’s see 007 top that.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R If there’s an Olympic Record for piece count, this playset holds it. Combs, towels, sponges, bath salts, shampoos, perfumes, loofahs — you name the bathroom accessory this toy has it. Every young lady loves to be pampered. Even the plastic ones.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Colby & Partners If you’re trying to get in touch with your inner rainbow, this spot’s for you. Ice Cream Island, with its confectionary landscape and gamboling sweet-scented ponies (Milkshake, Cookie Dough), is off-the-charts adorable. In case you’re wondering, the ice cream sundaes are carved out of foam and the grass is green plush carpet.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency If you’re shooting a camel death march, who should the camel characters be? Arab Trader Camels wearing mini bernooses? Desert Explorer Camels with little pith helmets? Or French Legionnaire Camels? The correct answer: Legionnaire Camels. And what desert are they in? A little known strip of sand that runs between Giza and Las Vegas.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio The Weinstein Company Director John Wells With any straight drama, the fx work has to be seamless. Hard enough, but when you add a director with an impeccable eye and master cinematographer Roger Deakins, you’ve got yourself some serious challenges. Like for instance, replacing a modest office building with a sprawling multi-national corporate complex. Or transforming an emerald spring day into Halloween. Numerically, it wasn’t a lot of shots; technically, it pretty much ran the gamut. Tough, but worth every lost hour of sleep. The film is an under-appreciated gem. Click here to see the full length autumn sequence, here to see the other matte paintings, and here to see the main title sequence. It’s all worth a look.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio 20th Century Fox Director Edward Zwick Of course the reel highlights the more obvious work — greenscreens, matte paintings, 3D animation, face fixes — but most of the shots are much subtler. A little snow added, a lot of rain subtracted, a room’s color altered, a snap shot replaced. The stuff you’re not supposed to notice. The stuff that’s really hard to do, but doesn’t make the show reel. If you’d like to see a few of the longer fx sequences, click here and here.
Designer/Director/Supervisor Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum My first decade of film work compressed into two minutes. Most of the clips are from four movies: Beetlejuice, Nightmare On Elm Street, The Addams Family, and Addams Family Values. I was both effects supervisor and 2nd unit director on all four. Technically a lot of it wouldn’t pass muster these days. Still, for sheer inventiveness and energy, it’s mostly aged quite gracefully. If you’d like to see a few of these sequences in their unedited glory, click here, here, and here.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio Icon Productions Director Adrian Grünberg Muzzle flashes, ejecting shells, squib hits, breaking glass, exploding mustard bottles, exploding hands. You name it, we shot it apart. Our job was to turn this scene into an epic bloodbath. Mission accomplished.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio Icon Productions Director Adrian Grünberg This sequence was fraught with technical and logistical problems. The biggest one being time: the scene had to be thrown together between Christmas and New Years. Not perfect, but lots and lots of fun. Can’t wait for the movie to be released — it’s terrific.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio The Weinstein Company Director John Wells Director John Wells wanted a spectacular — but believable — fall day. Once we agreed on a look, the execution was quite a grind. Lots of added details: leaves, water puddles, Halloween decorations. On film, we acheived an extraodinary range of subtle fall colors, but sadly that’s been lost in this video transfer. Most of the scene was shot on a steadicam, which meant it was easier to repaint the entire background as a multi-level matte and then re-track it back in. For other Company Men work, click here and here.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio 20th Century Fox Director Edward Zwick With an older… that is, a more mature actress, one always needs to balance between improving her looks and keeping her age appropriate. That was doubly difficult in this case since Ms. Clayburgh was not in good health (she passed away shortly after the film was completed). The decision was to concentrate less on wrinkles, and more on general skin texture, liver spots, and the whiteness of her teeth and eyes. The results were subtle, almost undetectable, but very effective. I hope she was pleased. For more Love and Other Drugs fx work, click here and here.
VFX Supervisor Alan Munro VFX Producer Brian Jochum Studio 20th Century Fox Director Edward Zwick One of two greenscreen driving sequences. The background driving plates were devoid of source lights, but rather than reshoot, we simply dolled up the foreground with a lot of digital elements: lights, reflections, camera shakes, and so on. The results, though imperfect, are rather convincing. For an overview of LAOD fx work click here. Also, you should check out the main titles.
Designer/Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio Columbia Pictures Director Barry Sonnenfeld Director Barry Sonnenfeld had the general idea — adventures of a flying bug — but allowed us the freedom to fill in the details. What fun. Technically the sequence is something of a hybrid. The intrepid dragonfly is an early experiment in digital creature animation, while the background is a combination of miniatures (complete with 1/12 scale traffic), matte paintings, day-for-night shooting at Vasquez Rocks, and a desert-dressed parking lot. Of all our Adventures in Main Titleland, this is the one I’m most proud of. Until the next one, of course. By the way, the scene was originally cut to Jerry Lee Lewis’ rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” I still hear it whenever I watch.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Fast builds are always a challenge. In this case, it was doubly tough. You see, joints need to be loosened so the hand model can easily disassemble the pieces (yes, we film these scenes in reverse). These particular toys were cast in very heavy plastic. Why is that a problem? Because all that extra weight made the toy collapse once the joints were loosened. Lots of unseen putty and tape and pins and tacks and praying are keeping these guys together. You’d never know.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Quite a challenge. We needed to animate toys that had very limited articulation. A pain in the you-know-where, but it worked out rather well. Helped immeasurably by the bold — and beautiful — color styling of the Yu-Gi-Oh toys. They give the spot a lot of style.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Tyco put out a bunch of ghoulish candy-making toys under the banner of Dr. Dreadful. We only did one campaign, but it was a beaut. And yes, Dr. Dreadful is playing his own mother. Fun toys, great commercials, dreadful candy.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R The best thing about shooting these Matchbox “marble machines” is, the kids never have to fake their smiles. Always great fun. The only challenge is how to squeeze lights and lenses into such tiny spaces. Keith Peterman, our ace DP, is a master at it. As you can see.
Designer/Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio 20th Century Fox Director Edward Zwick An oldie but a goodie. We scoured every news agency for Gulf War stock footage. Nobody wanted to license the rights. What a nightmare! Our biggest headache: the director, Ed Zwick wanted a voice clip of Peter Arnett, CNN’s man on the ground in Baghdad. Trouble was, CNN wouldn’t give us clearance. So we called him up and recorded him over the phone. Thanks, Peter.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Anytime a toy is named “Micro” you know you’re in for a tough shoot. The concept was that you could play with these little magnetic cars anywhere in the house. So of course we filmed in a real house. It was like chasing an army of coke-addicted cockroaches. Lucky for us they were fun toys and they worked great. A few prototypes are still stuck to the office heating vent.
2nd Unit Director Alan Munro Studio Paramount Vantage Director Edward Zwick No sets here. The police station, interior and exterior, was located just outside Vilnius, Lithuania (spitting distance from where these events actually took place). Every part of this sequence was achieved in camera — the muzzle flashes, the squib hits, even the stuttered-image photographic effect. The last shot — the car headlights through the trees — wasn’t planned; I snatched it as the car turned around. You take ‘em where you can get ‘em.
Designer/Supervisor Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio Warner Brothers Director Marshall Herskovitz A simple title sequence set in the world’s most beautiful city, populated with boatloads of half-naked beautiful women. What’s not to like? Seriously, this is a personal favorite. Gallons of perspiration was shed over the relationship between the images, the music, the voice-over, and the credits; I think it shows. Also, it’s got a really nice matte painting of 16th Century Venice. Not many people have seen this film, which is a shame.
2nd Unit Director Alan Munro Studio Paramount Vantage Director Edward Zwick Originally part of a longer battle sequence, this section was cut from the final film. It was shot in the dim light of a single Lithuanian winter afternoon. 1st Unit was filming alongside, which confined us to very few angles and very minimal coverage (they kept stealing our extras). Limitations aside, I’m rather proud of it. Don’t blame master editor Steve Rosenblum for this assemblage; this is strictly my cut. More 2nd Unit work from Defiance can be seen here and here.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency FCB Probably the most ambitious Hot Wheels commercial ever. We built an entire city out of Hot Wheels playsets — over 1200 square feet — rigged an overhead motion control gantry and flew a camera down its mini-streets. For the car POV shots, we constructed an oversized Hot Wheels’ dashboard — the only time Mattel ever allowed such a cheat. Lots of work, but it really paid off.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R What could be more fun than a dragon themed playset? Moody lighting, smoky set, flickering flames. There’s even a Hot Wheels’ photographic first: a POV driving shot through a 360 loop. It’s a super-tiny wireless video camera mounted to a modified Hot Wheels chassis. Always wanted to do it.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R We didn’t know which boy would go with which dinosaur. That meant all three boys did all three set ups — plus about ten alternate versions that weren’t used. Add to that, the interactive lights and fans and air cannons. Exhausting, but it really paid off. The fabulous CG dinosaurs were created by our partners-in-crime at Mind Over Eye. Amazing.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R This spot holds a little piece of Hot Wheels history: it has the very first Matrix shot. Not a real Matrix shot, of course, but only a clever simulation. The motorcycle was mounted to a clear plastic rod, and the entire set was rotated in front of a static camera. Nothing in a toy commercial is ever what it seems.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Glow-in-the-dark effects are always tricky. Usually they’re just not bright enough to photograph. Not so with these babies. Absolutely gorgeous. By the way, all the close-up driving footage was shot on a large turntable in front of a moving background with a statically positioned camera. It’s a technique that took about 100 Hot Wheels and Matchbox commercials to perfect. Works like a dream.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R Years ago we did the original Mega Rig commercial. Since then we’ve perfected our “fast-build” camera technique. For the uninitiated, a “fast-build” is where the toy is assembled and disassembled at lightning speed on camera. Trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks. We shot this particular spot at a real fire station. Our kid actors got to slide down the fire pole; the crew didn’t. I hate insurance companies.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Renegade Marketing Group Better living through labeling. The agency had written a little ditty about The Town of Mess and The Town of Neat. It was the perfect excuse to get crazy. No trickery in the house interior transformation. It’s actually two complete sets swapped out one wall at a time.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency FCB Maybe it’s the glow-in-the-dark cars. Or it could be the vertical figure-8 track, or the kick-ass car crashes. Maybe it’s the Burl Ives volcano puppet that spits Buicks out the top of his head. Whatever it is, 10 year-old boys sure do love it. A mega-hit.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Ogilvy If the CG cookies and milk look exceptionally believable, there’s a reason: They’re not CG. We actually constructed oversized Oreos and shot them hi-speed. No kidding. The girl is floating on a 5 foot diameter foam cookie. We still have it. If ever someone builds a 3000 square foot gingerbread house, we have the perfect coffee table.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency FCB Every day it poured rain. It rained in Mile Square Park when we shot the opening. It rained in Santa Barbara, and in the wine country. Even in the desert we had rain. It was so wet, mold started growing on the Mazda’s car seats. Gave the footage a great look though. And we never had to do a wet down.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Ogilvy Whenever I see a bowl of cereal, my first thought is always, “Let’s party!” What do you say about this one? It’s the ultimate product mash (Honeycomb, Tang, Sony Electronics, and free backpack giveaways) crammed into a roomful of crazed party-hounds, bright lights and balloons. With a CG troll and an orangutan thrown in for added confusion. And yet, in a crazy commercial sort of way, it makes sense. Or maybe it doesn’t. Anyhow, it’s a lot of fun.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Ogilvy Another Post Cereal multi-product sell-athon (check out V.I.P.s). Love the scissor-cutting transitions and the frenetic camera work. An older spot that’s aged quite nicely.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Everybody should have at least one condom commercial on their reel. The cityscape is a matte painting, the car interior is a wrecking yard rescue. FX superstar David Miller graciously consented to portray Trojan Man. He also made the costume and the condom package. By the way, that condom package is three times larger than normal. No guy ever seems to notice.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R How do you make a Hot Wheels playset stand out? One way is to highlight a unique feature — like for instance a motorized spiral ramp. The other way is to add a bit of post-production spice — like some cartoon graphics. Not our best, that’s for sure, but it is an interesting exercise in style.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Y & R A sewer-mouthed talking car is a really funny concept, but it’s not very network friendly. Thank goodness everybody decided to ignore all those disapproving censor-types. Kudos to the agency for making an edgy toy spot. And to Mattel for making such a hilarious toy.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Ogilvy Seems like a million years since we were using 2D animation, but this spot is only a decade old. Lots of fun little tricks going on here. For instance, when the kids fly into the cereal box, they are actually stop-motion puppets. In the product shots, the cereal letters are made out of sculpy and the milk is white glue. Under the ‘It’s a Small World’ heading: The little girl holding the spoon now hand models for us.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Love the loneliness of the opening shot. Very un-McDonalds. And no, there isn’t really a fast food restaurant on this road. We hauled the sign out to Palmdale. Another very early excursion into CG effects. Also one of our first big hits. At the time, this was the biggest selling Happy Meal toy tie-in ever.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Agency Probably you’re wondering what a Blade Runner cityscape, a suicidal bubblegum rocker, and a sewer dwelling humpback whale have to do with noodle eating. This is how the agency explained it to us: “Whales are humble. To be hungry is to be humble.” Japanese commercials are the best.
Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio Paramount This was originally shot for The Addams Family movie. Filmed in one day at a downtown brokerage firm, it’s a combination of puppet work and prosthetics. No post production trickery here — all of it is acheived in camera. We also supervised the visual effects, shot the 2nd Unit, and did the main title sequence for this film. Check it out here, here, and here.
FX Supervisor/2nd Unit Director Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Studio Sony Director Rupert Wainwright This isn’t the first piece we did for the gloved one. It isn’t the strangest either (does anyone remember Is This Scary?), but it is certainly the biggest. For starters, we recreated Budapest in miniature. In the city center we placed a statue scaled 800 feet high (Michael didn’t think small), and surrounded it with a miniature crowd numbering half-a-million. This is one of the earliest CG projects. The helicopters are all CG, and so is Michael’s army. At the time, the wide shot of the drilling army was the most complex After Effects render ever attempted. How times have changed.
Designer/Director/Supervisor Alan Munro Producer Brian Jochum Another effects montage. Not my favorite, but still quite fun. And it does contain some shots you won’t see anywhere else on the site. Enjoy.