How does our blog smell?

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Look at this blog entry. Now look at your blog. Now look back here. Is your blog as well written as this one? No. Can it at least be written in the same language? Yes. And if you haven’t enjoyed the Old Spice The Man Your Man Could Smell Like spots, you should. Last week, a new one came out and it is as clever and well done as the “I’m on a horse” spot.

After the fifth or sixth viewing, I started wondering how the hell did they do that? It looks like most of it is real, meaning non-CG. The beach background and sky in the beginning were composited, but the dock, towel and prosthetic legs look real. Is the background real or on a soundstage? Probably real, but who knows? The sawdust kicking up on the circular saw looks CG to me, but it might be a rig. In any case, it’s a fake, because this required more than one take to get it right, and you’re not going to have your actor keep sawing planks off your set every take.

The “swan dive” is either real or they took a lot of trouble to make the move look fake (that would be going pretty deep, but considering the creative, not out of the realm of possibilities). The real mind blower is the transition at the end from shorts and barefoot to jeans and shoes.

Here’s what I think: The camera is on a computer controlled track. The splashing water is CG. You can see between 22:08 and 22:09 he abruptly, but ever so slightly, changes position without motion blur, meaning there is a cut there. They probably stopped action shortly after he landed from the swan dive, then they placed the motorcycle on his mark, refilled the tank, then used a still from the take they wanted and positioned his body to make the transition as smooth as possible, then used the CG water to obscure the cut. The trees and rocks are blocking the sky, so you don’t have to worry about the cloud continuity.

Either way, it is so skillfully done, that I applaud you, Old Spice. Your attention to detail is refreshing and astounding. But I’m still not going to buy your body wash. See the rest of the spots here.


  • donovan
    July 8, 2010, 8:58 am  Reply

    THAT is awesome.

  • July 9, 2010, 5:59 am  Reply

    It kind of looks like he has on some kind of acrobatic rig for the jump into the swan dive. I’m not sure how they brushed that out of the final product, but it looks like there is some kind of rig under his clothes. Man, that’s a good spot.

  • Rob
    July 13, 2010, 2:00 pm  Reply

    ** Update **

    Received this link in an email: http://consumerist.com/2010/07/how-did-they-make-that-old-spice-commercial.html

    Isaiah Mustafa, the gent who wears no shirt, is interviewed on G4 about the making of the spot. He claims that the saw is real, but doesn’t answer the question is the sawdust CG directly. My guess is that the saw was not actually cutting, unless they replaced the counter in every take, which would be a huge waste of money, but in Hollywood, who knows?

    He also, interestingly, does not answer the question about the costume change, but that is fairly obvious, looking at it frame by frame.

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