The Making Of – Lime Cayman TV Commercial

 In Knowledge, VFX, Whirlybird News

When local marketing agency BB&P approached us to produce their latest commercial concept for Lime, we were happy to accept the challenge.  

Producing top-shelf commercials in the Cayman Islands is never simple and from the outset we knew there were going to be challenges with weather, props & locations.  The purpose of this post is to outline some of the major challenges we faced producing this spot and how we overcame them with practical and digital solutions.

1. Weather

There are three seasons in Cayman, Summer, Hot Summer and Hurricane Season.  Hurricane season starts in June and ends in November.  Apart from the constant impending threat of gail-force winds flattening the landscape there are far more concerning issues, and they all relate to unpredictable weather; thunderstorms and heavy showers, hazy skies, cloudy skies, excessive heat & humidity.  What might seem like a sunny, cloud-free day can quickly turn into a gloomy wet mess. 

This can turn into an economical nightmare for scheduling film-days, and instead of filming over 1 day as planned, we ended up spreading the shooting over 4 days.  The most weather-sensitive scenes were the beach scenes, because they needed to look bright and sunny and the sky has to be as bright and blue as possible.  Sometimes that’s just not possible to film in-camera when the haze levels are out of control.  So in order to give the client what they wanted we turned to our post-production capabilities and replaced the skies where necessary.

We also pulled out the foreground in each scene to add additional luminance to our actors skin tones, this was done rotoscoping frame-by-frame each character and then blending all the layers together.

Tip:  When working in temperatures between 35º-40ºC make sure you carry lots of shade, water, towels and snacks.  Our talent were major troopers, having to deal with hanging out in direct sunlight for hours while we got the shots we needed.

2.  Props

BB&P went to great lengths to source all the necessary elements for this shoot, and on a tiny Island that’s usually a tall order, because it’s never easy finding exactly what you want.  Lime’s primary colour is, of course, lime green.  Their major competitors colour is red.  To play on this, we wanted all the ’Big’ props to be Lime green and if any of the smaller props happened to be red then that was a bonus.  Ironically, almost all of the available ‘Big’ props were obnoxiously red!

To solve this problem, we again turned to our post-production workflow, tracking masks around the affected areas and converting the hues to the correct brand colours.

We also removed unwanted objects (like the garbage in the background) from the frames. 

To make the props come to life, we sourced appropriate sound effects (and created a few ourselves).  Needless to say, as challenging as it was, we want to give BB&P ‘Props’ (pun intended) for sourcing so many dynamic accessories and it really made a difference in the overall production value.

3.  Location

Our biggest scene definitely proved one of the most challenging.  Reversing a truck with large speakers on a beach can create a lot of problems.  We’re fortunate enough to have a lot of nice beaches to choose from, so the task was to ensure that the chosen beach gave the feeling of seclusion.  We decided to use West Bay Public Beach

There’s a launch ramp there that allowed us to bring the truck with speakers right up to the water.  Using strategic framing of each shot we were able to give the illusion of seclusion without actually have to be secluded.

Overall we think the finished project turned out very well.

SeanB
Caribbean Filmmaker and co-founder of Whirlybird Productions.
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Showing 2 comments
  • Paulo Fierro
    Reply

    Good work on the ad, I really loved this behind the scenes write-up. Would love to see more of this and congrats 🙂

    • SeanB
      Reply

      Thanks Paulo! We’re planning on releasing more informative pieces throughout the year. Keep checking out blog and Facebook.

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