Production Notes

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Rhinoceros Visual Effects & Design, launched last year by R/GA spinners Michael Miller and Rick Wagonheim, took a star turn on the season premiere of The Sopranos. The New York-based effects shop , which has undertaken photorealistic CG projects for clients like Colgate and 3M, got the assignment to craft a scene out of existing footage of Nancy Marchand, who, though battling cancer, brilliantly portrayed Livia Soprano in the show's first two seasons before she died last year. With all eyes focused on the virtual Livia, Wagonheim and partner Miller found themselves on the talk show circuit, appearing on both Today and MSNBC. "What an amazing experience," says Wagonheim, "The whirlwind of attention it got was more amazing than the scene or the work that was done." Bartle Bogle Hegarty recently produced a twisted spot to market Levi's in Europe. A compact carload of carefree hipsters pull over to stretch their legs. And their fingers, and their arms, and their torsos, and their heads clean off their bodies. The tagline: "Twisted to fit." With direction by Frank Budgen, and effects by The Mill, the result is a psychedelic feast of a concept, although one not without risks. "You look at the content of the script and you have to make sure that it's not going to put people off their food," explains BBH producer Andy Gulliman. "A lot of time was spent deciding how to get the graceful end result." The celebrity wrangling was formidable for the recent "Concert" Apple spot by TBWA/Chiat/Day, as a cast of almost two dozen musical acts - including Liz Phair, Iggy Pop, and Barry White - were gathered on one stage to plug the philosophy of "Mix. Rip. Burn." "A lot of people in the record business said it couldn't be done," says Chiat senior producer Cheryl Childers, a note of relief in her voice. "They thought we were nuts." Kinka Usher shot the gathered celebs in about four hours two days after the Grammy awards, timing that helped with availability. On a one to 10 Hecticness Scale, Childers gives the wrangling involved a 9.5. Burger King has rolled out a new extra-long hamburger in Latin America, dubbed the XL, with spots by Lowe Lintas Worldwide. But where do extra-long hamburgers come from? Why, from extra-long cows, of course, courtesy of Miami's FireWorks Motion Media. According to director of effects Wally Rodrigue, the shop considered crafting an attenuated cow with CG, but opted for compositing bona fide bovines instead- giving the plus-sized Bossy a more realistic (or is that surrealistic?) look.Got production news? E-mail Jim Hanas at jhanas@crain.com
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