Smoke & Mirrors and Tarsem Create Beer Heaven

Smoke and Mirrors New York and’s Tarsem create the beertastic world for BBH and brew masters at Miller Lite. The ever-elusive Beer Heaven is revealed to our hero, Mark as he spots the descending stairwell into the promised-land.

What he finds is a bar where the taps and shelves are fully stocked with the perfect combination of taste and refreshment. Mark is the star of the bar – everyone knows his name and the barstool reflects that notion.

SMNY had the responsibility of making sure Beer Heaven lived up to its name by creating an environment complete with a TV-inlaid air hockey table, and a moving pool table pocket that allows players to sink the shot every time. Mark likes Miller Lite beer, and the collaboration between all involved made a world where he gets what he wants.

We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with both BBH and legendary film and commercial director, Tarsem. We provided the on-set effects supervision right through to the final compositing. We collectively opted out of the green screen approach on all shots as it would have hampered the production process considerably. Instead, we utilized our Toxic system to rotoscope any actors crossing in front of the VFX areas.

When it came to the TV/air hockey table, the sports footage was layered into it, complete with reflections and graphics. We had to take into account the swing and tilt lenses used in-camera. Multiple films and effects packed into a three day turnaround included wire removal shots on the falling bottles, the darts, moving beer mats, layering the sports footage into the table, the heavenly pool table, and matching the twins’ hair color throughout. Shot in HD, the initial TK tape to tape grade had to be matched on different edits in Flame using the Furnace spark set.

About Smoke & Mirrors New York:

Founded by Creative Director Sean Broughton, CEO Penny Verbe and CTO Mark Wildig lead the New York and London-based design, animation and VFX studio Smoke & Mirrors. It has been synonymous with creativity, originality, and innovation since its inception. Smoke & Mirrors diverse range of projects include: feature films from ranging from Harry Potter to James Bond, award winning commercials, music videos and television.

The Creds:

Client: Miller Brewing Co.
Product: Miller Lite
Spot Title: Bar Stool
Air Date: April 2008

Agency: BBH
ECD: Kevin Roddy
GCD: Todd Riddle
Art Director: Amy Servidea
Copywriter: Pete Lefebvre
Producer: Julian Katz

Prod Company:
Director: Tarsem

Music: “Collarbone” by Fujiya & Miyagi
Post/Effects: Smoke & Mirrors/NY
CD/Lead VFX Artist: Sean Broughton
VFX Support Artist(s): Sam Caine,
Stephanie Isaacson
Produer(s): Paul O’Beirne, Barbara Kontarovich

Editorial: The Whitehouse
Editor: Ben Stephens
Producer: Corina Dennison

Telecine: The Mill, NY
Colorist: Fergus McCall

Audio Post: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Philip Loeb

Shoot Location: Hollywood, CA

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