Doner’s “One Surprise After Another” to Debut in Theaters

Ringside Creative recently teamed with GTN in providing post production services to Doner, Detroit, for a new, national advertising campaign launching Mazda’s 2007 line up of vehicles. Ringside’s Chris Hafner edited: 60 and: 30 second versions of the spot, One Surprise After Another, featuring a series of magical reveals of the new cars and SUVs. GTN handled visual effects and final post work for the spot, which was finished in both HD and standard def. The campaign breaks this month in cinemas, HDTV and broadcast television.

The spot opens on a woman jogging through a city. She pauses to tie her shoe in front of an office building as two people emerge from its doors. As the doors swing shut, the woman is surprised to find a sleek red coupe reflected in glass that a moment earlier had been clear. Other vignettes follow a similar pattern with new Mazdas suddenly appearing in places where they weren’t before. In the spot’s penultimate scene, a sporty, new CX-7 turns up in the side mirror of a motorcycle and then passes the rider while ascending a mountain road. The camera pulls out of the scene to show that the curvy highway spells out Mazda’s “Zoom Zoom” tag.

Because the spot will initially appear in theaters, it had to offer enough production and entertainment value to keep audiences engaged. “It had to be very cinematic,” said Hafner, “a spot with a lot of great effects and the quality of a movie trailer.”

The magical reveals of the Mazda vehicles are the focal point of the spot, but like any good magic trick, they required the proper set up. “I had to be very aware of the timing,” explained Hafner. “The reveals needed to last long enough to make an impact, but we also had to leave room to continue building the story. It’s a good story and we needed to move from scene to scene seamlessly and without feeling rushed.”

The effects work was accomplished by a team of artists from GTN. Although in their finished form the reveals appear clean and simple, several are actually quite complex and made up of multiple elements derived from different sources. In the scene with the jogger, not only did the car need to be set into the glass doors, but also each component of the background behind it-and all of those elements had to be textured to have the shimmering, not quite substantial quality of a mirrored reflection.

Additionally, the jogger who appears in the foreground of the shot was set into the scene. “The agency wanted her to react to the reflection but in the element we had, she didn’t do that,” explained GTN Visual Effects Supervisor Dave Payton. “So, we had to replace her with an element from a different take where she gave the proper reaction.”

Further effects and color correction work was accomplished during final editing. “Because the spot was being finished in HD, and ultimately output to film, we had to be very careful about details,” explained GTN Smoke Editor Ron Moser. “Things you might not notice on broadcast television would become obvious when blown up on a big screen.”

Referring to a scene where a car is revealed in the viewfinder of a digital camera, Moser added, “There was difference in the color of a pond that appears in the background of the composite in the viewfinder and the same pond visible behind the camera. We balanced that out to make the shot look seamless.”

Doner plans to follow up One Surprise After Another with four more spots with Hafner again editing and GTN handling final post.

Ringside Creative is located at 13320 Northend, Oak Park, MI 48237. For more information call Richard Cormier (248) 548-5350 or visit

GTN Inc. is located at 13320 Northend, Oak Park, MI 48237. For more information call Richard Cormier (248) 548-5350 or visit

Commercial Credits
Title: One Surprise After Another
Length: :60, :30
Client: Mazda
Agency: Doner, Southfield, MI. Kurt Kulas, executive Producer; Brian Dooley, producer; Mike Belitsos, executive creative director; Larry Donabedian, art director; Jim Amicucci, copywriter.
Production: Chased by Cowboys. Nico Beyer, director.
Editing: Ringside Creative, Oak Park, MI. Chris Hafner, editor.
Music: The Lodge.
Post: GTN, Oak Park MI. Ron Moser, Smoke editor.
Visual EFX: GTN, Oak Park MI. Dave Peyton, director of visual effects.
Audio Post: Eleven, Santa Monica, CA.
Sound Design: The Lodge.

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