Rig Removal Helps Create Convincing Talking Turtles in Commercial Campaign

Artist-owned-and-operated effects company Brickyard VFX helps pull off seamlessly believable talking turtles with extensive rig removal and clean up for a broadcast campaign promoting Comcast’s High-Speed Internet service.

The campaign was directed by Acne’s Henrik Sundgren via Goodby Silverstein & Partners and features animatronic turtles from Stan Winston Studios. Brickyard VFX eliminated rods, handles and human puppeteers in post to support the illusion that real animals are acting in the ads.
The commercials star Bill and Karolyn Slowsky, two giant tortoises who like everything slow. This includes their Internet connection, which, as the spots point out through humorous exchanges in which they praise such things as sluggish file downloads, is why they prefer DSL over the blazingly fast new Comcast High-Speed Internet.

The animatronic turtles were created and operated by Stan Winston Studios while filmed on set. The rigs used to control the puppets, as well as the puppeteers themselves, had to be removed across all of the footage to make the animatronic effects invisible.

“There was a ton of clean up, not just rigs but puppeteers and equipment in the shots,” said Diana Young, Brickyard VFX’s producer on the campaign. “Rig removal is some of the most challenging work in terms of making the whole spot look perfect.”


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