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Isis ‘Supermarket Meltdown’

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This captivating Isis commercial directed by Dante Ariola titled ‘Supermarket Meltdown’, depicts the mayhem caused by a dog chasing a cat through a supermarket... at 500 frames per second... in reverse. The entire commercial hinges on an event seen at the very end of the ad – a shopper who had her hands full at the checkout loses control of her boy, who releases a cat that gets chased by a dog that topples aisles, a gumball dispenser and ignites a fondue fire. Along with supervising an extremely complex shoot, Method was tasked with enhancing the destruction by adding 2D and 3D CG elements.

The spot contained several on-set challenges for production, including animals, children, motion control and slow motion photography. In addition to everything running at 500 frames per second, the action needed to be shown in reverse which increased the complexity of maintaining continuity. It was important to plan the shots precisely ahead of the shoot and identify the optimal set up locations for the tracking camera moves.

The dog, cat and people were not able to be captured in one take so all the moving shots were obtained using repeated motion control set ups. The Phantom Flex cameras were set to small pans or lock offs with digital pans created in post. Elements such as falling flowers, soda spray, cans toppling and fire were captured during a separate blue screen shoot and then composited into frame. VFX Supervisor, Jason Schugardt comments, “This was a fun but challenging commercial to work on. Nearly every shot was composited from multiple plates or enhanced in some fashion and the team were really happy with the final result.”

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