Telly Statuette for “Swamp”

We've received recognition from the Telly Awards for “Swamp”, the third installment in a three-spot campaign for Dixie GutterGuard, America’s second largest home remodeling company.  The spot was designed to illustrate the dangers of ignoring clogged gutters in a compelling, yet lighthearted way, and to present Dixie’s patented GutterGuard system as the permanent solution to the problem. We provided complete creative, production and post services for the spot campaign, including HD acquisition, video post, practical and CGI effects, custom music and sound design. This third spot was particularly challenging, as the first two spots in the campaign had been enormously successful for the client and they wanted us to top them - with a smaller budget, of course.

The biggest challenge was the opening shot, which calls for the viewer to believe he is in the middle of a swamp, complete with abundant plant life, frogs, insects and fish.  As the camera rises from the surface, we see that the entire ecosystem has grown up inside a conventional rain gutter.  The camera then dives under the surface of the water, through the muck, leaves and aquatic life, magically passes through the bottom of the gutter, then stops, looking at the bottom surface of the gutter itself, which is corroded and leaking.  We watch a drop of swamp water fall from a hole in the gutter into the beverage glass of the unsuspecting homeowner, who is standing on the patio below.

We considered building the opening sequence entirely as 3D CGI, but we felt that if the effect could be achieved using practical effects the result would appear more realistic and would fit in better with the live-action scenes that followed. We solved the problem by constructing a 300% scale model of a gutter and house section at the WGS model and set shop. Then we dressed the model with live aquatic plants, frogs and running water.  We shot the finished assembly using a motion-controlled crane against a green-screen cyclorama wall, then matched the shot with an exterior plate shot on location.