CRAFT: CRAFT SECRETS/Miniature cars and black velvet let two Daewoos ’dissolve’ [SH] Mairi Clark discovers how millions of tiny holes help to create a watery illusion.

The moment the Daewoo ’headache’ script landed on the desk of Kate O’Malloy, the agency producer for Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters’ first thought was that it was great. Her second thought was how on earth was she going to find a way to do it?

The moment the Daewoo ’headache’ script landed on the desk of Kate

O’Malloy, the agency producer for Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters’ first

thought was that it was great. Her second thought was how on earth was

she going to find a way to do it?



The script called for two Daewoo cars, the Espero and the Nexia, to be

shown tumbling through a black, open space before the viewer realises

that the cars are, in fact, in water and are dissolving much as headache

pills would.



The answer to her prayers was Asylum, the model-makers, who suggested

that instead of using the life-size casing of the Daewoo cars, they make

two replicas at one sixth of the real size. This took five weeks to

complete - each car had to be identical to the real-life model, or the

viewer would distrust the ad.



The models of the two cars were painted silver to aid lighting and one

of them was punctured with tiny holes - smaller than pinpricks - to

create the bubbles.



A week before the shoot, the director, Daniel Barber, asked the

model-makers to fit suspension on the undercarriages of the models, so

that they looked more realistic and appeared less static as they moved

through the water.



Then came the week of the shoot. The ideal water tank, measuring 30 feet

square and 16 feet deep, was found in Essex. Two model-mover

contraptions were constructed especially for the project and tested in

the water.



A team of divers (some from Asylum, others, such as the cameraman, Steve

Chivers, just happened to be working on the commercial) was drafted in

to control the movements of the model-movers.



One consequence of shooting an ad underwater - grit and dirt suspended

in the water become obvious on film - was addressed by washing the tank

out and lining it with black velvet. The tanks were then filled with

water that was continually filtered, and the model-movers were attached

to the now immersed model cars.



Compressed air tanks that had been fixed to the undersides of the cars

pumped air through a thousand tiny holes creating the ’fizzing’ bubble

effect seen in the final ad.



In such a controlled environment, where shooting schedules are

unaffected by daylight, it took just two days to complete the underwater

scenes.



In post-production, Henry was used to erase all evidence of the

model-movers and to insert the shots of the cars ’dissolving’ into a

glass of water. And so it was that the final scene - where the presenter

seems to do the impossible and drink the cars in a glass of water - was,

in fact, the easiest one of all.



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