Stinkdigital opened for business with a small office of five people in January 2009. Only two months after the economic crisis. Things were pretty slow for the first six weeks. Then, lo and behold, this incredible brief came through the door. It was the best first project we could have ever hoped for.
Created for Tribal DDB, Amsterdam, the interactive campaign was for a new Philips television dubbed the Cinema 21:9. Since the set's 21:9 frame lent itself so readily to film, Tribal commissioned us to create a piece of content that could hold its own with Hollywood’s best. Stinkdigital director Adam Berg responded with an idea for an epic "frozen moment" cops and robbers shootout sequence that included clowns, explosions, a decimated hospital, plenty of broken glass, bullet casings, money, and a pretty epic amount of post.
The film, titled Carousel, was the centrepiece, but the project also included a fairly complex microsite and a few rich media banners. Details of the online execution play off the cinematic theme; the microsite’s loader doubled as a totally localisable, vector-based credit sequence, While rich media takeover banners drive traffic to the site by teasing viewers with an original Carousel trailer.
Visitors to the microsite could trigger hotspots which transitioned seamlessly from the heavily posted film to a behind-the-scenes version of the exact same shot. This constant moving between two layers of reality proved one of the project’s biggest and most ambitious production challenges.
We shot everything in Prague over the course of two shoot days. We cast people who had good core body strength, like stuntmen and acrobats, strung them up on wires, stands and other devices, and basically made them hold the same position for hours at a time. We also used motion control, which helped us with the post-production process. The whole project -- meaning the film, post-production, all the 3D, the website and all the other interactive elements -- took a total of 7.5 weeks to produce. We worked alongside amazing collaborators like Redrum, Trim Editing and Michael Fakesch to make it all happen.
Even though we were making an internet film, we knew that we had to somehow try and locate our story in a more cinematic world. The easiest way to do that was to write in a sort of action movie shorthand so that even people watching on Youtube would feel like they were watching something that had more of a connection to Hollywood than a typical viral. Weirdly enough, Hollywood actually noticed. Kanye West called it "hands down the video of the year", Ashton Kutcher tweeted it, 50 Cent even made a music video based on it.
The advertising industry was also quick to recognize the project; "Carousel" went on to win a Grand Prix in Cannes, Eurobest and the BIMAs, along with lots of other awards. Awesomely enough, the Internet has catalogued a bunch of other factoids around the project in a pretty exhausting Wikipedia entry. Check it out here. And finally, to those still wondering: the cop who features in the beginning of the film is most definitely not Al Pacino.