Sapporo beer, one of the most popular brands in Japan, is being brewed in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The Canadian market is being given a new appreciation of the brand’s cultural heritage through “Legendary Biru” (biru is Japanese for beer), a 2 minute commercial exploring the brewing process behind Sapporo beer. Filming on location over a month in Guangzhou, China, the ad combines live action, motion control and CG and 2D art and matt paintings projected onto geometry. The action moves from level to level with trained martial arts experts, sumo wrestlers and actors cast as samurai and geisha. Japanese cultural advisors were on set throughout to ensure authenticity across the production, with the same level of detail being paid to costume design and art direction.
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The Legendary Biru spot was developed at Dentsu Canada by creative director/copywriter/art director Glen Hunt, creative director/art director Les Soos, copywriter Dhaval Bhatt, agency producer Sharon Kosokowsky, strategic planner Jeff McCrory, account director Tim Binkley, cultural consultant Nobu Tanaka.
“I think it’s safe to say this campaign is unlike anything people have seen in terms of beer ads,” says Jeff McCrory, Strategic Catalyst at Dentsu. “By taking people through a unique and entertaining tour of a mythical Sapporo Brewery, we wanted to translate intrigue for Japan into intrigue for Sapporo the beer and we’re confident we have done this in a truly creative and powerful way.”
Visual effects were produced at Crush, Toronto, and Loki Visual Effects by creative director Gary Thomas, executive producer Jo-ann Cook, producer Stephanie Pennington, art director Yoho Hang Yue, lead VFX artist Sean Cochrane, VFX artists David Whiteson, Naveen Srivastava, Kaelem Cahil, Greg Dunlop, junior VFX artist Andre Arevalo, Patrick Moore, Rotoscope artists Gavinesh Patel, Kyle Steffler, animation/CG supervisor Aylwin Fernando, senior animator Chris Minos, CG artists Josh Clifton, Mark Irish, CG production managers Raphael Quirino, matte painters Yanick Dusseault, Bojan Zoric, Jorgen Lauritzen.
The Dragon/Fire scene was developed at Loki Visual Effects, Toronto, by VFX supervisor Gene Dreitser, VFX producer France Daigle, technical director Ryan McDonald, animator Fred Wilmot, modeller Erin Nicholson, texture artist Paul DeOliveira.
Colourist was Gary Chuntz at Notch, Toronto.
Music was produced at Grayson Matthews by composer Grayson Matthews, engineer Annelise Noronha and producer Dave Sorbara.