NEW YORK, NY, September 10, 2009 ─ Mantra Design recently took to the seas with IZOD for one of the premier clothing brand’s newest TV spots, “The World Of.” Executive VP of Marketing for PVH (parent company of IZOD) Mike Kelly needed a top-notch piece that would reflect his product’s lifestyle image. He also needed it done quickly and couldn’t afford any surprises, so he insisted on a production house he knew had a proven track record. He approached Mantra and its team of VFX artists, who immediately went into action, conceiving and completing a nautical/Caribbean-themed :30 commercial.

Ben Orisich, Mantra director and designer of “The World Of” spot already had an established relationship with the brand, having shot multiple commercials in the past, but for this particular project Orisich wanted to raise the bar. He relied on a mix of VFX and a wide palette of colors to create a unique and surreal look that would appear seamless to the viewer.

“The IZOD brand has a very distinctive look,” explains Orisich. “We knew that we needed the commercial to not only pop and be surreal, but it also had to be about fun and adventure and inspire that feeling in the audience, so we incorporated live action with CG.”

Most of the commercial was shot on 35mm film in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, including footage taken onboard two of America’s Cup racing sailboats. Once the material was brought into post, to achieve the desired look and feel, the team replaced the sky and introduced IZOD branding and logos throughout.

“What makes this commercial unique is that the sky we used throughout was shot in time lapse on location in New York and the Bahamas. We put all of the photographic elements together digitally. What topped it off was the impressive original score done by the New York audio facility Big Foote Music, which then set the rest of the mood.”

Relying primarily on Final Cut Pro, Autodesk Flame, Softimage|XSI and Autodesk Maya for the 3D elements, Orisich and his team, which included Flame Artist Miguel Oldenburg, Editor Gary Hernandez and CG Artist Jason Strougo, combined disparate elements together with great subtly. “We had a lot of creative freedom on set,” continues Orisich. “Having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shoot onboard two of America’s Cup sailboats added to the excitement of the spot. We also fabricated an IZOD island, enabling us to tie together both worlds, reality and fantasy.”

Orisich approached the piece like a painter by putting the elements together as they made sense. Rather than relying on a green screen, the entire spot was rotoscoped with Mantra’s partners in China and tweaked by hand. “It’s about creating the image,” says Orisich. “We strived to make the colors pop without becoming candy. The IZOD brand prides itself on being clean cut and bold and that’s what we made sure to portray in the commercial. Everything had to do with the brand, the sky, the colors, the overall look.”

IZOD’s “The World Of” is currently being broadcast across the U.S. It will air theatrically in the coming months.

About Mantra

Mantra is an award winning creative content design and production studio specializing in creating media for broadcast, commercial, event, retail, digital signage and installations. Located in New York City’s Flatiron District., Mantra’s talented team of designers and VFX artists are behind some of today’s most visually compelling broadcast and event design offerings including the 2008 Grammy Awards Show, the MTV Video Music Awards, and various show packages. Founded by Creative Group in 2007, it offers motion design, visual effects, creative editorial, event design and production for its clients, many of which are among the world’s best known brands, including CBS, ESPN, CNN, Saatchi & Saatchi, MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, The History Channel, and the USA Network.

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