The Making of Warpo's Legends of Cthulhu Commercial
We're back with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of our awesomely 80's commercial for Legends of Cthulhu! As we were planning the Kickstarter, we knew we wanted to do something really special at the beginning of the video that was fun and would pull people not only into the world of the toys but also into the era we chose to emulate with their styling. We brainstormed and debated everything from comic book pages to an animated short but in the end, the idea of an 80's style commercial seemed to accomplish everything we wanted.
As we knew too well, the devil would be in the details so we needed to find someone to make the commercial who would geek-out about being true to the era in the video as much as we did with the Legends of Cthulhu figures. Thankfully, Bryan had worked with a production company called Loose Cannon Films (http://www.loosecannonfilms.com) on some commercials for other toys. The Warpo team met with Patrick and explained our vision. He instantly understood what we were going for and began adding elements from the 80's commercials he had studied before we met. And when he explained that he was going to use actual vintage lenses to capture the same kind of visual textures as they did in the 80's, we were sold.
The Warpo team watched hundreds of 80's toy commercials to really get the feel for them and then Tommy and Eric wrote the script. (If you really know your 80's toy commercials, there are a few Easter Eggs to be found.) Bryan produced the awesome “Cthulhu!” soundtrack while Patrick created an animatic and scratch track based on the script. We were ready to shoot.
One of Warpo's original supporters and long time friends had the perfect vintage 80's living room we needed for our location and with the help of a wig and a sweater we raided from Tommy's dad's closet, Eric became the “Dad.” Luckily, Eric's son was the perfect candidate to play the“son” as he was 8 years old and loved playing with action figures. Since we weren't launching with a playset, the final piece of the puzzle was some kind of play structure and Tommy really came-through building the mountain that is truly one of the most beautiful diorama pieces you'll ever see. (All those years of Warhammer scratch-building really paid-off, Tommy!)
We began the shoot early in the morning with Patrick setting-up lights while the Warpo team did everything we could to help him. From there, it was movie magic with Patrick guiding each shot and trying different things to capture the same kinds of shots they would have done in an 80's toy commercial. In every instance we needed special effects, we did them practically using lights and optical techniques. In fact, we almost lit the coffee table on fire a few times when we held fifty or more incense sticks underneath the mountain to get the “Spawn of Cthulhu Rising” effect.
The final “trick” to make our commercial seem truly 80's was in the post production. We wanted the commercial to seem as if you had found it on an old tape in a box in your parent's basement and popped it a VCR just to see what was on it. And more or less, that's what Patrick did. He transferred the commercial to an old VHS tape and then played it back and recorded it. Patrick was able to give our commercial the "WARPO" treatment and it looked incredible.
We hope you've enjoyed this peek behind the curtain of our commercial. We could not have done it without Patrick. You rock, bruthah! If you'd like to learn more about his company Loose Cannon Films, you can check them out at loosecannonfilms.com.
Keep on warpin'!
P.S. - We just reached 1,000 backers! Thanks to you Warpers for reaching out and spreading the gospel of Legends of Cthulhu! Let's keep rockin' it to unlock that big bad boy!