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Pretzel Films mixes a zany cocktail with Alexa Mini and Superspeeds

Pretzel Films mixes a zany cocktail with Alexa Mini and Superspeeds

Pretzel Films mixes a zany cocktail with Alexa Mini and Superspeeds

An online commercial for drinks brand Island Oasis achieves a zingy yet retro flavour thanks to a smart creative brief which mixes high end digital capture and super slow motion laced with old-style optics. 

The script, from creative agency Vayner Media, features a Spanish barman intoxicated with the idea of mixing cocktails with the natural fruit based ingredient. Executed by Pretzel Films, the series of spots are shot in a set which has the feel of a typical Spanish bar.

“In accordance with the brief, we needed the decor to feel a bit tacky and a bit dated with cues from the eighties, and also to make the whole design really bright with poppy neon colours,” says Pretzel Films’ Production Manager, Leonie Marzecki.
The obvious choice of camera may have been a RED or ARRI Alexa but DoP Charlie Goodger working with Director Gille Klabin elected to shoot with Alexa Mini and older Zeiss Superspeed lenses.
“I mainly shoot music videos and smaller commercials without a huge crew so probably my camera of choice is the Alexa Mini since it’s lighter and more convenient for me to handle,” says Goodger. “Other considerations included its ability to shoot 200fps and because I knew it could capture great images with unusual lighting conditions.”
Lighting was arguably the biggest challenge on set since Goodger had to balance lighting for the actor adjacent to the jet-black Island Oasis drinks machine with both against a busy bar background.
“The aim was to retain saturation in the image whilst letting the background fall off into darkness. We put a backlight on the actor while making the Island Oasis was neutral in terms of saturation and making sure we can clearly see the ice inside it.”
Goodger selected a set of Zeiss Superseeds MK II including a PL Prime, 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.
“The treatment was meant to feel retro so wanted it to be not too crisp and sharp and with an element of something nostalgic to it without going too far. The older lenses, which can catch the odd flare, worked well for that.” 
Other kit for the production included a 17" Sony PVM-1741 OLED and 9'' TV Logic LVM-095W1 monitor, an ARRI FF5 follow focus kit and MB20 Matte Box for the Mini and a set of Tiffen Soft FX Filters.
The higher frame rate was deployed in more surreal images of ice cubes and strawberries flying around.
“We shot for a day as scheduled and nothing went wrong,” says Marzecki. “Everything from VMI went to order.” 
The spot, ‘Slow it down’, was produced by Pretzel's Mike Facey for online distribution with a cut-down version for Facebook.

See Director's cut below with subtitles for non-spanish speakers!


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