Just ahead of their biggest time of year - the 4th of July - we helped ThunderWorks create a national broadcast commercial to promote their ThunderEase line that helps keep pets calm during fireworks — and other scary stuff.
The 4th of July is a huge time of year over at ThunderWorks.
With summer thunderstorms and upcoming fireworks, pets everywhere deal with a lot of anxiety during this time of year.
In addition to their flagship product, the ThunderShirt, ThunderWorks also has a line of pheromone products called ThunderEase. We’ve had the pleasure of creating a few of their national commercials for this line of products.
A running creative theme in these commercials is presenting an alternative solution to the problem at hand - one that’s typically a little ridiculous and unlikely. The purpose of this is to juxtapose the outlandish ‘solution’ next to the simplicity of using ThunderEase and show how effective the product's results are.
We began the visual process by creating an animatic. This helps to get a feel for the layout of the set, the camera angles, and the kind of location we need to find.
Luckily, when we moved on to location scouting, we were able to find a home that looked very similar to the one created in the animatic.
Once we had the house and some filming dates nailed down, we let our art department take over. Focused on the details, they filled the home with items any dog lover might have, from pet toys and photos on the fridge to fake pet magazines and puppy mugs on the shelves.
With everything in place, we fired up an ARRI and got to work!
Since we were filming for a pet brand, naturally - we had a special guest on set! While this required many more takes than we would usually have, it was definitely worth it because of how cute our furry friend was.
Even with it being a sunny day outside, we were still able to simulate a thunderstorm with timed lighting sequences.
Although filming was certainly a full, busy day, when we finally got everything we needed and wrapped on set - a whole other set of tasks began in post-production!
This piece had some very involved post-production animation elements with ThunderWorks’ animated mascot ‘Thunder’ and of course, the Puppy Panic Room.
The panic room started out as just a sketch, then digital drawings, and finally 3D animation within the live-action world. These required 3D animating, detailed tracking, and making the elements fit realistically into their live-action surroundings - even down to the shadows.
With a final pass of color and graphics, this spot was ready for the big screen, just in time for the fireworks!