the man your man could smell like…

Hello, ladies.

Look at your man.

Back to me.

Now back to your man.

Now back to me.

Sadly, he isn’t me.

Aired during Super Bowl, this Old Spice body wash commercial has been viewed millions of times on YouTube. I find the mechanics of how it was made interesting. In one seemingly continuous shot, going from a shower to a boat and then to a horse on a beach, in what could only be considered a hilarious send-up, Isaiah Mustafa shows us what a real man is all about, and there was very little digital trickery involved.

It took three days to shoot. The shower set was constructed on the boat. The boat was built on the beach. That was real running water in the shower – not computer-generated imagery. When the shower scene suddenly flies up and away, Isiah is miraculously standing on a ship. The next thing you know, he’s on a horse with a shell that holds two tickets to that “thing you love,” and this is the only place where computer-generated imagery enters. The shell and tickets remarkably turn into diamonds, but we can accept this bit of prestidigitation. After all, every girl knows that diamonds never appear without the involvement of a little magic.

Okay, so the boat was actually only half of a boat that was built at the water line to create the illusion of being at sea. The bathroom was built on the boat and whisked up and away at the precise moment by a huge crane that was, of course, off camera. The shirt that falls around his neck in just the right way was held above his head by fishing twine until the exact moment, and there was a wire looped through the shirt so it would keep its shape until and after it was in place. It was lowered over his head – sort of like playing horseshoes or toss the hoop.

So was there trickery? Well, I suppose one could say there was trickery, but not much of it was computer-generated, and there was no trickery at all regarding Mr. Mustafa. His charm and aplomb are the real stuff, which everyone can agree is the true magic of this commercial. See for yourself.

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