Before Isaiah Mustafa ever rode a horse backwards or swan dived off a cliff and into a hot tub below, there was the original Old Spice Guy commercial.
Did you ever wonder how they did it – in that now-classic commercial from Superbowl XLIV that has since become a YouTube phenomenon?
He starts in a drab-looking bathroom shower, before the walls lift away and he’s standing on a boat … camera zooms in, talking, talking … then pan out and he’s prancing along on the back of a horse like nothing ever happened.
The whole thing appears to take place in one single shot – no pause to try again – but one continuous take.
According to the guys who wrote the commercial, 30-something year olds Eric Callman and Craig Allen, that’s exactly how it went down. The guys were interviewed by Leo Laporte of twit.tv, and you can watch the entire 19 minute-long video interview here.
Eric and Craig state that the only computer-produced trickery in the entire commercial was the shot of the diamonds spilling out of Mustafa’s hand as the Old Spice bottle magically rises out of his palm. (The hand in the shot? Not actually his.)
Other tricks? The “I’m on a boat” boat was not actually in the water, but up on shore. And build on top of it was a three-walled bathroom set that was lifted up by a crane for each take.
And getting Mustafa on the horse required a roller-coaster-like cart device that he sat on and rode over on from the boat set to land sitting on the horse. (That was the other piece of CGI, they say, erasing the transport equipment from its place near the horse’s neck in the final shot.)
All right. Now watch the entire commerial again. What do you think?