With two delightful spots for Cracker Barrel, Director Nieto of Paranoid US creates a magical breakfast voyage, traveling through the preparation of a meal at the famed restaurant. The spots are a debut for Euro RSCG/Chicago’s new brand campaign entitled “Handcrafted by Cracker Barrel”. Through the use of miniature sets built in connected wooden boxes, various scenes take place to reveal a story of comfort and home, concepts that are synonymous with the diner/country store.

Two very important factors contributed to the success of these spots: a detailed set and well-crafted transitions. To create the set’s meticulous features, the team turned to Production Designer Damon Fortier, who brought his extensive experience in model construction. The set was a combination of found objects, such as vintage suitcases, reclaimed wood and old doors, as well as actual Cracker Barrel paraphernalia used in their local stores, which was then shipped out for the Los Angeles production. Custom-made miniature furniture was also fashioned to produce exact dimensions to that of the furniture in the store.

To retain authenticity, both Nieto and the agency were determined to craft as much of the subtle trickery as possible in-camera. In pre-production, the creative team constructed a large-scale mockup of the planned set to assess proportions and sizes. Nieto then did a pre-visualization of the mock-up, which he later converted into a 3D scale. Since virtually every box was a different pass it was important to be completely accurate on set. The shots were ultimately composited in post, by tracking and then combining takes, to create a thoroughly seamless storyline. As both space and time were constrained, Nieto took special care to pace the action perfectly, so that the concept actually worked. The spots were color graded by Mark Gethin at MPC Los Angeles to enhance the warm tones of country life.

And to think Nieto, a Colombian-born director living in France, evokes the American cultural experience of Cracker Barrel so well!

PRODUCTION: PARANOID US
DIRECTOR: NIETO
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: CLAUDE LETESSIER
LINE PRODUCER: LISA COWAN
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM LAZAREVICH
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: DAMON FORTIER

AGENCY: EURO/RSCG/CHICAGO
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: JASON PETERSON
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): WILLIAM MERICLE
ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR(s): CHRISTIAN JACKSON
SR. ART DIRECTOR(s): SCOTT RENCH
SENIOR INTEGRATED PRODUCER: BRITT DROUET

POST PRODUCTION : PARANOID DESIGN STUDIO
HEAD OF POST PRODUCTION: GUILLAUME RAFFI
EDITOR: JOE SHAKULA
VISUAL EFFECTS PRODUCER: RAENA SINGH
VISUAL EFFECTS ARTISTS: PILON LECTEZ, ANDREW COOK
MUSIC COMPANY & CITY: DUOTONE AUDIO GROUP/NEW YORK CITY
EXECUTIVE INTEGRATED MUSIC PRODUCER: DAVID LEINHEARDT
SOUND DESIGN COMPANY & CITY: DUOTONE AUDIO GROUP/NEW YORK CITY
TELECINE: MOVING PICTURE COMPANY (MPC)/LOS ANGELES
TELECINE ARTIST: MARK GETHIN

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