Sweet as (Swiss) Sugar

Spill some sugar on a table and the urge to dip your finger in and draw is irresistible – or is that just us? Anyway, far nicer than our sticky efforts are four new commercials for Swiss Sugar…

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Spill some sugar on a table and the urge to dip your finger in and draw is irresistible – or is that just us? Anyway, far nicer than our sticky efforts are four new commercials for Swiss Sugar…

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The ads were made by UK animation house Loose Moose in collaboration with Swiss production company Solid & Haller film and ad agency NeueLGK, Zurich. Each has a theme relating to aspects of Swiss life and famous Swiss exports – chocolate, transport, winter sports and Christmas. In a series of four vignettes, the effect is of an invisible finger drawing an iconic bas relief shape onto a flat sugar surface before being wiped away and another drawing being created, all as one continuous sequence with no cuts.

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One of the problems in making the ads was that the sugar reacted with moisture in the air. After animating a design for the test shoot, animator Ange Palethorpe found that part of the sugar had formed a lump and this destroyed the icon, ultimately ruining the animation. It was nearly impossible to make corrections in the tray of sugar so each commercial was shot as one continuous take.

For regulating the temperature and to minimize humidity, a tent was erected inside the studio which allowed complete “climate control”. To further prevent lumps in the sugar, a fine sieve was used to grade and break up any clusters on the tray.

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As a guide the icons were drawn accurately, then the designs were projected using a home cinema projector. A mirror was used to reflect the projected image down on to the surface of the sugar so the projector could be kept level and out of the way of the animator and film camera. Ange could then trace the design frame by frame to ensure accuracy and timing.

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Agency Credits
Client: Schweizer Zucker
Agency: NeueLGK
Art Director: Reto Schild
Copy Writer: Andreas Szentkuti
Creative Team: Andre Benker & Hans Tanner
Production Company: Solid & Haller Films
Production Company Producer: Rudi Haller

Loose Moose Credits
Director and Animator: Ange Palethorpe
Producer(s): Glenn Holberton
Director of Photography: Peter James
Assistant Producer: Emma Burch
Lighting Cameraman: Beth MacDonald
Gaffer: John Whickman

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