Murphy's Irish Stout "Turning Irish"

St. Patrick's Day is a time of great celebration and Irish cheer, a sentiment perfectly embodied in an AICP Award-winning spec spot for Murphy's beer with transformational postproduction led by Shade Founder and VFX Director Bryan Godwin. Working in collaboration with Director Matt Fischman - who sets the spot in an old-timey Irish Pub - Godwin works a CG miracle in transforming a dark-skinned bar patron into a full-blooded, pale Irishman over the course of drinking his brew.

After the bartender serves a frothy Murphy's to our hero protagonist, he slowly becomes a little more Irish with each swig: he takes one drink, his skin noticeably lightens; the barkeep passes, the customer's hairline recedes; he takes another drink, his sideburns lengthen; a third drink, his moustache spirals into a curlicue shape; the bartender passes again, the man's face is bloated. Finally, the fully transformed beer lover downs the last of his beverage and stumbles off his barstool and into the night.

Working with Nuke, Godwin and his team created all the effects - working through multiple iterations of each transformation, finely adjusting the skin tone for consistency, and carefully pacing the action. In order to achieve the pitch-perfect comedic effect, the facial hair transformation had to be completed not only on the original actor, but also on the man he transforms into, who was clean-shaven in the original cut. Throughout the spot, Shade seamed up the plates, soft matted the actor into the background, and integrated the footage with wipes to reveal each scene.

Working under heavy time and budgetary constraints, Shade worked closely with Fischman to seamlessly integrate the VFX with the director's live-action footage. "This project was a great opportunity to get our name out there and really show what we could do, even with limited resources," noted Godwin. "I like things to be a little bit messy; I like them to be funny; I like them to have heart, and I think that comes through in all of our work. I think the world of CG tends to be a cold, hard place, and we strive to change that one project at a time."
Client: Murphy's
Spots Title: Turning Irish
Air Date: Spec
Director: Matt Fischman
DP: Jas Shelton
Production Designer: Diana Zeng
Copywriter: Scott M. Kaplan
Editorial: OPTIMUS
Editor: Justin Amore
Post/Effects: Shade
VFX Director: Bryan Godwin
CG Supervisor: Dan Dixon
VFX Producer: David Van Dyke
Production Manager: Sheri Patterson
VFX Coordinator: Shane Paugh
Animator: Greg Breitzman
Compositor: Carlos Morales

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