July 8, 2005


NEW YORK - Charlex (www.charlex.com), here, recently spent four weeks working on a new spot for M&Ms that places the brand?s familiar, animated candy characters into a psychedelic environment. Conceived by BBDO, New York, "Kaleidoscope" was cut in :30 and :15 versions to Iron and Wine's "Such Great Heights" track by Don Kleszy at Blue Rock Editorial.

The spot opens with a kaleidoscope effect made up of colored M&Ms. The Orange character rides the candy kaleidoscope, closely followed by his Yellow peanut friend. The Green female M&M appears next and blows a kiss to the audience. But when it comes to Red's turn, he is pulled from the surreal environment into what appears to be a live action world where a young man is enjoying the candies himself. As the camera pulls back, we see he is actually in the center of his own animated kaleidoscopic universe.

The M&Ms candies and characters were animated in coordinated, kaleidoscopic patterns in Alias Maya. Approved animations were then rendered in Mental Ray. Those renders were then pre-comp'ed by the Charlex lighting team and passed off to the studio's Flame artists, who created and applied a series of kaleidoscope filters. The 3D renders were then comp'ed on top of the Flame renders to create the finished piece.

The Charlex team included executive creative director Alex Weil, CG/SFX supervisor Keith McCabe, producer Christine Vallee, senior producer/effects supervisor Steve Chiarello and executive producer Adam Isidore. Smoke artists included Kevin Matuszewski, Christopher Palazini, and Rob Aiello. Flame work was handled by Greg Oyen, Marc Goldfine, Jesse Newman, Burtis Scott and Kevin Quinlan. Chisa Yagi served as designer. Tony Tabtong and Pat Porter were lead animators.

Additional Charlex credits include lead lighter James Fisher, lighting TD Szymon Weglarski, and lead character technical director Steve Mann.

Radical Media in New York produced the commercial with Samantha Storr producing and Dave Meyers directing.