Issue: Editing - Aug 29, 2003


NEW YORK - Fluid ( provided online and offline editing as well as visual effects and sound design for the :30 "Rooftop," which parodies the typical beer commercial for Heineken Lager.

The spot, out of via agency Publicis/New York and Vigilante/New York, was directed by The Malloys of production company RSA USA. It opens on the set of a beer commercial with the requisite scantily clad gals cavorting with their tattooed counterparts and dancing to heavy rock music. The camera pulls back to reveal that the spot is being shot on a big-city rooftop. On the adjoining building, a couple of bemused guys watching the shenanigans are enjoying Heineken and a relaxing BBQ with a group of their friends - after all "It's All About the Beer."

Of the agency's recent collaboration with Fluid, Publicis producer Colin Pearsall says, "Scott Philbrook is an experienced and talented editor who has worked with great directors and great shops. I admit I was skeptical when the creative director suggested doing all of our post at Fluid. Like most agency producers, I've grown accustomed to working with individual studios that specialize in cutting or music production or visual effects. I'd never done it all in one place."

Editor Philbrook, who cut the spot on an Avid Media Composer, discusses a particular challenge of this project, "The footage was shot two different ways so I had to assemble and present completely different edits. One version was designed to incorporate lots of different cutaways of the people on the commercial shoot roof. The second had a smaller number of cuts and appeared to be a single shot. As we had to convey the idea the fellas on the second roof were actually witnessing a commercial shoot firsthand, as opposed to watching a spot on television, we went with what appears to be a single take, which is in keeping with what the eye would naturally capture. Multiple cuts did not make sense in terms of reality."

The trick was getting from one roof to the other, pulling back and conveying the geographic relationship between the two sets. "Once on the second rooftop, we were concerned that it look really ‘real,' not ‘producty.' Here we took special pains with the ambience and the atmosphere," describes Philbrook. "It was important to make sure that this looked like a relaxed gathering of friends. The juxtaposition of the two parties was important. The two were shot on different film stocks, they were transferred to have two different looks, and we had a lot of fun with the music and sound design in each as well. It was imperative that we convey the transition from the phony to the real world."

In addition to offline editor Philbrook, who completed the offline edit assisted by Adam Robinson, the Fluid post production team for "Rooftop" included visual effects artist/online Editor David Sullivan; composers Andrew Sherman and Judson Crane; sound designer Fred Szymanski; executive producers David Shapiro and Marc Schwartz; producer Virginia Galvan; music producer Brad Stratton; and a vocal by Andrew Sherman. The film-to-tape transfer was completed at Company 3 by colorist Victor Mulholland.

An additional music track was supplied Tony Kelly of K-Licious Music, and the final audio mix was engineered at Sound Lounge by mixer Phillip Loeb.