At one point in the commercial, you’ll see Battaglia touch a leaf spring with his hand. During the live shoot a table with an actual leaf spring was used so the actor would know exactly where to place his arm. The Mill later removed the real spring and stand and replaced it with the virtual suspension components you see on TV.
Registration marks were applied to the walls of the white stage as 360-degree reference points to help The Mill position the virtual F-450 relative to Battaglia. Later the marks were digitally removed, so what you wind up seeing is a real person who seamlessly walks inside a field of truck parts that stream together to create the 2008 Super Duty.
Post-production ended just a few days before the Super Bowl. Over the two month sprint more than 350 people helped create the commercials - 200 artists from The Mill, 100 production crew for the LA shoot, 30 JWT and Ford managers and creatives, and 20 local Michigan CG vendors familiar with the Super Duty’s CAD data.
Super Bowl ads also require megabudgets. 30-second spots for the 2007 game sold for $2.6 million or an astonishing $85K per second! And that’s before production costs from The Mill, LA stage filming, and Matt Battaglia’s salary are added in.
While Ford won’t reveal the commercial's total budget, Brian Rathsburg is happy to say that, “it was worth every penny!” Or, as we’d say, a whole lot of donuts.