Vision Crew Unlimited Makes Plymouth Shake Without The Rattle & Roll

Effects House's Custom Rigs Used in New Spot from Bozel
Vision Crew Unlimited, the Los Angeles-based special effects house, recently designed and built a series of custom rigs for a new Plymouth spot and the results, admittedly, were a little shaky-but that was perfect. Conceived by Bozell Worldwide/Detroit and directed by Terry Windell of A Band Apart, the spot shows how Plymouth has worked "the bugs out of buying and owning a car." Titled Shakers, the spot shows a Plymouth Voyager, Breeze, and Neon held off the ground by a series of rigs attached to their wheels. The rigs simulate road conditions by shaking the cars up and down, backwards and forwards, and side to side. As this continues, an engineer, strolling around the cars, becomes concerned by a persistent squeak. Only after shutting off the simulators does he discover that the source of the annoying sound is his shoes. He slips them off, flips the machine back on, and the cars shake in silence. Vision Crew Unlimited built the rigs that held and shook the cars as well as the digital mechanism used to control them. The latter device permitted them to precisely determine the direction and degree of shaking, and to adjust for the cars' varying weight so that they move in unison. The effects team also used the digital control to program various shaking routines so they could be repeated. "We built a lot of flexibility into the rigs so that the director would have the freedom to try different types and degrees of movement," explained Vision Crew Unlimited executive producer Evan Jacobs. "At the same time, the system was predictable. It could be counted on to work precisely the same way, take after take." Vision Crew Unlimited thoroughly tested the rigs and the control mechanism in the design and construction phase to ensure they performed flawlessly during the production. "I had the easiest job on the set," said Vision Crew Unlimited creative/technical director Jon Warren. "We set it up, pushed a button, and it worked. There were no worries. All I had to do was sit in a chair with the control box and wait for the cue."