Hilariously Disgusting: Grad's Vid for NYC Restaurant

By VFS Web Team, on January 25, 2010

Dark Igloo, co-founded by Digital Design grad Mark Miller, is at it again, this time with an incredibly hilarious - and very successful - new video for The Pump Energy Food, a New York chain of health-conscious eateries.
And the video ("Sans Crap") is suddenly all over the place, blogged by everyone from the mainstream to foodies to designers - Boing Boing, The Huffington PostKottke.org, Kitsune Noir, and Serious Eats, to name but a small handful.
Check out the video (right here) and you'll know why - it's fast-paced, packed with sight-gags, and razor-sharp satire.
So we asked Mark about the process. "First of all, we had a lot of fun with this piece," he tells us. "The Pump CEO, Adam Eskin, warned us he was a 'very tough client' and 'hard to please' which is never a good sign... He also let us know that we had a small budget to work with, and no media buy to support the piece."

A viral, grassroots campaign, then? Well, mission accomplished.
Mark and co-founder Dave Franzese came to the table with five ideas before they agreed on this one. "Both sides agreed this was perfect for the post New Year resolution crowd, and overall the strongest."
The art direction was inspired by everything from "old Life magazine ads to modern day gimmicks."
"Dark Igloo has incredible illustration/storyboarding capabilities thanks to Dave's hand. So going into the two days of shooting, we knew pretty much exactly what we were trying to capture and we could focus on the food styling and performances we needed."
It seemed like the biggest challenge would be the shot (pictured above and in the behind-the-scenes shot below) with three salad dressing bottles, smothering a salad in sync. ("You only get one take," Mark says.) But the really difficult part was actually still to come.
"It turns out the hardest part of the project was the final edit," Mark says. "We were extremely happy with the spot when it was two minutes and thirty seconds long - nearly twice what it is now. But after focus grouping it with rad people, we determined it would be better to speed it up, keep the pace moving, not allow people to get bored with it, and thus encouraging multiple views."
Watch the video (and download wallpapers!) here
See Dark Igloo's work in their Mind Expanding PDF
Check out our 2009 interview with Mark about Dark Igloo