How to Shoot a Fancy Stop-Motion Commercial on the Cheap (-ish)

Have you seen the recent viral ad from Levi’s of a guy walking across America wearing Levi jeans? Pretty simple, but pretty cool. [Maybe the walking thing was inspired by this similar concept in Toronto?]

Anyway, this video here shows us how they pulled it off using just one camera, a tripod, 14 days, a few thousand photos, a few thousand miles, a protractor, a string, and a bit of math. Sign me up.

Their final piece is after the jump – well worth the watch. Click ‘continue reading’ below

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Ron Dawson says:

Great vid. Man, I hope they got paid a lot of $$$ for that.

On a side note: the debate on the YouTube page of the viral video ( about the use of the word “America” in the title is a very interesting take on culture differences and how the different meanings of just ONE word across borders can cause a full on flame war. Very intriguing.

Jim says:

This is so cool… for so many reasons. It just really speaks to me from both the traveling perspective, and the photography perspective. I would have LOVED to do a project like this.

Dominic Goodchild says:

Absolutely amazing think it’s ingenious and also being able to drive across america so luckey.. :)

Muha says:

is that photographer’s shadow in 33rd second of the final ad?

Carley Brown says:

This was a great video, looks like they had alotta fun making it

James says:

That was really inspiring. What a wonderful campaign to promote a legendary brand.

Evan says:

That was an awesome video, I love seeing things like this!

thats pretty sick nice work. maybe I should mess around and give it a try

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Chris says:

I’m not sure what all the hype is about…I think the concept is interesting and the hard work that was put into it is great but the actual execution is not that great – the guy walks oddly and stiff which is accentuated by the stop motion…I think it could have been done much better with a different model and different edit.

DAnie Nel says:

I think the stiff/stop motion action is the idea. Otherwise one could simply do video.

Thanks for sharing Chase!

jay says:

awesome!! thanks for sharing.

Alejandro says:

Brillant job! Excellent! Totally inspiring! Thanks

Jasmine* says:

Small world!! The producer–Blake Heal–was a past client of mine…I shot his wedding two years ago! So proud of all he’s doing! :)

Alex says:

Well yeah it might be similar but they went with the concept of walking across america and they literally walked all across and the model they had was in a walking stance across the way. in the other one, it was a guy pointing a camera.

Christopher says:

nice video, wasnt able to see the first one its set to private

matt says:

the first video is set to private

Greg Brave says:

Great idea, and clever execution.
But to my taste the surroundings changed a bit too quickly and the model’s walk wasn’t completely natural. I am not sure that this is even possible to improve, but this is how it looks to me.

Khashayar says:

it’s all about crew

Roberto says:

Muito bom! Ótimo! Genial! Grande idéia. Parabéns aos idealizadores.

Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brasil.

Tony says:

Great Video ! but i’m a little confused…, is there a Mac Os X or a PC “Behind the scene” ?

Do you think they really needed SIX guys to go on the trip to pull it off? As a producer it would be hard for me to sell my clients on that big of a crew for a short-viral video. Very cool idea, it was interesting to see how they did it and how & why the test footage failed and what they did to remedy that.

Chase says:

actually, i’m thinking 6 was a miracle. that’s a lot of data tagging and work…. all perspective I guess.

Chris Biele says:

Wow, Levi’s man has really white teeth! Cool vid too.

Twan says:

Great video!
Cool to see this level of technical creativity behind the scenes! Very inpiring

Stephen says:

Really neat! Here’s the bucket list in order:


I only got a glimpse at the last item, but I’m pretty sure it was


Well, you just gave us a new tool in our arsenal. If we get the proper time, we are definitely going to use this in the future.

Anonymous says:

Sweet, I’ll give it a try.

I love this so much!!

Shane Parker says:

Oh man, this would be so fun to do!

Ashley says:

This is my first time seeing this and I’m really glad you shared this!

Keri says:

I love stuff like this, not seen anything to this really high standard in a while !

Martin says:

Very cool – first time view…

DrRave says:

Nicely done and very inspiring with minimum gear and good bunch of friends. It just shows what can be created by just trying.

Matt Timmons says:

Definitely a job where you want to make sure your CF cards are backed up!

Armands says:

A couple days ago I saw this for the first time. I was like wow man, it must be some kind of massive editing and the gay must be shot separately and comped in afterwards. How wrong I was :)
Cheers for this and I wish I could create something on same edge. But it is all about the crew and people.

Cheers again.
You are ace.

Florencia. says:

Good!. A hard work behind it.

Pam Swan says:

Really cool stuff! You really don’t what you don’t know until someone shows you how! Thanks for sharing. PJS

David_in_Seattle says:

Cool concept and great execution!

Ken Savage says:

Says…. This video is private.

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