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

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

  1. David_in_Seattle July 27, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Cool concept and great execution!

    • Ken Savage July 29, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

      Says…. This video is private.

  2. Pam Swan July 27, 2010 at 8:56 am #

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

  3. Florencia. July 27, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Good!. A hard work behind it.

  4. Armands July 27, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    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.

  5. Matt Timmons July 27, 2010 at 9:26 am #

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

  6. DrRave July 27, 2010 at 9:57 am #

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

  7. a girl and a camera photography July 27, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    So awesome…

  8. Martin July 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Very cool – first time view…

  9. Keri July 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

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

  10. Ashley July 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

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

  11. Shane Parker July 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Oh man, this would be so fun to do!

  12. callie lipkin July 28, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    I love this so much!!

  13. Anonymous July 28, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    Sweet, I’ll give it a try.

  14. Donnie Bell Design July 28, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    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.

  15. Stephen July 28, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    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


  16. Twan July 28, 2010 at 7:49 am #

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

  17. Chris Biele July 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

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

  18. Alicia Eschwege July 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    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 August 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

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

  19. Tony July 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

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

  20. Roberto July 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

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

    Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brasil.

  21. Khashayar July 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    it’s all about crew

  22. Greg Brave July 29, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    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.

  23. matt July 29, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    the first video is set to private

  24. Christopher July 29, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

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

  25. Alex July 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    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.

  26. Jasmine* July 30, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    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! :)

  27. Alejandro July 31, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Brillant job! Excellent! Totally inspiring! Thanks

  28. jay August 1, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    awesome!! thanks for sharing.

  29. Giovanni Ferlito August 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Chase!

  30. Chris August 2, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    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 August 4, 2010 at 6:56 am #

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

  31. Giovanni Ferlito August 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Really interesting! If you like time lapses check out these guys @ !
    The kings of time lapses!

  32. john hildebrand August 3, 2010 at 9:48 am #

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

  33. Evan August 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

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

  34. James August 4, 2010 at 9:36 am #

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

  35. Carley Brown August 9, 2010 at 4:47 am #

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

  36. Muha August 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

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

  37. Dominic Goodchild August 16, 2010 at 1:24 am #

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

  38. Jim August 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    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.

  39. Ron Dawson August 21, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    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.

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