The Hammer’s Lawyer Super Bowl Ad – Warning: Dragons!
Choose your next steps carefully. A zombie horde lurks about. Watch the Super Bowl LII commercial below!
Click above to watch the full 2018 Super Bowl TV Commercial featuring The Hammer and his Dragon!
Previously on The Hammer vs. Big Insurance:
In The Hammer’s 2017 Super Bowl Commercial, Darryl Isaacs took on the Big Insurance Zombies in Part One of this battle to keep injured victims from taking the small check. In 2018, they’re back!
Go Behind The Scenes of the 2018 Dragon Lawyer Commercial
Welcome to the exclusive Behind The Scenes area for the 2018 Attorney Super Bowl Commercial with Darryl Isaacs aka The Hammer and his Dragon “Justice” vs. The Big Insurance Zombies!
Introducing “Justice” The Dragon :60 Behind The Scenes Video
Watch this short clip of how Darryl Isaacs and team helped to bring the dragon alive. Play the video below.
Audio Interview With The Hammer – Behind The Scenes – 2018 Ad
In this episode of Ask The Hammer, Darryl Isaacs digs in with details about his 2018 Dragon Super Bowl Commercial. Play the podcast below.
Cast and Crew Photos – Behind The Scenes – Dragon Vs. Zombies
Big Insurance Is Back – Q & A With Commercial Producer & Writer Catherine Shreves
Image Video Solutions was the Creative Agency & Production Company that produced this Super Bowl LII Medieval Justice Commercial, starring Kentucky’s own Darryl Isaacs – The Hammer.
Commercial Part 2: Fire versus Ice – How did it all begin?
It’s Isaacs and Isaacs’ 25th anniversary in Kentucky, and Darryl Isaacs – The Hammer – wanted to do a fun, entertaining commercial to give back to Kentucky, which has treated him and his practice so well over the past few decades. It’s also a tribute to his late father Sheldon Isaacs, who he says would have loved this commercial.
Our agency has been doing Darryl’s commercials for the past 2 or so years, and we’ve loved every minute of it! The Company’s owner, Catherine Shreves, is also the producer, scriptwriter, and does a lot of the editing for Darryl’s campaigns throughout the year, and from the day the Image Video Solutions and Isaacs & Isaacs teams met, we knew this was going to be a great, long-lasting relationship. We have our core, dedicated team of in-house producers, editors, animators, a cinematographer and art director, but for a project of this size we called in the cavalry in the film and television industry to assist us in making this project a success!
What we love most about Darryl is that while he is so dedicated to the practice of law and fighting for his clients, on a personal level he never takes himself too seriously. Thus, he allows us to have a little fun with the creative in some of his commercials. During last year’s Super Bowl commercial we had a lot of fun with Darryl’s costume and the Zombie theme. This year’s commercial is on a much grander scale than last year’s spot, and while it was a lot of work, it was a labor of love for all of us! Darryl got so much great feedback from last year’s spot he decided…. Why not take it up a few (hundred!) notches for his viewers!
Just like the Super Bowl LI shoot, mother nature was not on our side this year. In 2017 freezing temps and ice on the roadways almost forced us to postpone the shoot, and 2018 brought freezing temps, rain, and even some snow. But the show must go on! Thanks to the most dedicated cast and crew in the business, we managed to pull off a great shoot in some less than desirable conditions.
What locations were chosen to film this commercial?
One of the locations that the production crew spent a lot of time at was Fort Pike, which according to officials, was built in 1819 to protect against invasion of the United States. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several other locations in remote wooded areas were used to film some of the scenes. One scene was actually shot in a lake in rainy, frigid temperatures to show our Zombies coming on shore. Definitely not our favorite shoot day, and a huge shout out to our dedicated actors who braved the freezing temps and pulled off a great scene!
Part of the shoot was also done on a massive sound stage to achieve some of the cinematic visual effects that required special rigs, lighting, and a 50 foot tall green screen. The sound stage was also home to Darryl’s fiery companion, his 50 foot tall dragon, who has roots in Louisiana, Kentucky, and believe it or not, Paris, France. More on that in a moment…
How many days were involved in the shoot?
There were about 7 total shoot days, but the pre-production process started months before. It all started with the creative, and deciding what we wanted the theme to be for this year’s Super Bowl commercial. We wanted to amp everything up from last year’s Super Bowl commercial that we produced, so we knew we had a lot of work ahead of us. Once we decided that dragons and zombies were going to be the central part of our commercial, along with the star and hero of the story, Attorney Darryl Isaacs, we began the scriptwriting process. Then came the storyboards, and weeks of scouting locations to find the perfect locations.
You created a dragon! How long does the modeling and rigging process take?
In this case post-production took several months. Beyond just editing the commercial, modeling, rigging, texturing, and animating the dragon is an extremely daunting process. Every bone has to be rigged in the dragon to give it a realistic look, or it would look more like a stick figure when he moved if his muscles and bones weren’t properly rigged, and then animated. It took 5 animators a lot of sleepless nights to pull off the dragon scenes. Our main software program we use is Cinema 4D, and some of the C4D animators that joined our team to turn our dragon sketch into Darryl’s flying, fire-breathing side-kick were the absolute best. We even had an animator on our team who specializes in fire visual effects work on the “fireball morphing into the hammer” shot, which was quite the undertaking.
Tell us about the actors. Where did the talent get cast from?
We casted all of our talent ourselves here at Image Video Solutions and had most of the principal actors come to our office to audition in person. We work with a number of local and national agencies who submitted some incredible talent. In the end, our cast was outstanding, and we can’t thank them enough. Another huge shout out goes to the Society of Creative Anachronism, an international organization that has over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events around the world that include tournaments, festivals, and yes, film and television sets!
Their medieval costumes, weapons and props they brought on set to assist our art department really added to the authentic look of our set, taking our viewers back to medieval times. We also learned that they have quite a few members of their organization who could have a very promising future in the film industry! Another side note, our 6’10 “Insurance Giant” actually played Bruiser in Ocean’s Eleven, who punches “Danny” (George Clooney) in the face during one of the scenes. Thankfully, Darryl Isaacs was spared any such fate on our set, and the two actually became fast friends between takes.
What was the collaboration like for the entire creative team?
It took a massive team to pull off a project of this size. Image Video Solutions is a small, boutique creative agency and production company, and while we have done virtually every type of local, regional and national campaign, this was by far the largest project we’ve taken on, given the amount of on-set special effects, visual effects in post-production, and the overall size of the cast and crew. We had over 50 actors and a crew of about 60 when it was all said and done, and they braved the very difficult elements to help us pull off this very ambitious shoot! Our Director of Photography for our main shoot at Fort Pike is an industry veteran who did an outstanding job helping us turn our vision into a reality and did an amazing job.
Our costume designer was incredible, and is a veteran costume designer in the film industry for over 25 years. We also had an incredible Art Director who works with us year-round on projects, our Special Effects team did a great job with the “practical” in-camera effects on set like fire, fog, and snow. Our Horse Wranglers and their 2 horses were incredibly talented and patient. The location is Kentucky, so of course we had to have a horse again in this year’s commercial! Our Grip and Lighting Team made sure that everything was lit perfectly, especially given the very difficult shooting condition, and all of our production assistants went above and beyond. Anne who runs the craft services and catering department had to feed our army of 85+ people on one of the shoot days…and the list goes on. A special thanks to the team handling all of the logistics with Fort Pike—They are an incredible group to work with!
Tool of the Trade – Tell us about the camera
We recently purchased a new camera package, that includes the RED Scarlet-W 5K camera, which we used to shoot all of our footage with, and it turned out to be a great investment. Of course the camera was just the beginning. We utilized some pretty amazing glass with the Angenieux 24-290 lens, the best grip and electric equipment to pull off our shots in any type of challenging lighting situation, a Fisher dolly and tracks that was used at the Fort in most of the shots, and the list goes on…. and on…and on!
Since we’ve been editing the spot at our production offices over the past 2 months, our new server and editing platform has been a life-saver! Team render has been incredible, and we definitely couldn’t have made the dragon a reality in the time frame we had without the render farm we use in France, thus, our dragon’s French roots. What may take even the fastest computer with the latest and greatest software days or weeks to render, a render farm can spit out in sometimes 15 minutes or less thanks to their massive warehouses of thousands of computers and servers.
How long did the makeup transformation take for the undead winter villains?
Our special effects makeup team is the best in the business. The zombies with heavy prosthetics, like our Evil Giant, took anywhere from 2 to 3 hours to transform, and the process is pretty incredible to watch. We also had a separate hair and makeup department for “beauty” makeup for everyone else who wasn’t being transformed into a zombie.
Need More Zombies, Heroes, & Dragons?
Be sure to visit the Isaacs & Isaacs Commercials Page to see last year’s Zombie Super Bowl Commercial and our full collection of TV ads.