Artem SFX & Carling: A “Refreshingly Perfect” Match

Artem SFX – the award-winning physical special effects company – received a brief to create props and effects for a series of three TV commercials for Carling Brewery’s “Refreshingly Perfect” campaign.

The Artem team, headed up by Alex Phillips, worked on three separate adverts: an extreme underwater apple bobbing event, a heroic catch for a cricket ball – involving a clear dive through a moving ice-cream van – and a pool table trick shot arrangement inspired by the work of cartoonist, Rube Goldberg.

The challenge was to create a series of interconnected elements that met the brief, budget and timescale. Artem’s designers and technicians worked closely with Kevin Phipps, the art director of Smuggler Films, and managed to complete the project in just ten days.

They created an oak barrel with underwater viewing panels for the apple bobbing, and made modifications to a working ice-cream van, as well as building a cricket ball cannon for the heroic catch – along with provision of various aids to the stunt team.

For the trick shot in the pool hall, the brief was to create a deliberately complicated Rube Goldberg-style machine out of items found in a pool hall.

Artem developed a series of ramps, runways, ball-lifting bobbins, a beer tube ball race, a mallet powered left dropping into a model car, with an arrester hook to propel the 8 ball through a flaming hoop – lit by a fizzing fuse triggered as another ball ran a gauntlet of beer pump levers to eventually tip a candle – and make it bounce off a toy drum to eventually land in the pocket.

Alex Phillips of Artem said on working with Carling and Smuggler Films, “It was so much fun working with Carling on the project. We enjoyed the trick shot particularly, working in a real pool hall the set ups worked reliably to plan. It was brilliant being able to really let our imaginations loose.”

Artem SFX is an award-winning physical special effects company with a 25-year track record. Artem has worked extensively in the museum and events sectors including Madame Tussauds, Thorpe Park, the Imperial War Museum and Alton Towers, as well as working with household names such as Strongbow, Cadbury’s, Galaxy and Playstation.

Company highlights in 2012 involved the Olympics and Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies, and creating the famous animatronic dog for the Churchill Insurance adverts, as well as working on British thrillers Hummingbird and Welcome to the Punch.

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