it's not cooked... it's crafted
a commercial food film about tasty chips in a stunning set
To launch Lay’s Gourmet in India, PepsiCo asked us to create a film that reveals the craftsmanship behind its premium chips. In a film that introduces three exciting flavours: Thai sweet chilli, Lime & cracked pepper, Vintage cheese & paprika, we learn that Lay’s Gourmet is not simply just chips; but a treat for our senses. Made from carefully selected potatoes which are thickly sliced and slowly cooked. The result: an authentic golden look with a satisfying crunch to match. Every bite is filled with lip-smacking flavours and evocative aromas that delight your senses.
To emphasise the artisanal qualities of Lay’s Gourmet, our director Natascha Brandt collaborated with tabletop DOP Alejandro H. Madrid. The film depicting the transformation of the chips, is divided into three parts: preparation, cooking and flavouring. Set in an antique kitchen, we follow the chef selecting a perfect potato, peeling it, and cutting it into thick slices. The metamorphosis of the potato from raw to a golden crisp begins as the slices are dropped into oil. The potato slices dance weightlessly in the oil as they transform in front of our eyes. The carefully crafted chips are then seasoned with savoury ingredients; and in a grand ending the refined packaging is revealed.
Shoots are often met with challenges and Lay’s Gourmet proved not the exception. The first challenge was getting our hands on the actual product. To begin with, the product had not yet been released and they were being manufactured in India (which for us, is on the other side of the world). Later on in the production process, boxes filled with Lay’s Gourmet were shipped to Amsterdam. Just when we thought we were back on track, Dutch customs denied the import and sent the chips all the way back to India. But, all was not lost. There is a silver, or should I say golden lining to this story. The chips were re-sent, but this time to Budapest where a courier picked them up and delivered them to the front door of Chuck Studios.
To ensure that the shooting day ran smoothly, we tested all the shots beforehand. The most complex is the potato slices cooking in hot oil. While we could’ve taken a simpler approach, Natascha wanted to show the transformation of the pot slices in a remarkable and authentic way.
Our SFX magician Willem van Muijden took on the challenge. Having studied beforehand how the oil behaved when heated, figuring out the precise temperature needed and how to maintain it, ensured the success of a very complex shot.
Immense research, testing and great teamwork on and off set resulted in a mesmerising film. The tabletop footage became an integral part of the live-action film. A film which nourishes the senses and encourages those seeking a sublime snacking experience.