Quick Chat: Cut+Run’s Steve Gandolfi on Rogue ‘Imagination’ spot

By Randi Altman

Remember as a kid imagining monsters under your bed and hiding in closets? Well a new spot for Nissan takes that childhood fear out of the bedroom and amps it up a bit.

Nissan Rogue’s Imagination, out of TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, features parents and their son heading home on a dark, stormy night. The viewer sees all the safety features that the Rogue has to offer — Moving Object Detection with Around View Monitor, Blind Spot Warning and Forward Collision Warning — but the boy’s very active imagination places danger everywhere, thanks to visual effects supplied by BaconX.

There is a scary tree whose branches seem to be reaching out to grab the car, a growling bear chasing the vehicle down the road, and a pleasure boat on a trailer that turns into a huge pirate ship in the ocean firing cannons. The spot ends with the family arriving home safely.


The commercial, directed by Reset’s Martin Werner, was edited by Cut+Run‘s Steve Gandolfi on an Avid Media Composer. Gandolfi, who is based in LA but is available at all of Cut + Run’s locations, was kind enough to field some of our questions about his work on the piece.

When did you get the footage, and how long did you have for the cut?  
We got the footage the morning after each shoot, but it was a night shoot so director Martin Werner would pop over during the day before each shoot and we would run through the dailies. We had a tight schedule, so we started working straight away together. The edit lasted about a week.

Other than editing were you asked to do anything else?
No, but we worked very closely with BaconX.  They would also come in and advise on VFX while we were editing.

Steve Gandolfi

What was that VFX workflow like?  
They would take our rough shots and start doing rough line animations on them to show Martin and the agency. These line animations helped the edit a great deal as they would guide what angles to use on the car. Once we were able to combine the car and the bear, we were able to determine what would create the best moment.

What was the most challenging part of editing this piece? 
Getting all the amazing footage and ideas into the timeframe.

What was the most fun?
Showing the agency and seeing their reaction when they knew they had a really good spot.

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