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Director Juuso Syrjä is an awarded director from Helsinki, Finland. Juuso has directed over 400 commercials and music videos around the globe; from Brazil to Japan, From Cuba to Kazakhstan.
His clients include international brands such as McDonald’s, Finlandia Vodka, Bacardi, Snickers, Samsung, Nokia, Schweppes and Adidas.
Juuso loves commercials with simple storytelling, together with interesting characters and a spice of humor. He has a keen eye for stunning visuals, which is one of his trademarks as a director. Juuso’s passion for cooking and being a wannabe-chef means he loves to do all the food and liquid films. His dream came true when he got the chance to direct world’s best chefs while shooting the food documentary “Cook It Raw."
Shooting delicious food and visually stunning liquids makes tabletop shooting one of the most challenging fields in film production.
Years ago Juuso became well known for his music videos that hit the MTV charts and won awards. After having experienced all the music video galas, fancy trophies and rock n' roll lifestyle he has worked lately focusing on tabletop films.
His technical knowledge, background on special FX’s and post-production combined to his passion for food and alcohol makes him perfect director to create irresistible food and liquid commercials. Juuso loves working on tabletop projects, and one of the perks of the job is that chocolate doesn’t talk back.
Tabletop requires lots of innovative solutions, appetite appeal has to be high and there’s a need to always create something captivating and fresh.
This is the first film, which I directed for Southern California’s McDonald’s. This was technically and visually a very challenging project. First picture is combined with over 30 different layers, as all the elements had to be shot separately. In order to create the splash, we opened McNuggets with scalpel and filled them with lead to make them heavier. Then we shot the lead filled nuggets through the air with air pressure acting as a cannon. Also when creating the splash we needed more dressing to make it happen. We needed also a special glassblowing as ramekins had containers hidden underneath the surface with more dressing. So we actually shot the McNuggets through the table to make it happen. This was a great physics lesson, as all the different elements of the shoot didn’t happen as planned in the original script. Client: McDonald’s Los Angeles, Production company: Contrast Eye, Agency: Davis Elen, Visual effects: Zoic Studios
For this film we needed to flex our creative muscles to overcome complex challenges of the film. We combined live action with 3D elements and with 3 other films, which we shot in Copenhagen. This was one of those projects where I could become Gyro Gearloose before the shooting to create technical inventions to make the needed images to come alive. Like for the first shot we laser cut acrylic plates with Bacardi text, and then we build huge black pool and submerged the clued letters with big black acrylic plate underwater and released those with powerful hydraulic pumps. For the wave we build a big ramp to release water from high up, then that water rushed underneath smaller see-through pool to hit other ramp to generate wave before hitting the chunked ice. Naturally this was a nice production, as we needed to test Bacardi as a product and how it behaves as a star of a film rather than a star of a mixed drink. Client: Bacardi USA Inc., Agency: Commonground, Production company and visual effects: Ghost VFX
This was one of the best productions ever as Cook It Raw brought 16 of the most influential and creative chefs around the world to Finnish Lapland. We had some of the biggest stars of the culinary universe such as Rene Redzepi (Noma, Copenhagen) and Alex Atala (D.O.M., Sao Paolo). We collected raw ingredients from the forest, hunted and fished to create beautiful innovations on plates. I shot this film with 2 other cinematographers and it was truly done in a documentary style without any setting up and shooting was also “raw” in style with small and mostly hand-held equipment. The experience also taught me what good catering means as the world’s best chefs delivered it.
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