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Spotlight: A Romp Inside The Puzzling World of Skittles

By David Schonauer   Wednesday July 19, 2017


Before you can taste the rainbow, you have to solve the rainbow.

That, more or less, is the premise behind a spec commercial for Skittles created by Brooklyn-based director, editor, and special-effects artist Eren Gulfidan. The 40-second ad that Gulfidan created is an appropriately colorful pean to the popular candy that fits naturally into the brand’s other surreal marketing campaigns. It features Lloyd Kaufman — founder of Troma, the independent Long Island City-based film production company responsible for cult-favorite films including The Toxic Avenger, Zombie Island Massacre, Surf Nazis Must Die, and Class of Nuke ’Em High — in a mind-melting Rubik’s Cube competition.

“Casting was key for this project, and I couldn't have asked for anyone more perfect than Lloyd Kaufman for the role of the ‘winner,’” says Gulfidan. “I've been a fan of his and his work for a long time, and it was such a privilege to work with him.”

Today we spotlight the commercial by Gulfidan, a past winner of the International Motion Art Awards for her short piece Cutting Snow to Ice, which contemplated the transformation of matter from one state to another. Below, the filmmaker describes why and how she celebrated Skittles.


Eren Gulfidan on Skittles - Solve the Rainbow

I've always loved Skittles commercials for their bizarre humor and impeccable execution. I actually came up with the idea for this spec commercial years ago, but it's been sitting on the back burner. And then last year, I decided it was finally time to do it.

The image of a Rubik's Cube melting into Skittles had been in my head from the beginning, and I think my fascination with bizarre contests and game shows played into shaping the rest of the story. The formation of the Skittles was going to be a happy accident during an attempt to “solve the rainbow.” I knew the execution of this idea was going to be challenging, as I wanted to achieve most of the special effects during production and wanted to leave little to post. So it took a lot of experimentation to get the melting process right, but in the end I think all my crazy “lab work” paid off. I ended up using a lot of different materials to get the right consistency for the squish and the ooze of the cube and to make the entire cube melt. In post, VFX artist Sam Stulin did an amazing job making it all come together.

Casting was key for this project, and I couldn't have asked for anyone more perfect than Lloyd Kaufman for the role of the “winner.” I've been a fan of his and his work for a long time and it was such a privilege to work with him. The director of photography, Nadine Martinez, did an incredible job with cinematography. She nailed that sleek, surreal, isolating stage-light look I was going for. We shot on a Sony FS7 at Wrythe Studio in Brooklyn earlier this year. Designer Roz Morris made the Rubik’s Cube dress worn by the announcer, who was played by Kasey Lee, as well as Lloyd's bow tie. Holly Meehl, our producer, basically made all of this happen! Every person who worked on this was instrumental in the realization of this project.

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