Tonight’s Oscar telecast featured a sincere (at least at first) black-and-white tribute to a film industry luminary named Otto Desć.
Despite the praise heaped on Desć by actor-director Elizabeth Banks, actor Ron Perelman, cinematographer Mandy Walker and visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert, it turns out that he doesn’t actually exist. Instead, the spoof commercial is for Autodesk (get it?), a technology vendor with increasing ambitions in Hollywood. (Watch the full video above.)
The commercial was produced by Maximum Effort, Ryan Reynolds’ creative agency and Kimmelot, with the latter’s Dan Sanborn. The spoof gave Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel a voice even during the night’s ad breaks. Two teasers for the full mini-doc aired earlier in the show, laying it on thick about Desć before the final segment revealed the ruse, with the on-screen talent discovering it along with viewers.
“Maximum Effort loves playing with the cultural landscape, and the Oscars are a major cultural event,” Reynolds said in a press release. “Autodesk has been a secret weapon for Hollywood’s artists for decades, and what better way to highlight that than to create a fake man of vaguely Germanic descent to receive an award that doesn’t exist? Huge thanks to my Definitely, Maybe co-star Elizabeth Banks, the legendary Ron Perlman as well as Mandy Walker and Paul Lambert for taking serious stuff so unseriously. Also if you’re thinking Otto Desć looks suspiciously like Academy Award nominee and Free Guy VFX Supe Swen Gillberg, you’d be wrong. No further questions.”
The mockumentary collaboration follows one by Maximum Effort and Kimmelot last fall during the series finale of The Walking Dead. The companies resurrected four dead characters for five spots, with Autodesk among the roster of brand sponsors.
Autodesk Chief Marketing Officer Dara Treseder called Oscar night “a night to celebrate the biggest names in Hollywood, so we’re thrilled to celebrate the design and technology from Autodesk that makes this magic possible in such a fun and creative way.”
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