Two garden gnomes dressed in yellow

Cheese Gnomes

Ben West, director at Framestore Pictures, brings his special brand of humor to this hilarious spot directed for Cheez-It.  Produced with agency Leo Burnett Chicago, the spot features a combination of live-action and visual effects, in which two fighting gnomes, resembling the bright cheesy cracker, collide inside the imagination of a man trying the brand new Cheez-It Grooves. When deciding on whether to use CG or live action gnomes, everyone agreed a live-action approach would give these commercials a really unique flavor.

A close partnership with the agency was crucial to turn around the spot within the quick deadline.  ‘It was great collaborating with Michael Shirley from Leo Burnett. He really had the trust of the clients and believed in our approach,’ said West.

a person sitting on a sofa eating cheez-it grooves crackers as two cheese gnomes stand behind
close up view of an animated cheese gnome as cheez-it crackers fly above

The collaboration between Framestore’s departments also allowed the live-action and VFX teams to work efficiently together from the start, creating early VFX tests and comps of the rehearsal which were used to inform the shoot and aid a seamless transition into post. Working as a hybrid team allowed both sides to maximize the timeline, while leaving room to play with the creative and execution throughout the process.The VFX team utilized compositing techniques to duplicate the actor and increase the size of his head, which amplifies the comedic nature of the spot. Using design driven effects, Creative Director Danny DelPurgatorio wanted to create a landscape that was relatable while also possessing a slightly surreal quality about it. This bizarre scenario needed to leave viewers scratching their heads and asking ‘What did I just see?’.


Leo Burnett
Ben West
Head of Production
Anne Vega
Executive Producer
Jennifer Siegel
Executive Producer
Larissa Berringer
Laura Perfect
Lauren Shawe
Mona Nigro
Account Director
Pat Dunneback
Adam Bedol
Ben West
CG Artists
Chris Friesen
Colour Assistant
Clark Griffiths
Another Country
Jordan Doucette
Account Supervisor
Christina Cade
Shoot Supervisor
Adrian Hurley
NUKE Lead / VFX 2D Supervisor
Luca Pelegatta
Colour Producer
Rachel Cohen
Michael Shirley
Art Director
Kai Foo
Production Company
Framestore Pictures
Executive Producer
Phillip Detchmendy
Production Supervisor
Miranda Sidor
Director of Production
David Michaels
Daniel DelPurgatorio
NUKE Artists
Jen Howard, Navid Bagherzadeh, Jaimie Park, Jacob Dailey, Joe Taylor
Maria Carretero
VFX Editor
Jonathan Lewis
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