A recently released one-minute video called “The Sound of Taste” gives new meaning to the catchphrase “flavor explosion.” This slow-motion video by director Chris Cairns was made as a commercial for a U.K. product called Flavour Shots. Rhythmic pyrotechnics send several colorful tons of black peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, coriander, and more soaring upward in great clouds of spicy fireworks.
“The intention [was] to create an audio-visual feast,” Cairns says in a behind-the-scenes video (below). Composer MJ Cole wrote an ethereal piano piece that crescendos into a climax, then pyrotechnic designer Paul Mann used a timing code to signal spice bag explosions in sync with the music’s notes.
“In music, you can have different tambours that relate to different flavors and colors that relate to different chords,” Cole says. Part of what’s so magical about this video is that it’s CGI-free. In our action-movie-packed world, we’re used to explosions being faked. But in the making of this video, garlic cloves really did fly gracefully through the air. Delicate parsley leaves really did flutter amidst swirling clouds of cayenne.
“The magic of it is just portrayed by knowing that what you’re looking at has been done,” Mann says. “It’s been filmed at high speed, and somehow we’ve just managed to get all the cues in the right place.”
Even those who are skeptical about using art in advertising might have to admit that it’s a refreshing alternative to yet another pretty-lady-taking-a-bite-and-looking-blissful food commercial.