Together with R/GA New York, this film from Director Peter Sluszka, shows that a bad fridge makes for badly behaved food, specifically a gang of rotten veg who wreak terror on a house. Toilets gleefully overflow, files on a computer are emphatically erased, and a lawnmower is resourcefully chucked out a second story window, before we see the group pause, look longingly at two much more moral tomatoes in a neighboring fridge, and consider what they’ve done.
The result is a resolution that is both emphatic and effective. “The original idea was great fun,” says Peter, “and it’s important to let loose those destructive impulses once in a while. But how do you shape that funny idea into a story without devolving into slapstick chaos? That was important for us, especially in a shorter format, where you need to find ways of making characters relatable efficiently, strange as that character may be.”
For Peter, the dynamism that live action provided was essential. “While much of the process in creating the spot was carefully planned, as is the case with any production, we still placed value on spontaneity,” says Peter. “When creating the puppets, for instance, we dried out actual food with the puppet builders to see what would happen, before casting them – a blemish became an eye, a crease became a mouth.” The same approach, he says, was taken with puppeteers. Extroverts and actors in their own right, their accidents and embellishments could be inserted into the final edit. “It makes the characters more human,” says Peter. “When I watch the spot myself, there’s something quite amazing about the tomato. He’s the ring leader, but when he looks down at the other tomatoes I can feel that real pang of remorse.