Verne Troyer, a.k.a. Mini Me, follows Bernie Mac as star of Radar spots for new Lottery games

Austin Powers’ sidekick Mini Me touts the “Set for Life” game, with the biggest cash prizes in any promotion in Illinois Lottery history.

The fast-paced “movie trailers” were directed by Radar’s Don Hoeg with the added panache of photography by a famous Hollywood DP.

Radar produced the Troyer “Set for Life” spot as the payoff to the preceding “Set Up” spot for Lottery agency, R. J. Dale.

Hollywood actor Verne Troyer followed comedian and Chicago native Bernie Mac who was features in two earlier “Pick and Play” commercials.

Both “Set Up” and “Set for Life” were treated like fast-paced movie trailers?an idea originated by agency art director Tony Williams?and executed during the two-day shoot by Hollywood DP Newton Thomas Sigel (“Superman Returns,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” “X-Men”) who shot in 35mm.

Sigal shot action-packed “Set Up” at various Chicago locations, following a team of “Lotto agents” scrambling to find the biggest payout in Illinois Lottery history.

Troyer, the “Mastermind” who ostensibly sent the agents out, shot almost completely on green screen at Essanay. “Sets,” such as his Sears Tower “control center” amid walls of monitors, were created in post with 3D environments and other CG effects.

Radar creatively collaborated with the agency early on, said R. J. Dale creative director Van King. “They made shooting boards and a quick animatic for timing and effects. So the timing and camera moves were all figured out by the time we shot the real talent.”

As a result, King add, “It made the shooting day much more effective as each piece fit and we got more great takes from the talent.”

Radar, celebrating its seventh anniversary in September, is one of Chicago’s biggest spot houses, skillfully combining live action and effects for a roster of national clients that include McDonald’s and Kellogg’s/Leo Burnett and Kraft/FCB.

Hoeg attributes his company’s success to “having the right attitude and having a lot of fun.”

Radar credits: Director, Don Hoeg; executive producer Lisa Masseur; Editor, Mary Roland; Flame artist, John Truckenbrod; lead CGI artist, Mark Angres; effects supervisor, Brian Willard.

For R. J. Dale: Roxanne Hubbard, VP/CD/client services; CDs Tony Williams and Van King; copywriter LaShonda Allen; producer Darryl Manuel.

Radar is located at 401 W. Ontario; phone, 312/266-2900. Access the spots at www.radarstudios.com/approval/Marketing/SetUp_DEMO.mov and www.radarstudios.com/approval/Marketing/Mastermind_DEMO.mov.

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