I've worked with a lot of unique and varied talent in my day, but this was the first time I have ever worked with a Fruit Ninja! To celebrate the news that Toaster Strudel is now made with even more real fruit, Pillsbury brought Guinness World Record-holding swordsman Isao Machii all the way from Japan to The Grove in Los Angeles, CA to slice and dice as the real life Fruit Ninja! With over 300 million downloads, Fruit Ninja has quickly become one of most popular video games around.
The Japanese swordsman flew in from Tokyo for the shoot. The schedule was tight - we only had him on location for half a day which meant we loaded in before sunrise to capture the best of the morning light. Machii performed extremely well slicing just about everything we could throw at him (mostly fruit!). Of course, the Fruit Ninja sliced a few Toaster Strudels as well as tasting a few for himself.
To capture the slow motion sequences of the Fruit Ninja, we used the RED Epic (with the new Dragon sensor). The RED camera easily kept up with all the ninja's moves in their glory. The promotion was an effective tool for Toaster Strudel with the video garnering over 250,000 views on Youtube in its first week and continues to perform well for the brand. Overall a huge success and lots of fun.