SOURCE: Sony Europe

May 16, 2008 12:24 ET

Sony's Alpha Cameras Capture the Fleeting Moments of Foam City in Digital Detail

WEYBRIDGE, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - Sony takes us back to Foam City for their latest ad -- and this time the Alpha 350 camera comes under the spotlight.

The commercial was one of the product stories shot in an area of downtown Miami, transformed by Sony into an incredible photographic paradise using the world's largest custom-built foam machine.

The ad saw amateur photographers explore the beauty of the foam and bubble filled streets. The bubbles were crafted by Allan the Bubble Professor who created images like no other by making up uniquely shaped bubbles to marvel at.

Totally unscripted, the advert features Miami citizens capturing their magical moments using the latest addition to the Alpha range -- the Alpha 350 DSLR.

"Bubbles and foam are notoriously difficult to capture in great detail due to their fleeting and ever changing nature," says James Kennedy, General Manager, Marketing Communications, Sony Europe. "We used this to our advantage in the Alpha ad and focused on its ability to capture images in amazing detail using its Quick Auto Focus Live View and 14.2 mega pixel capability."

The foam and bubbles were captured in all their glory during the shoot using the Alpha 350's Quick Auto Focus Live View technology. This feature fuses the convenience of a live image preview with a responsive TTL phase-detection system and rapid continuous shooting, ensuring not a single magical moment is lost.

The creative team behind the fun was advertising agency Fallon London, and all ads in the series were helmed by renowned director Simon Ratigan.

"There are a number of ads, each telling its own story, which were shot in 'Foam City'," says Director Simon Ratigan. "This particular ad aimed to show the way people used their Alpha camera to capture the essence of the experience. We saw people shooting from street level to over their heads, really testing out the features of the camera, and we wanted to capture those moments."

Warren Ellis, who rose to fame with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, composed the music after watching the advert, creating a unique sound to go with the unique images.

The Alpha advert is available to watch online at Additional filming documentaries and adverts for the Cyber-shot and Alpha ranges are also available on the site.

Fun facts about the shoot

--  There are 200 Miami inhabitants all recording their 'Foam City'
--  The ad uses the world's biggest foam machine -- 2.8m in diameter
--  1,000 litres of water are being used to create 2,000,000 litres of
    foam per minute
--  The rate at which the foam is produced would fill an Olympic swimming
    pool in 24 seconds
--  By the end of the shoot it is estimated 460 million litres of foam
    will have been produced
--  To create the perfect bubbles, Allan the Bubble Professor was hired --
    with over 15 years' experience in the bubble business
--  The ad uses custom built bubble machines -- made to produce odd shaped
--  18 people are tasked with creating the foam out of a crew of 150
--  The advert uses 3 cameras running 80,000 feet of film. This means 16
    hours of running time to produce the 90 second commercial


Environmental Info

Sony is engaged in a constant review of its manufacturing, operational and business practices to ensure that its products are developed in an environmentally responsible way. This approach can broadly be divided into three areas:

Environmental Information: 3Ps


--  The foam produced for foam city is non-toxic and biodegradable.


--  Foam created is broken down quickly using a special spray (used in
    catering processes) to ensure minimal impact on local environment.
--  Street cleaning machines used to remove any remaining foam and
    bubble residue at the end of each shoot day.


--  All drains in Foam City are sealed off to prevent foam and bubble
    product passing into the main water supply -- ensuring environment.
    is protected

Sony is determined to lead the way as a responsible manufacturer, and as a result we are focusing on three key areas of investment:

1.  Reducing CO2 gas emissions
2.  Increasing the percentage of renewable energy  used in
    manufacturing facilities
3.  Minimising the resources used by our factories in manufacturing

About Sony:

Sony manufactures audio, video, communications and information technology products for the global consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be one of the world's leading digital entertainment brands. Sony recorded consolidated global annual sales of EUR 55.83 billion (yen 8,296 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007, based on an average market exchange rate for the same period of yen 148.6 to the EUR. It employs approximately 163,000 people worldwide.

In Europe, the Sony Group recorded consolidated annual sales of EUR 13.71 billion (yen 2,038 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007. Sony Europe, headquartered at the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, is responsible for the company's European electronics business and registered consolidated sales of EUR 9.12 billion for the same period.

For more information on Sony Europe, please visit and