Emmy award-winning commercial production company The Institute, co-founded by Transformers director Michael Bay and Pearl Harbor producer Scott Gardenhour, turned heads with yet another eye-catching holiday tv commercial for women’s lingerie and beauty product retailer Victoria’s Secret.

The video, which premiered at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, was the inspiration for a behind-the-scenes web series entitled One Gift A Thousand Fantasies: Inside the Holiday 2010 TV Shoot, which launched last week on the Victoria’s Secret YouTube channel.

Victoria's SecretThe series, shot during production at Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, features supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Lily Aldridge, Chanel Iman, Adriana Lima, Erin Heatherton and Katsia Zingarevich.

The first episode features Edward Razek, senior creative of Victoria’s Secret (and President and Chief Marketing Officer of parent Limited Brands), who has been hand-picking the models for Victoria’s Secret for two decades. “Our holiday campaigns have a certain requirement to be fairly epic at this point,” he says.

Epic? I don’t know. Over-the-top? Absolutely. This is Michael Bay. I was surprised there weren’t any helicopters or explosions (see his vid from last year). No, this year’s commercial is more steamy; almost every scene features steam rising from below. And the budget on wind machines must have been astronomical. The most ridiculous scene, however (presented in all seriousness) features a scantily-clad model draped over a white horse—as it snows.

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