Live Action

Hyundai (Brand Vision) from Trizz Studio

Back in the early 1990’s I attended a lecture on automotive advertising that made a comparison to the way cars are, or were advertised in Japan at the time versus the United States. In Japan, it was less about the car and more about the mood or feeling. Here in America, little has changed. Most car ads talk about how fast you can go, how much you can haul, will this vehicle help you compensate for something missing in your life, etc. It was and still is an interesting comparison as to how different cultures perceive product relationships and branding. For example the video below, not for a Japanese car, but for Korean Hyundai. The video is an abstraction on relating to the automobile Hyundai’s design sensibilities. It is a short film that combines natural senses and emotions with visual abstractions that relate to what the product stands for; confidence, essentials, refinement, sensuality, effortlessness. It conveys all of this without ever showing a single Hyundai car, and not revealing the brand until the very end of the clip.

The video is an abstraction on relating to the automobile Hyundai’s design sensibilities. It is a short film that combines natural senses and emotions with visual abstractions that relate to what the product stands for; confidence, essentials, refinement, sensuality, effortlessness. It conveys all of this without ever showing a single Hyundai car, and not revealing the brand until the very end of the clip.  What a completely different approach to branding, and one that is the polar opposite of the way automotive branding and advertising is handled here in the good old US of A.

Produced by Trizz Studio for Innocean Worlwide and Hyundai, this is a fantastic blend of CG work, live action footage, and sound design. High production value, and the opportunity to create an abstract representation of what the Hyundai brand represents helps to sell this piece. I think it is wonderful, and frankly would like to see more car ads like this, but I know for a fact no agency in America is ever going to pitch this kind of concept to an automotive client, let alone have an automotive client actually buy in, here in America.

WAtch it full screen and turn up the volume.

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A VFX Breakdown of “Deadpool”

First a disclaimer. I have not seen the movie Deadpool and probably won’t. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be impressed with the VFX in the film. Take a look at the VFX breakdown below and you’ll understand why. There is so much computer graphics, and post work going on that it makes you ask, is this a live action movie, or an animation featuring some live characters in the scenes? The movie might have been bad (this is what my friends have told me so don’t get mad at me), but the VFX are pretty damn spectacular.

“Deadpool” marks the beginning of a new era for superhero films, and one sequence in particular was key to setting the tone. This is an in-depth VFX breakdown reel showcasing the behind-the-scenes efforts by the Atomic Fiction team. The work involved creating computer generated characters, vehicles, and an entire urban environment, for the thrilling car chase that kicks off this new franchise!

Special thanks to Tim Miller, Jonathan Rothbart, our friends at Blur, and 20th Century Fox for the opportunity to contribute to these sequences.

Music Credit: Deadpool (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.
X-Men Characters and Likenesses TM & © 2016 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sound FX, Arper.

The video below from was produced for Arper and Lievore, Altherr, Molina to introduce their new office chair Arper. It is a really solid blend of live action, and CG work married to a solid script and some great sound design work. If you have headphones, put them on and give this a listen. Then watch the video. I say that because the sound design work is so subtle, and yet such a key component of the finished piece. When I first watched this, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the audio taking place behind the voice over, and the soundtrack. On the second, third and fourth viewing it really sank in, and that is what makes this video. Yes all the production work is rock solid but that subtle effective sound work just seals the deal for me. I love the look, pace, and VFX work, but without the background audio this just wouldn’t be the same.

Director: Bungalow
Art Direction: Bungalow
Animation & Motion Graphics: Bungalow, Fabio Medrano
Sound FX: Newton Audio
Production Co: Bungalow

“Welcome to Airbnb” and the Making Of.

One of the hottest trends in ad video right now is the creation of epic miniature sets that involve a single tracking camera move. The video below for Airbnb is a prime example of this. Created by TBWA\Singapore the entire production of this sixty second spot took 5 weeks, 85 takes, and an army of people to pull off. The result is fantastic though. The crew wanted everything to look hand made, and use no CGI to complete the look. The second video is a behind the scenes look at how they pulled this off, and the thinking behind the commercial. It offers great insight into the process and how it relates to the finished piece.

“Dominoes”, No I Don’t Mean Pizza.

Power house video effects and production company Imaginary Forces have created a new spot to introduce the new Toyota fuel cell vehicle. The spot is deceptively simple, which is why I have posted the behind the scenes video first. This shows a great example of blending live action with CG effects using some very sophisticated motion control cameras. One of the things I like about the making of / behind the scenes video is the fact that they talk about the concept as much as the production. They could have just shown how the commercial was shot, but the tech is only one leg of the chair. How Imaginary Forces ties the creative, and storytelling component in is equally compelling. It’s a simple idea on the surface with many complex layers underneath.

The Rolex Way.

Rolex has launched a new online video through its YouTube channel titled “The Rolex Way”. The two minute spot features a blend of live action footage, CG, and slow motions shots, combined with creative editing, and a well written script. The clip starts with a blend of CG papers floating past what looks like a live action shot of the Rolex headquarters.This entire opening scene could all be CG but it looks like a blend of the two. Moving through to an interior shot there is a tribute to the founder before a really nice post move into the live action shot of a person forging a rolex casement, with a really nice time re-mapped shot of hot molten steel hitting the crucible  before  swinging back to the pages of rRolex history and more solid CG work. This is a really well thought out spot with nice camera moves, timing, and a script that reinforces the brand, the quality of the product and the dedication to producing some of the worlds finest time pieces.  Nice work for the folks at Rolex.

Rice Krispies Dinosaurs.

If you ever wonder what it takes to get a TV commercial produced, take a look at the credit list below this Rice Krispies spot by Hornet. It’s insane. Actually it’s not. It’s simply proof that good work, sometimes takes more than a few, and collaboration and team work produce some killer results. Directed by Yves Geleyn, who helped to create “The Bear and the Hare” for John Lewis is at it again creating a light hearted, fun spot that features hand crafted and animated wooden puppets. The entire piece is narrated by a young boy who brings his imaginative story to life with the help of his small dinosaur friends.

Director: Yves Geleyn
Produced by: Hornet
Executive Producer: Jan Stebbins
Producer: Cathy Kwan
Live Action Puppet Shoot Producer: Joel Kretschman
Live Action Producer: Jennifer Pearlman
Editor: Anita Chao

PUPPET SHOOT
Produced by: Hornet
Director of Photography: Ivan Abel
Art Director: Elise Ferguson
Fabricators: Nathan Aquith, Erika Bettencourt, Hillary Barton, Eric Duke, Peter Erickson, Jon Hartman, Ben Kress, Tim McDonald
Puppeteers: Tyler Bunch, Billy Barkhurst, David Feldman, Steven Widerman
1st AC: Emilie Jackson
Motion Control Operator: Don Canfield
DIT: Roman France
Gaffer: Michael Yetter
Best Boy: Jarrod Kloiber
Key Grip: Casey Wooden
2nd Grip: Matt Cryan
VTR Operator: Jon Osterman
Script Supervisor: Stephanie Andreou
Production Assistants: Milton Katz, Stevie Weinstein-Foner
Intern: Jon Hartman

POST-PRODUCTION
Produced by: Hornet Inc
Storyboard Artist: Carlos Ancalmo
Background Design: Bryan Lashelle
Character Designers: Andres Guierrez Torres, Sylvain Marc
Animatic Animators: Michelle Higa, David Hill
Supervising Technical Director: Sang Jin Bae
Technical Director: Ylli Orana
Tracking, Lighting & Rendering: Richard Kim
Modeling & Texturing: Ylli Orana, Richard Kim
CG Animator: Sean Thorpe
Compositors: Lee Gingold, John Harrison

LIVE ACTION
Produced by: Hornet
Director of Photograpy: Russell Swanson
2nd AD: Brock Lee
AC: Dave Turner
Art Director: Scott Sicari
Food Stylist: Brian Croney
Wardrobe Stylist: Kristen Robertiello
Hair/Makeup: Jacob Geraghty
Asst Makeup: Chelsea Reiss
Prop Master: Michael Sicari
Prop Assistants: Nick Horton, James Quinn
Gaffer: Gary Haspel
Best Boy: Chris Bucior
Genny Driver: Bryan Rubin
Key Grip: Derek Murphy
Best Boy: Sal Carole
Production Supervisor: Marc Kelly
Production Manager: Jessica O’Brieni
DIT: Doug Anderson
Script Supervisor: Renee Van Dorn
VTR: Jon Charity
Truck Driver: Jason D’Aversa
Production Assistants: Dallas Dodge, Isiah Brightly, Jamie Pizarro, Radimeus Floresvence
Music: Huma-Huma Original Music & Sound
Sound Design: Chris Turner @ Jungle Studios