Toyota C-HR: “Cinderella” | “Gingerbread Man” | “Trojan Horse”


Toyota C-HR: “Cinderella”

Toyota C-HR: “Gingerbread Man”

Toyota C-HR: “Trojan Horse”

COMMERCIAL CAMPAIGN
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi
DIRECTOR: Noam Murro

Here’s an odd trio of high-concept spots for Toyota, all loosely based on fairy tales and historical fantasy – Cinderella, the Gingerbread Man, and the Trojan Horse. Although, I think that last one is more history than fantasy, depending on your point of view.

Each is very stylish and beautifully shot, even if the metaphorical conceit sometimes gets lost in the presentation. “Cinderella” and “Gingerbread Man” were fairly straightforward, in terms of workload. Lost of clean-up, alteration and adding of signage, and of course, car beauty. Cindy also required some digital hair dye to make her more prominent.

“Trojan Horse” required a CG Trojan Horse, and some minor beauty and cleanup. The wonderfully weird animation was outsourced to Made by Radio.

Curiously, all three spots somehow got spun into 150 deliverables, none of the them being socials.

Toyota Safety Sense: “Crash Test Dummies: Overheard”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi L.A.
PRODUCTION CO: Furlined
DIRECTOR: Speck / Gordon

The Crash Test Dummies look to be out of a job, thanks to Toyota’s new safety features, titled Toyota Safety Sense, included in their latest models. This spot brings back these humorous characters as the punchline to Toyota’s ongoing efforts to make driving a safer experience.

Although shot in-camera, the dummies had to be augmented at the joints and neck to accurately depict real world crash test mannequins. Most of that was handled with CG and Nuke, with background clean ups aided by Flame. I tackled a few of those.

But my main responsibility, other than managing the conform, was look devving and comping the test facility environments. Various split screens, CG extensions, and matte paintings were used to extend the space, which was originally shot in a hanger.

Tracking and integration were particularly challenging. The foreground interior hallways were separate from the warehouse car plates, neither shot with motion control. So various retiming and hand tracking techniques had to be used to fit these square pegs into the round holes. Thankfully, some of these shots were lock offs, or had minimal camera moves.

Full Credits

Nissan Heisman House: “Tebow’s Dream”


LONG-FORM COMMERCIAL | MUSIC VIDEO (sort of)
ROLE: Lead Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: TBWA/Chiat/Day

Nissan’s annual Heisman House spots featured something special for 2016. Along with the usual round of comedic antics, this year featured a special Tim Tebow music video.

The song itself is something akin to a country rock-rap song with an occasional millennial whoop to punctuate itself. The visuals are literally a performance in the clouds. I’m not sure how the creatives involved pitched this one, but it sure revels in its ridiculous premise.

Workwise, I have to admit, it was a lot of good fun. The spot was intended to look a little cheesy, so of course, I leaned into that aspect with tongue firmly planted in cheek. And although not intended as the slick, classy comp job, these shots did prove to have their own complications. They still had to look good, while intentionally looking bad.

Most of the plates had limited-to-no greenscreen backing. And there were no tracking markers to help align the elements. So quite a bit of push and shove had to be utilized to get everything working together.

All of the cloudscapes were assembled in Flame, cobbled together from various stock footage, and repurposed assets from previous projects. Thanks to the alligator paint job on the Nissan Armada, there was no car clean-up or beauty needed. But Tebow did need some glimmer in his eye.

Myself another Flame Artist handled all of these shots.

Audi: “The Drones”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners
PRODUCTION CO: MJZ
DIRECTOR: Dante Ariola

This Audi spot draws clear inspiration from Hitchcock’s “The Birds” to demonstrate the handling and navigational features of the new A6 model, which of course, is being pursued by aggressive Amazon-looking delivery drones.

All of the drones in this spot were CG, requiring extensive integration and tracking. There was a bit of give and take with the building fa├žade and surrounding trees, to achieve the optimal layout for the drones in their resting state. This included raising the height of the building, replacing open areas with windows, and repositioning trees.

For the initial attack shots, the running crowd was duplicated and retimed to depict the maximum level of excitement and tension.

The drone pursuit of the Audi required road clean-up and car beauty, as well as drone impacts with power lines and a collision with the overpass. 2D smoke, debris, and sparks were added for dramatic impact.

I handled the wide attack shots, as the crowd escapes the building, as well as a couple of resting state shots. I also contributed to the Audi pursuit, and overpass impact.

Full Credits

Super Bowl 2015 | Kia: “The Perfect Getaway Vehicle”


SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDER: The Mill
AGENCY: David & Goliath
PRODUCTION CO: MJZ
DIRECTOR: Mathis Van Heijningen

Pierce Brosnan relives his 007 glory days in this clever twist of a snow-driven adventure. I handled all the indoor office window comps and Brosnan beauty work. I also worked on an owl blink, some car beauty, snow clean-up, and a nitpicky smoothing fix on his down coat towards the end of the spot. I probably did a few other odds and ends. But the distance of time has fogged the memory somewhat.

Full Credits

Audi: “Force of Nature: Summer”


COMMERCIAL
ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mission
AGENCY: Venables Bell & Partners
PRODUCTION CO: Furlined
DIRECTOR: Douglas Avery

This was the last project I did at the Mission. It’s one of two spots to commemorate the change in seasons, in this case the start of summer. The Audi’s presence literally alters the atmosphere as it drives through the landscape.

I comp’d a number of sky replacements, depending on the before/after context, handled a fair bit of car beauty, and worked on the beach transitions, primarily with the sunbathers and the umbrellas. There was also some environment clean-up and replacements, like the ocean and sand. I explored some concepts for the wave-like transition element that travels through the spot, some of which ended up in the final version.