Take a look at MPC's beautiful VFX for two new Mercedes-Benz spots and it's clear that this studio likes to ride in style. MPC teamed up with Anonymous Content Director Frederic Planchon and Merkley + Partners GCDs David Fox and Scott Zacaroli on the efforts, which promote the E-Class and SL-Class vehicles.

Patents is an integrated CG spectacle featuring a comet-like tail of patents swarming behind an E-Class sedan as it storms through city, country and twisting seaside and mountain roads, paying homage to the more than 80,000 Mercedes-Benz patents at work in the new luxury machine.

In order to ensure delivery of a large number of shots in a short turnaround, MPC did extensive pre-shoot R&D, working closely with Planchon and the agency creatives. The CG team developed a mix of strategies involving particle animation and a good deal of individually animated papers to deliver the creative vision, work that paid off as the number of shots increased and the timeline shrunk.

"We always strive to deliver high-quality results regardless of challenges that evolve over the course of a project," noted MPC LA MD Andrew Bell. "With Patents, our team delivered top-notch work in just nine days and in time for the Oscars, one of the biggest television events of the year."

Art is a historical tour through the SL-Class, showcasing the model's many iterations against a backdrop of an ever-changing Los Angeles from the 1940s to present. MPC swept Planchon's footage, removing or replacing signage and architecture to make sure everything was era specific, then added subtle details, including a 1960s-era motel and crowd duplication and structural features at a race track. MPC London Colorist Jean-Clement Soret, whose relationship with Planchon goes back more than a decade, took the director's Red Epic footage and bathed it in a filmic style evoking these bygone eras.

"Anonymous did a fantastic job prepping their locations around LA to capture the architecture, automobiles, dress and characters of each era," noted Bell. "Their careful work made our post and clean-up processes that much easier, especially on the Telecine, as setting a cinematic and period-specific grade for each of the decades was pivotal in creating the spot's feel."

Client: Mercedes Spot Titles: Art, Patents Air Date: Oscars 2012 Advertising Agency: Merkley + Partners GCDs: David Fox, Scott Zacaroli Senior Producer: Alex Kobak Production Company: Anonymous Content Director: Frederic Planchon Producer: Caroline Pham Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors Editor (Art): Jonnie Scarlett Editor (Patents): Ted Guard VFX: MPC LA VFX Supervisor: Benoit Mannequin Producer: Chris Harlowe Flame: Jake Montgomery Flame: Alex Kolasinski Lead CG: John Cherniack CG: Yas Koyama CG: Ian Wilson CG: Michael Wynd CG Lighting: William Schilthuis CG Lighting: Fred Durand Nuke: Lisa Ryan Nuke: Katerina Arroyo Nuke: Will Voss Nuke: Elliott Brennan Roto: Rajkumar C Roto: P N Arun Kumar Roto: S. Sundaramoorthy Roto: Venkatesh-R Tracking: Jacob T Oommen Tracking: Dheeraj Hebbar Tracking: Sathya Narayanan M Tracking: Brindha R Telecine: MPC London Colorist: Jean-Clement Soret

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Comments (1)

  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    As a fan of fahrvergnugen (VW don't got it but kudos to them for bringing that word into play), patents are meh. As a driver, I don't care about patents. I care about the drive. The patents ad is navel gazing.

    History can be enchanting. And the emphasis on competing against your best is noble. However, some nuanced competition with other legends would have made the ad more powerful. Going in the opposite direction, a few models of the mustang and corvette would have punctuated the evolution of the SL with a masterful stroke of understatement.

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    Mar 30, 2012