An eerily quiet city provides the setting for this :30 spot, which opens on curious individuals gathering around a fenced-off street, perched on top of fire escapes and peering out their office windows. They collectively wait. The silence is suddenly shattered by the roar of engines as sports cars and a motorcycle careen down the barricaded streets. Serious rubber is burned as a variation of vehicles including a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Ferrari, and even a Tesla electric car take the corners with marked style and skill, dancing around each other. As the camera pulls back for an overhead view, we see the skidmarks have created a visual abstract art. "The pavement is your canvas," says the voiceover, as the Xbox game footage exactly mirrors the heart-pounding action of the live scene.

"This spot was appealing because there was an integrated approach with the game footage," explains Final Cut Editor JD Smyth. "It wasn«t just tacked onto the end of spot as you might see in traditional game advertising. It was a continuation of the story. Visually, Steve Rogers and the creatives at TAG concentrated on the elements of the game - the amount of style you have when taking these corners -- and reflected that in the live footage. For me, it was about building anticipation and catching the excitement in the faces of the spectators. The car action was shot for real so the people are actually reacting to it. It was nice to work with that kind of palpable energy in the crowd."

Though the driving was well choreographed by professionals, there was still a need to ratchet up the "wow" factor. The challenge for Smyth was having to matte out some of the car elements in the AVID, cutting and pasting different takes for continuity and to heighten the sense of danger.

"It would have been difficult to exactly replicate all of the moves so this technique was the best solution," says Smyth. "Steve did an amazing job. The compositions in the shots were well designed and felt so real. Even though the footage maintained a gritty reality, it also had a lyrical, almost painterly quality. It was a joy to work with his footage."

Ad Agency: McCann-SF/TAG
Executive Creative Directors: John McNeil & Rob Bagot
Creative Directors: Scott Duchon & Geoff Edwards
Copywriter: Quinton Schulinder
Art Director: Ray Andrade
Producer: Annie Uzdavinis

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Steve Rogers
DP: Tobey Irwin
Executive Producers: Shawn Lacy Tessaro & Eric Stern
Producer: Scott Craig
Where Shot: Downtown Los Angeles

Editorial Company: Final Cut/Santa Monica
Editor: J.D. Smyth
Producer: Suzy Ramirez
Executive Producer: Saima Awan

VFX & Online Company: Method Studios/Santa Monica
CG Creative Director: Laurent Ledru
Lead 2D Artist: Brandon Sanders
Lead 3D Artist: James LeBloch
Junior 2D Artist: Zach Lo
Executive Producer: Neysa Horsburgh
Head of Production: Sue Troyan
Producers: Sabrina Elizondo & Luisa Murray

Telecine: Company 3/Santa Monica
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Executive Producer: Missy Papageorge

Music by Dan the Automator

Sound Design Company : Machinehead/Santa Monica
Creative Director: Stephen Dewey
Sound Designers: Kip Smedley & Dustin Camilleri
Executive Producer: Vicki Ordeshook
Assistant Producer: Beth Prandini

Audio Post Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Rohan Young
Assistant Engineer: Joel Waters
Executive Producer: Jessica Locke

about the author

caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.

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