Honda Fit - Gas Milage (2007) 0:15 (USA)

Award-winning visual effects design company a52 ( today detailed two new :15 animated spots the company has created under the direction of its 3D/VFX supervisor Andy Hall for advertising agency RPA. The spots, entitled "Eyes" and "Gas Mileage," debuted this week on cable,and will break online on Oct. 8 on U.S.-targeted metro funky and mainstream newspaper sites. Although both spots were destined initially only for Internet distribution, Hall and his colleagues produced each in full HD resolution. "The assignment from the agency was to create two 15-second spots for the Internet, based upon story boards they had for the HondaFit campaign," Hall explained. "From there, I was given a lot of freedom in terms of style and choices, which really made them a challenge. After our initial conversations, we collaborated and produced two spots: 'Eyes,' influenced by the classic 70«s car chases in movies like 'Bullitt' and «the French Connection,' and 'Gas Mileage,' for which I drew inspiration from the classic 60«s postcard photography representing the nostalgia of Route 66." "a52 has become the agency«s go-to company for projects like this," said Gary Paticoff, SVP, Executive Producer, RPA. "We've had a very successful relationship from which we have produced some high concept as well as highly visual projects. The Honda Super Bowl 'Mudflap' commercial and last year«s launch of the HondaFit campaign have been among the most recent. Andy and his group continue to raise the bar on every project." Based upon Hall«s clear ideas for each spot«s visuals, he and pre-vis/CGI artist Dan Gutierrez created pre-vis templates for each. "Dan really brought some nice flourishes to both pieces," Hall said. "For 'Eyes,' concept artist Darren Gillford used references Andy pulled to create a look for our slightly surreal world in which eyeballs chase cars through empty streets," said Sarah Haynes, a52«s project producer. "For 'Gas Mileage,' CGI artist Max Ulichney went out to Joshua Tree to take a variety of reference stills, which we used as backdrops for our desert environment." Working with those visual cues, additional a52 CGI artists built-out the environments for each spot, handling modeling, texturing, and lighting in Maya, using Mental Ray for rendering, and using Adobe Photoshop for additional 2D imaging. James Pastorius worked in Shake to composite the many layers of CGI renders, and those composites were passed along to Flame artists Pat Murphy and Kirk Balden for final compositing and color-grading. "The biggest challenge was to create a compelling story in 15 seconds, and I think we really achieved that," Hall added. "The team at a52 delivered two outstanding pieces of work, and I'm really happy that the vision I had from the beginning remained true to what we delivered. Working with RPA is always refreshing because they offer a strong concept at the beginning of the job and allow me to use that as a basis to build upon. The agency and client both were really great and gave me a lot of freedom, and I think that our positive working relationships are reflected in the end products."

CITY/STATE: Santa Monica, CA
CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Joe Baratelli, David Smith
PRODUCER: Nick Rogoff

CITY/STATE: Santa Monica, CA
PRODUCER: Sarah Haynes
CONCEPT ARTIST: Darren Gillford
FLAME ARTISTS: Kirk Balden, Pat Murphy
SHAKE ARTISTS: James Pastorius
PREVIZ ARTIST: Dan Gutierrez
CGI ARTISTS: Max Ulichney, Kirk Shintani, Eli Guerron, Paulo de Almada, Adam Newman, Dan Gutierrez

MUSIC: Elias Arts
CITY/STATE: Los Angeles, CA

SOUND DESIGN: 740 Sound Design
CITY/STATE: Santa Monica, CA

FINAL MIX: Margarita Mix de Santa Monica
CITY/STATE: Santa Monica, CA

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