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Brickyard Creates VFX for Olympic-Bound VW Spots

Brickyard VFX has created a series of commercials for Volkswagen that are airing during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The spots, completed via agency client Arnold Worldwide, production company Anonymous Content and director Malcolm Venville, promote VW's Touareg and Phaeton automobiles, respectively, with ads titled PICTURE and WARP SPEED.

PICTURE (:30 and :60) finds a couple in their Touareg going where tour buses fear to tread. From a shady Sequoia grove, they take on a good-deed mission for an elderly traveler, heading off up a windy off-road route, photographing a mountaintop vista for her and circling back to the parking lot to return her camera.

WARP SPEED (:30) sees a father and his son driving in a sleek black Phaeton. When the boy inquires ceaselessly about the function of each knob and panel in the car's richly designed interior, his dad plays a practical joke on him involving the hazard button and a sudden step on the gas pedal in the best "Whatever you do, don't touch that!" tradition.

Both spots were shot in Northern California. The Brickyard VFX artistic team, led by Dave Waller and artists Peter Bullis and Robin Hobart, worked from live-action plates to clean up, composite and conform the material to reveal gleaming surfaces and intricate detail. Brian Drewes, meanwhile, was the visual effects producer.

"The compositing and beauty work we did was all about supporting the creative treatment and the shot footage," said Waller, Brickyard VFX's lead artist on the campaign. "It really sealed the deal in terms of the look and overall presentation of the cars whether the images show them looking great against a backdrop of scenic landscapes, blazing down the highway or being studied button for button and panel for panel in the interior."

Located in Boston and Santa Monica, Brickyard VFX (www.brickyardvfx.com) is a visual effects boutique specializing in digital finishing, effects and compositing.

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Rick DeMott
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