MPC Taps Maxon Cinema 4D for Skyfall-Inspired Spot for Sony
Daniel Craig is agent 007 in a new spot that is part of Sony’s “Intelligence Gathered” campaign from Wieden+Kennedy Portland. In the 60-second spot, entitled “Mouse and Cat,” a mysterious woman uses multiple Sony devices to track 007 as he infiltrates a heavily-guarded control room.
W+K collaborated with RSA Films London and MPC Los Angeles to create the ad, which broke internationally October 26, and features Sony’s BRAVIA screens, VAIO laptops, Xperia Tablets and the Xperia T smartphone. Graphic content that appears on the many video screens throughout the spot was created using Maxon Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, The Foundry’s Nuke and Autodesk Flame by a small team of artists led by designer/director Bradley (GMUNK) Munkowitz.
Munkowitz , who is perhaps best known for leading a team of GFX artists who crafted more than 12 minutes of holographic content for Tron: Legacy, was brought onto the project by Wieden+Kennedy. Joining him was Emmy award-winning motion graphic designer and animator, Navarro Parker, whose credits include The Avengers, Iron Man and Transformers.
The two worked together at MPC in Los Angeles, and eventually brought on animator/designer Joseph Chan, who had worked with Munkowitz on Tron: Legacy. “I worked with Chanimal [Chan] before on Tron, and a couple of other projects, he’s an easy-going guy and a wonderful designer and illustrator,” Munkowitz recalls. “He animated all of the UI details, making sure to representing the computer with a dark, sinister vibe.”
Though this Super Bowl-level ad was complex and included “a lot of layers of people to please,” Munkowitz and his team enjoyed a great deal of creative freedom as they worked on it for nearly three months. Guided by concepts and general references from MPC’s creative director, Paul O’Shea, Munkowitz and Parker had the freedom to innovate and craft an array of concepts, which they pitched to him as they went.
“We knew what the bar was for this, and MPC wasn’t just going to hire two freelancers and let them run the job as creative directors, so we would always go through Paul,” Munkowitz recalls. “But once he saw the enthusiasm we brought to the project, he gave us a lot of freedom to just run with things.”
Parker, who describes himself as having “a passion for screens,” knows exactly what it takes to create the kind of graphic content seen in the Sony spot. Over the past five years he has worked on interfaces for more than ten films. In “Mouse and Cat,” the most striking example of Parker’s 3D work is the facial reconstruction. Guided by Munkowitz’s design sensibility, the reconstruction takes shape on screens in the control room as the high-tech equipment surrounding the mystery woman works to identify the intruder, Daniel Craig.
“A thermal snapshot appears and then construction starts on a face that slowly turns out to be Daniel Craig and you’re like, ‘Oh, shit! That’s James Bond,’” Parker says, explaining that he primarily relied on Cinema 4D for the facial reconstruction graphics, which gradually evolved from a low-poly mesh to a high-poly mesh and, eventually, skin.