The 2005 model Corvette marks only the sixth redesign of the classic American sports car in 51 years. Confident its latest model wont disappoint, Chevrolet and advertising agency partner Campbell-Ewald, Detroit, planned a major launch by teaming up director Guy Ritchie (SNATCH) of Anonymous Content with Venice, California-based visual effects studio Digital Domain (www.digitaldomain.com). The result is an epic :60 spot designed to reflect the significance of such a major automobile launch. The spot titled, A BOYS DREAM, aired during the Olympic Games followed by cinema releases around the country.
The spot opens in slow motion on utterly dumbfounded children in a school playground. Each child looks skywards, mouths agape, eyes unblinking. Briefly, we see the undercarriage of a car flying overhead.
Still in slow motion, the spot cuts to a classroom interior where a teacher looks out the window in astonishment. All the childrens heads are turned in the direction of the window as well, mouths agape. Outside, a new Corvette flies by. A boy in the drivers seat waves to his classmates as he passes.
Right then, Rolling Stones Jumping Jack Flash kicks in and the spot moves to a fast montage of the Corvette tearing up the roadways. Through parking lots, onto highways, over bridges and onto the mean streets of New York, the Corvette streaks, turns and burns rubber. Later, in an industrial zone, the Corvette enters some concrete piping and starts turning corkscrews on the inside. In a climactic moment, the boy takes a massive jump only to pass another Corvette in midair.
Again, time slows down and we see a young girl in the drivers seat of the other car. The boy gives her a knowing brow lift and she answers with a wink. After a few more 180-degree turns and jumps, the boy is awakened from his dream by some traffic noise. He looks in front of him to see the red Corvette of his fantasies.
The spot required that Digital Domain mix CG with live-action footage. Anytime you see a Corvette making some kind of impossible jump or turn, thats a CG car, explained Digital Domain svp/gm Ed Ulbrich. We knew it had to be indistinguishable from the live action but when you have Guy Ritchie and [cinematographer] Harris Savides creating beautiful images like these, it wasnt easy.
Digital Domain worked within a schedule of just four weeks post-production time. Animation, modeling, compositing, in addition to color grading, output to film, conversion to HD, etc. all had to be completed to make an Olympic deadline. It was demanding, added Ulbrich, but spots like this one airing at the Olympics, Guy Ritchie-directed, a classic sports car launch these are the ones we want to be a part of.
Digital Domain credits included:
* Michael Pardee (head of production)* Mark Allen Kurtz (visual effects producer)* Fred Raimondi (visual effects supervisor) * John Allardice (CG artist, previs)* Brad Hayes (lead CG artist)* Errol Lanier (CG artist)* Kent Estep (CG artist)* Toby Gaines (CG artist)* John Lima (CG artist)* David Stern (lead compositor)* Rob Moggach (compositor)* Paul Kirsch (compositor)* Michael Vaglienty (compositor)* Narbeh Mardirossian (compositor)* Melanie La Rue (visual effects coordinator)