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Framestore Creates Illusions for Audi A6

Framestore CFC has wrapped work on a new spot titled ILLUSIONS for the Audi A6. The spot features an Audi A6 traversing a cityscape that seems at first to be normal, but gradually warps and transformations of the streets and buildings that create impossible paths and spaces form.

Shot in Sao Paulo, the 40-second spot was conceived by Dean Wei and Joseph Ernst at BBH, and directed by Anthony Atanasio for Amarillo Films. With Framestore CFC's help, they have created a series of visual conundrums, based around M.C. Escher's famously baffling art.

Framestore CFC's vfx supervisor, Ben Cronin said, "You're dealing with perception, which is different for everyone. With two very smart creatives and a brilliant director involved, there was plenty of scope for discussion."

Of the two weeks spent in Sao Paulo, the first was taken up with location scouting and the planning and groundwork necessary for the creation of the shots. "I'd already been down to the South Bank," recalls Cronin, "Just to get a feel for the sort of material we were after. It was a little intimidating." Anthony Atanasio had already worked up preliminary sketches in Photoshop, and continued to come up with ideas even as they flew out to Brazil. Indeed, it was an in-flight magazine image of Sao Paulo's Pacaembu Stadium that gave him the location for the spot's closing shots and final illusion.

Despite the predictable unpredictability of life on location - the torrential rainstorm that interrupted the shoot every day between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, for instance -- the team's careful planning paid off, and Cronin was able to bring back all the elements he needed for an intense three weeks of Inferno work.

Cronin's location work involved multiple passes with carefully calculated camera positions and lenses. The 'Maze' shot, while using a real intersection as a starting point, was actually achieved largely in an empty car park that had been carefully marked out with sandbags and tape to show the drivers where to go. The 'Stadium' shot required many different passes throughout the day, to give Cronin every available lighting situation. It also features a flock of pigeons that was filmed as a separate element. Drawn together on the ground by generous distribution of birdseed, the pigeons were unwilling to fly up in a satisfactory manner until Atanasio personally stepped in and shooed them off.

Cronin worked on a Flame while in Sao Paulo, then on the Inferno back in the U.K. Additional work on the backgrounds was achieved by Stephane Allender, who also worked on Inferno with Avtar Bains. Stephanie Mills and Sharon Lock worked in Commotion on the roto splining.

Audi ILLUSIONS credits include: Agency Bartle Bogle HegartyCreatives Dean Wei, Joseph ErnstCreative director Russell RamseyTV producer Bradley WoodusProduction company Amarillo FilmsDirector Anthony AtanasioProducer Tom Shard

For Framestore CFCVFX supervisor Ben CroninInferno artists Ben Cronin, Stephane Allender, Avtar Bains2D Sharon Lock, Stephanie MillsPost-production producer Lottie Cooper

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Rick DeMott
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