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Ring of Fire Creates ‘Forces of Nature’ for Winter Olympics

VFX boutique Ring of Fire recently completed effects on the dynamic Forces of Nature spot for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games on NBC. In this spot, directed by Kendall Bowlin of The NBC Agency, the sheer power of the Olympic athletes seem to change their environment by conjuring up extreme phenomena around them. The dramatic effects in the spot give it a supernatural feel.

All of the people involved Kendall and all of the animators and compositors here did an amazing job creating these supernatural environments. It was also an amazing opportunity to shoot with the unbelievable talents of the U.S. Olympic athletes, says Jerry Spivack, creative director of Ring of Fire.

The spot features actual athletes from six sports who hope to represent the U.S. in the games in February 2006: Michelle Kwan twirls until ice emanates from her to form rings of icicles that move up and over her like an ice sculpture. Female hockey players skate with such force they cause an avalanche from a nearby mountain. Short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno moves so fast he ignites a fireball that follows his wake on the ice. Daron Rahlves, a U.S. downhill skier, hurtles down a mountainside with such fury that lightning is created from him not the sky! Each vignette gives the feeling that these athletes have powers beyond mere mortals.

"Designing photorealistic computer-generated weather effects and environments are always challenging tasks," says Ring of Fire CG supervisor Greg Anderson. "In this case, our challenge was compounded by the fact that each athlete had to affect the environment in a completely stylized way that mimicked real world phenomena, but had a look that was completely unique for the world we created."

Ring of Fire credits include:* Exec Producer: John Myers* Lead VFX Producer: Casey Conroy* Associate VFX Producer: Feza Akcasu* Inferno: John Ciampa, Thomas Downs, Paul Geiger, Eric Bruno, Ali Laventhol, Mark Robben* Lead CG Artist: Dann * Digital Artists: Loren Klein, Andy Tamandl, David Rindner, Marcel Hemingway, Bill Ball, David Summers * After Effects Compositor: John Roden * Combustion Compositor: Edward Black * 3D Matchmover/Trackers: Seth Peterson, Andrey Pavlovskiy

Ring of Fire ( is an award-winning, West Hollywood-based visual effects company working in commercials, TV and film.