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Speedshape, Anonymous Collaborate On Ford CG Multimedia Effort

Venice, California-based Speedshape, Team Detroit and Director Mark Romanek of Anonymous Content collaborated on a HD campaign for the new Ford Flex. This multimedia execution utilized entirely CG, 3D vehicles using General Motor's CAD data exclusive to Speedshape across multiple platforms including broadcast, print and interactive applications promoting Ford's newest flagship auto, Flex.

Both spots set the Flex in a highly stylized open-canvas environment where the vehicle's dynamic journey elegantly constructs an evening skyline in its wake, culminating in a hero shot of the car driving through an energized cityscape.

The project required significant creative collaboration in the early stages of pre-pro where Director Romanek collaborated with Speedshape's Creative Director John Allardice in an extensive 3D pre-vis process. Both Romanek and Allardice explored numerous camera angles and animation studies to produce a wide variety of shot options. Speedshape then delivered these digital dailies to Spotwelders editor Michael Heldman to piece together the offline component. This exercise allowed for a complete creative exploration where timing, composition and audio (original music composed by SqueakEClean combined with album vocals by rising pop star Santogold) were approved prior to the photo-real CG renderings and live action production.

All elements of live action were shot based on the pre-vis using the RedCam. Following the shoot, Speedshape was able to provide its Scratch based DI services for color correction and element preparation for all vfx courtesy of Speedshape's Supervisor Rob Nederhorst. The spot required the construction of a city environment that emulated an upscale urban district at night similar to the Wicker Park area of Chicago. Speedshape's team led by Nederhorst traveled to Chicago and surveyed the appropriate architecture and compiled data to produce a photo-real all CG city using photogrammetry techniques. This environment then became the background for the spot.

Speedshape's Digital Integrated Vehicles Group (DIVG) headed by Shane Morse optimized the raw CAD data producing interior and exterior assets with the fidelity to scale all media platforms. This included HD broadcast and eighteen 10K prints for outdoor billboards and other mediums.

"This was a great opportunity for Speedshape to demonstrate its cross platform production capabilities," added Carl Seibert, Speedshape's managing director. "Utilizing realistic 3D CG assets will be a critical ingredient for integrated campaigns moving forward."

Other unique aspects of the spot included the production of all CG synthesbians as extras and digital drivers of both sexes, multiple age groups, and ethnicities. This process provided tremendous creative and economic efficiencies.

Producer Judd Stricker of Team Detroit commented, "Our goal was to showcase a photo-real looking new vehicle within a dynamic fantasy landscape setting. Mark's ideas really expanded our visual and music goals for the spots. Speedshape was top notch about implementing these ideas every step of the way, being able to quickly and cleverly circumnavigate the various timing and creative challenges of a high profile launch spot, while maintaining a flexible workflow that produced striking and original visuals in CGI."


Agency: Team DetroitArt Director/ CD: Todd RuthvenProducer: Judd StrickerWriter/CD: Dan WeberCreative Director: Toby BarlowExecutive Producer: Carol Gall

Production Company: Anonymous ContentDirector: Mark RomanekExecutive Producer: Dave MorrisonProducer: Scott KaplanDirector of Photography: John Barr

Visual Effects: Speedshape, VeniceCreative Director: John AllardiceVFX Supervisor: Robert NederhorstExecutive Producer: Carl SeibertProducer: Jamison HuberVFX Coordinator: Katie Allen, Nathan Flemming3D Lead: Alex ScollayLighting Lead: Linden Vennard3D Artist: Marko Mandaric, Nathan Millsap, Torbjorn Olsson, Hagen Gilbert3D Tracking: Scott Tessier, Brady DoyleCompositor: Will Johnson, Brady Doyle, Marc RienzoTechnical Director: David GodwinEditorial/2D Artist: Nicolas Alexander

CAD Data Processing: Speedshape, DetroitDIV Supervisor: Shane MorseDIV: Joel Park, Jared Tripp, Justin Mijal, Eugene Rinke, Brooke Merva, John Gross, James Strate, Robert Braithwaite

Editorial: SpotweldersMichael Heldman