Search form

Stardust Delivers Multiple Realities for Mercedes-Benz

Innovative creative studio Stardust collaborated with the digital visionaries at Razorfish to create an interactive campaign for Mercedes-Benz USA that launched in October 2011.

Press Release from Stardust

Santa Monica, CA--November 8, 2011--Innovative creative studio Stardust collaborated with the digital visionaries at Razorfish to create an interactive campaign for Mercedes-Benz USA that launched in October 2011. Directed by Stardust's Alan Bibby, the rich visual narrative engages Internet viewers to explore the two latest Mercedes C-Class models - the all-new 2012 Sedan and Coupe. With a swoop of the cursor, layers of the sedan or coupe are artfully peeled back to expose various features of the elegant luxury vehicles. This tale of two vehicles can be experienced now on the Mercedes-Benz website.

Razorfish enlisted Stardust to create visuals for an interactive online experience that would illustrate that the difference between a Mercedes-Benz Coupe and Sedan is much more than the simple removal of two doors— it’s a complete lifestyle change. The result is a set of identical interactive films featuring fully CG cars and stylized environments woven into one experience that lets viewers shift between a Sedan lifestyle and its ‘Couped’ counterpart.

After fleshing out the concept, Stardust shot the live components of the very technical spot in one day. The driver was filmed in each car using motion control and the exact same lighting wearing different clothing specific to each lifestyle. With the help of Paris-based visual effects, animation and motion design studio, Mathematic, Stardust created and animated the CG elements that showcased two completely different – yet identical – worlds. Razorfish then programmed the components to gracefully interact resulting in two, seamlessly bridged, one-minute long spots that highlight the sedan’s sophistication with daytime driving and contrast the coupe’s adventurous spirit, which is shown taking to the streets at night. Stardust’s work also included the creation of video components based on the interactive film for television, theater, showroom and online viewing.

“Developing this visually driven, cohesive storytelling experience really pushed us out of the usual spectrum of work we’ve done in the past and challenged us technically with the need for more sophisticated visual effects,” said Bibby. “Every frame of animation had to be perfect since viewers can conceivably stop the action at any moment during the transformations, so none of the usual blurs or cheats apply. It was a massive labor of love with an amazingly talented team and everyone involved really poured all their energy into making this project as great as it could be.”

“As a creative, it’s incredibly freeing to not be tied to just one medium and instead approach each job in whatever way makes sense,” said Stardust founder and Creative Director Jake Banks. “Our work on projects like this allows us to showcase our production chops across platforms. We have a design background but can produce high-quality VFX work and even bring our experience as directors, creative directors and designers to whatever the concept requires.”

About Stardust StudiosStardust is a visually driven production company with offices in Santa Monica and New York that specializes in design, motion graphics and live-action. Its collective of designers, illustrators, animators, VFX artists, directors and filmmakers continually redefine creativity for commercial, on-air, music video and experiential projects. Led by Founder and Creative Director Jake Banks, Stardust is characterized by an authentic voice and willingness to experiment. The studio has worked with the globe’s top ad agencies and brands on projects for HP, Nike, Sony, AT&T, Honda, Shell, Nissan, Ford, IBM, Nokia, Adidas, BMW, NYSE, LG and Microsoft, among many others. For more information, please visit or call Paul Abatemarco at 1-310-399-6047, or Mike Eastwood at 1-212-334-7300.

PRODUCTION CREDITSProduction Company: Stardust StudiosDirector/Creative Director: Alan BibbyExecutive Producer: Josh LibitskySenior Producer: Ryan McReeAssistant Producer: Will ArnoldLead Design: Aaron MaurerDesigners: Ian Densford, Kaya Ono, Sarah Ancalmo, Diana Park, Neil Tsai, Bomi Jin, Mike TelloStoryboards: Glenn Urieta, Will RosadoTransformation Animation: MathematicTechnical Director: Mark Rohrer3D Animation: Kevin Couture, Ylli Orana, Weihchieh Yu, Vinh Chung, Kyle Anderson, Atsuki Hirose, Hai HoMatte Painting: Martin BoksarLead Comp: Tonya SmayCompositors/Animators: Chris West, Sohee Sohn, Theo Daley, Fabian Tejada, Laura Lee, Andrew HawrylukEditor: Andrew BorinMusic: Expansion Team

Tech:Tech Lead: Mike Barrett, Jibi ScariaFlash Lead: Andy DremeauxFront End Architect: Andrew BabaianFront End Developer: Kris MeisterProject Manager: Justin Wallace

Creative:Sr. Art Director: Sam LuchiniSr. Copy Writer: Roger BaranProducer: Kim CorteseDesigner: Derek Harms

Rick DeMott's picture

Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks