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Zoic Takes a Drive

On April 15, 2007, Fox presents DRIVE, an action-fueled drama following a diverse group of Americans driving for their lives, with extensive visual effects by Zoic Studios (SERENITY, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, 24).

The premise of DRIVE is really a sinister, cross-country road race. Some of the contestants have even been coerced into joining The Race; others have sought out The Race themselves, hearing rumors of the $32 million prize. Each has a reason to compete. And each must win.

The pilot features a one-minute opening sequence set in this car race, which moves seamlessly from the open highway into around and through six cars and a motorcycle, leading the audience to the leader and star Nathan Fillion at the front. It combines live-action stunt photography, a 220-degree matching highway psyclorama, greenscreen stage work, CG cars, reflections and characters. The result is a seamless experience in race photography, which is seen through the eyes of an omniscient camera whose lens is not bound by physics or structure.

This sequence was made possible through extensive pre-visualization and planning as led by Zoic Studios' creative director Loni Peristere. The production and effects crews followed a meticulous road map, which itemized and scheduled each step in the lengthy and complex process that incorporated several thousand layers. The end result appears to be one layer with very little tech flash. The effect is almost invisible, save for the fact that the viewers have an improbable, omniscient view.

In addition to the pilot sequence, DRIVE features locations all over the country -- only production will never leave LA. The exterior driving sequences, which take us from location to location, will be photographed on a greenscreen stage. The location-based exteriors will be shot by a second unit and combined in post. DRIVE will produce more than 120 greenscreen composites per episode transporting the viewer and its cast all over the U.S. and beyond.

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