Press Release from Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors NY (SMNY), via ad agency GKV, recently handled post and effects for a five-spot campaign promoting the Maryland State Lottery. Four of the five :30s star an exuberant fan singing about the prize he or she won and finish with an SMNY-animated shot of M&T Bank Stadium - home of the Baltimore Ravens - filled with cheering fans.
Seats for Life is emblematic of the :30s, as a pair of buddies move through the crowded stadium stands - beer and popcorn in hand - rapping enthusiastically about their newly won 20-year seats at Ravens games. Sideline stars a wildly happy girl in a pink Ravens jersey, stomping along the sidelines, belting out lyrics as the team pounds their opponents.
The animated closing shot is SMNY's masterwork. The CG department created the stylized rendering of M&T from scratch, texturing it with photographed elements that department head Steve Parish flew to Baltimore to capture. CG Artist Wei Louie created the stadium model in XSI using the same perspective and focal length from the photos of the location shoot.
SMNY's R&D team - headed by TD Mike Donovan - then wrote a bespoke program to populate the stadium with 80,000 cheering fans. The flexible system allowed for crowd duplication across any piece of geometry. Donovan inserted pre-shot green-screen fans into Soft Image's Ice, from which his particle-system-based program filled the stadium.
With the fan-filled stadium in place, Lead Animator Serkan Ertekin created the movements in the scene and rendered the shot to portray a realistic but stylized look that heavily incorporated the Baltimore Ravens purple-and-yellow team colors. SMNY also handled all of the campaign's color grading and compositing.
Credits:Client: Maryland LotterySpot Title(s): Seats for Life (featured), Sideline (featured), Kim, Skybox, TravelinAir Date: August 2010
Agency: GKVCCO: Jeff MillmanSenior VP/ ACD/Copywriter: David BrosciousCreative Group Head: Mark RosicaSenior VP/Group Account Director: David BlumSenior Account Supervisor: Kerry FlanaganProducer: Marsha Derrickson
Prod Co: Working Stiff (Sideline, Kim)Director/EP: Matt PittroffProducer: Steve Blair
Prod Co: Tool of North America (Seats for Life, Skybox, Travelin)Director: Tom Routson
Editorial Co: SpotweldersEditor: Dan MaloneyProducer: Laura O'Shea
Post/Effects Co: Smoke & Mirrors NYLead VFX Artist: Sam CaineCG: Steve Parish, Wei Louie, Serkan Ertekin, Mike DonovanProducer: Barbara Kontarovich
Color Grading: Smoke & Mirrors NYColorist: Ben EagletonProducer: Barbara Kontarovich
Music Co: TonefarmerComposer: Jimmy HarnedEP: Tiffany SenftProducer: Christina Tortorelli
Audio Post Co: Clean CutsProducer: Kathy TerleMixer: Nick Sjostrom
About Smoke and Mirrors:Founded by Creative Director/VFX Artist Sean Broughton (NY) and CTO Mark Widig (UK), Smoke & Mirrors is a New York and London-based design, animation and VFX studio. The recent addition of a powerful grading suite delivers complete solutions for any type of project. A creative and artist-driven company synonymous with vision and originality since its inception, Smoke & Mirrors has consistently succeeded because of its collaborative approach and ability to build lasting creative relationships with directors, producers, agencies and clients alike.
Production in the New York office is led by CCO Sean Broughton, MD Jo Morgan, and Head of Production Sue Romweber. Diverse projects includes the highly challenging Beatles spot for Rockband, as well as spots for LG, Jose Cuervo, and Dove. Recent music video work includes Deadweather's Treat Me Like Your Mother and Michael Jackson's This Is It. Smoke & Mirrors has also been involved with such feature films as James Bond and Harry Potter. Each office is fully networked via complementary systems allowing the companies to share resources, expanding their local capacities. Close involvement with hardware and software manufacturers and developers has kept Smoke & Mirrors at the forefront of innovation and technology.