SCHOOL BUS is a 70-second spot about a young boy's extraordinary journey -- first to the southernmost side of the globe, then to an uplifting moment in history, on to the Broadway stage and finally into the far reaches of our solar system - fueled by compelling content offered exclusively on PBS.
SCHOOL BUS was brought to life by a uniquely talented group that includes Elias Merhige of Independent Media, vfx studio Digit, and DP Januz Kaminski.
The spot extends PBS' award-winning "Be more" brand campaign. "Be more" illustrates how PBS invites all Americans, from every walk of life, to explore new ideas and new worlds, and broaden personal horizons by experiencing PBS content.
To view: http://interdubs.com/r/digit/index.php?al=2CxiNsp&an=pqep7g
Working closely with director Merhige and the creative team at PBS, Digit applied a wide spectrum of techniques to illustrate the kind of journey people can take when they watch PBS, in this case represented by a young boy's eye-opening bus ride that transports him from one exciting realm to another.
Among the effects are an all-CG Mars landscape, a complex series of multilayered reflections on the school bus windows, and a historic Wright Brothers flight sequence featuring the child hero and Big Bird. Initially, production called for the use of actual Wright Flyer footage, but it was not readily available in HD, so the Digit team referenced the original source material to produce an entirely CG re-creation, including age scratches and fade to match.
For on-set vfx supervision, Digit turned to Joe Bauer, the vfx supervisor on GET SMART.
"We worked together on the feature and trusted Joe would insure a seamless transition from production to the digital process," says Digit Exec Producer Scott Siegal. "He was a great addition to the team and the project."
Due to PBS' production deadlines, Digit worked around the clock to complete the numerous effects and digital treatments in just under three weeks.
"Digit infused our concept for this boy's amazing journey with tremendous ingenuity to bring SCHOOL BUS to life," said Lesli Rotenberg, SVP, PBS Brand Management and Promotion. "They collaborated with us to create a spot that captures the spirit of the PBS experience, which offers everyone -- equally -- the opportunity to be transported and transformed by our content."
Client: PBS (Public Broadcasting Service)
Sr. VP, Brand Management and Promotion: Lesli Rotenberg
VP, Brand Management and Promotion: Judy Braune
Director, Corporate Brand: Kelly Chmielewski
Director, Operations and Production: Sylvia Prickett
Producer: Jared Traver
Sr. Director, Creative Services: John Ruppenthal
Creative Director: Derrick Chamlee
Associate Creative Director: Jeffrey Hughes
Production Company: Independent Media
Director: Elias Merhige
Executive Producer: Susanne Preissler
Head of Production: Leslie Evers
DP: Janusz Kaminski
Line Producer: Simon Barrett
Visual Effects: Digit
Creative Director: Elad Offer
Executive Producer: Scott Siegal
Joe Bauer: VFX Supervisor
Flame Artists: Maya Bello-Korenwasser and Raphael Mosley
Shake Compositor: Phil Broste
Lead CG Artist: Yuji Yagasaki
CG Artist: Mike Fisher
Roto Artist: Diana Welles
Digital Matte Painter: Dark Hoffman
Editorial: Film Core
Executive Producer: Scott Friske
Producer: Amburr Dilday
Editor: Livio Sanchez