METHOD STUDIOS SYDNEY SCORES THREE SUPERBOWL XLVI COMMERCIALSFeb 7, 2012
Local artists create cinematic and hyperreal VFX for Noam Murro directed Chevy, Time Warner Cable and Kia Spots
Method’s Sydney team was thrilled to work on three out of a record seven Super Bowl commercials that Method Studios collaborated on this year. Amongst the projects keeping the Method teams in Australia, Los Angeles and New York busy, were the three especially VFX-heavy ads directed by the 2012 DGA award-winning director, Noam Murro. Dan Glass, Method’s EVP and Senior VFX Supervisor notes, “This is our strongest Super Bowl yet and has resulted in successful collaboration throughout our multiple Method sites”. Method Sydney’s VFX Supervisor James Rogers worked alongside Murro on the three spots which aired at Super Bowl XLVI.
The Super Bowl presents a yearly highlight in the US television commercials industry and to stand out from the crowd the Method Australia crew knew they had to produce visual effects more typically seen in a Hollywood blockbuster. Murro was keen to utilize the skill set and pipeline available at Method Studios, which in this instance included the sharing of tasks among three of Method’s international locations in order to deliver highly crafted work in a commercial-based timescale.
A spot with a particularly demanding schedule was ‘Enjoy Better Anthem’ for Time Warner Cable through agency Ogilvy & Mather. James Rogers supervised the four-day shoot in Los Angeles before returning to complete the work with his colleagues in Sydney. The Australian contingent combined efforts on this epic commercial with Method’s New York crew who worked closely with the local agency. The spot stars Ricky Gervais and promotes premium entertainment channels and cross-platform media portals amidst a host of action packed stunts. Rogers comments, “Part of the action involves Blackhawk helicopters saving Ricky as he runs from a horde of zombies. Our 3D team added the fully digital Blackhawks, flying debris, dust and other chaos. The stunt actor required head replacement so we stitched Ricky’s head back on for these shots. It’s the kind of outrageous fun Super Bowl spots are known for.”
The second Super Bowl spot directed by Murro that Method provided VFX for was ‘2012’ which promotes the Chevy Silverado. It’s an amusing take on the end of the world – an event apparently completely survivable, providing you drive the right vehicle. Method Studios was excited to collaborate with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in realizing the desolate landscape, complete with a flying saucer, giant robot, volcano and toads raining from the sky. “Our local matte painting team really came into their own as they re-imagined the shoot location into a vast urban wasteland. These weren’t just static establishing shots, they were full 3D environments – which we developed in close collaboration with the LA team”, Rogers notes.
The Method Sydney and LA team also applied their talents to the Murro-directed ‘Drive The Dream,’ through agency David&Goliath, which promotes the Kia 2012 Optima Limited. The commercial opens with a miniature sandman who sprinkles magic dust on a sleeping couple. The surreal dream sequences that follow are packed full of idealistic scenarios (depending on whether you are a man or woman) and include a hunk on horseback, Victoria Secret model and an impromptu rock band performance at a race track. Cramming in so many unbelievable scenes into a believable 30 second commercial presented the key challenge to the artists.
Method Sydney’s role was to completely create the woman’s dreamlike world - a full environment which included interactive, dynamic grass that responded to the car as it skidded through it, along with the obligatory cute bunny rabbits.
Method Studios linked in with Company 3 to complete the commercials allowing the clients for all three spots access to the seamless pipeline between the sister facilities. Chevy and Kia clients worked with CO3 co-founder/colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld and Time Warner clients worked with Tim Masick to achieve the final grade.