Best of Stash 2020: Advertising VFX

Despite virus-induced production setbacks in 2020, the universe of advertising VFX continued to expand with young studios vying with venerable post facilities for the chance to create the fun and emotion of new branded realities.

These seven films represent an excellent cross-section of the technical innovation and expressive range of recent digital post work as well as the industry’s resilience.

All films were published in The Stash Permanent Collection during 2020 and are listed here in chronological order by the date of publication.
 

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LSO “DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO”
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Mike Sharpe, creative director at Found Studio in London: “Superunion approached us to create the visual campaign for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 2020/21 season, entitled ‘Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano’.

“Tracking the baton movements from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, we worked with dancer Ella Robson Guilfoyle, to interpret the motion capture data of Sir Simon Rattle’s baton, piece by piece into a carefully conceived, expressive dance sequence.”
 
 
 

THREE UK “REAL 5G”
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The Mill VFX supervisor Adam Droy: “Due to the sheer number and variation of scenes – 100+ shots spread over multiple edits – every vignette told it’s own small story and thus required it’s own bespoke VFX techniques.

“From complex camera stitching – going from a live-action shot, into a full 3D shot, back into another live-action shot, to full head replacements, environment creation, character animation as well as wormhole FX magic, our artists had their hands full.”
 
 
 

COCA-COLA “OPEN”
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Somesuch director Steve Rogers and London VFX studio Time Based Arts stir up a world of anger and mayhem to frame Coca-Cola’s message of empathy and listening to others delivered by actor/director Natasha Lyonne.
 
 
 

LEGO “DRIVE WHAT YOU LOVE”
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The imagination of a young Lego builder kicks into overdrive in this VFX-intensive spot created for The LEGO Agency by HighlyUnlikely director David Mellor and the Framestore crew.

Framestore VFX supervisor Charlie Bayliss: “The cars and their drivers shift multiple times between live-action and CG digi-doubles and it’s a real testament to our team’s work that it’s almost impossible to spot the difference between them.”
 
 
 

XBOX SERIES X|S “US DREAMERS: POWER YOUR DREAMS”
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The campaign for Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles launched with this TV commercial called “Us Dreamers” from Reset director Ian Pons Jewell with MPC‘s VFX crew handling the heavy lifting.

The spot features English actor Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther and a Best Actor Oscar nomination for ‘Get Out’) plus a new track from Emmy-winning British singer/songwriter, and producer Labrinth.
 
 
 

HORNBACH “THE LITTLE MAN”
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Creative director Ben Cronin and VFX supervisors Amir Bazazi and Bruno Fukumothi at Untold Studios in London: “We experimented with concepts that played with scale and texture to figure out what could tell the best story in a 45-second commercial. It became clear that our asset builds would have to be exceptionally accurate, with detail being everything.

“This attention to detail alongside a strictly matched depth of field and lens artifacts from the original shots in compositing is what made this creative idea work so well.”
 
 
 

SICK KIDS “BEADS”
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The Vanity VFX team help Scouts Honour directors Mark Zibert and Brent Foster summon an array of powerful emotions in this VFX-heavy spot highlighting the Bravery Bead Program at SickKids hospital in Toronto.

From SickKids: “The goal of Bravery Bead Program is to make a necklace with colorful beads that represent the unique and special journey of a particular child and to make something that they are proud of and want to share with family and friends.”

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