Free Fire “Project Cobra” Trailer by Passion Pictures

The Passion Pictures crew, lead by director Jon Saunders, draws inspiration from anime while pushing past the genre’s limits in this atmospheric and action-packed new trailer for Garena’s online battle royale game Free Fire.

Jon Saunders: “The problem going in was that when CG films typically try to emulate anime, oftentimes they only focus on mimicking the look with toon shaders and outlines, but we didn’t think that was the right approach.

“To us (and this may sound obvious) the magic of anime is the animation. Dynamic poses, breaking perspective, mixing frame rates, as well as many other techniques intentionally created to cut corners for production. These are trademarks of the genre.

“One step in achieving this was to start in 2D and use that as our guide for 3D. So, as part of our production, we created a 2D animatic to inform CG what our framing, camera movement, spacing, frame rate, and character posing should be. In essence, we tried to force CG to work within a 2D box.

“This became our overarching philosophy for the project. When we ran into any creative decisions, our first question would be, what would they do in anime?

“For example, rather than simming hair, we decided it would be more production-friendly (and tied to anime) to sculpt the hair into three or four different shapes and animate that in a loop.

“But we also didn’t want to just copy anime. We felt we could do things in CG that would be impossible for traditional anime to achieve. As an example, for our look we wanted to mix flat characters, painterly backgrounds, with photo-realistic (and dimensional) props and clothing.

“As Garena wanted this film to highlight the new clothing, weapons, and vehicles they are offering in the game, we felt this was a great way to make these elements pop out from the rest of the world.

“Ultimately, all these varied processes combined to give us a look we felt aligned with anime, but also created our own personal spin on the genre.

“Luckily for us, Garena is a great client who was willing to step out on a ledge with us while we tried something new. On top of that, as usual, the entire crew at Passion Pictures did such an amazing job.

“From beginning to end, every single person involved in the project really embraced the chances we were taking and jumped in headfirst. Animation lives and dies by its crews, and I was fortunate to have a great one for this.”
Free Fire "Project Cobra" Trailer by Passion Pictures | STASH MAGAZINE

Free Fire "Project Cobra" Trailer by Passion Pictures | STASH MAGAZINE

Free Fire "Project Cobra" Trailer by Passion Pictures | STASH MAGAZINE

Free Fire "Project Cobra" Trailer by Passion Pictures | STASH MAGAZINE

Free Fire "Project Cobra" Trailer by Passion Pictures | STASH MAGAZINE

Client: Garena
Producers: Marco Aurélio, Murilo Lorenzo
Production Team: Milton Filho, Cintia Miura, Alexey Flores, Felipe Marino
Writer: Felipe Castilho
Assistant Writer: Eric Novello
Music/Audio Supervisor: Felipe Junqueira
Voice Over Producers: Johnny Manfredi, Henrique Tarrason
Art Director: Alexandre Koyama
Art Team: Thiago Batista, Leonardo Jacques, Anderson Nascimento, Zhao Chunxiao

Production: Passion Pictures
Director: Jon Saunders
Script: Joseph Morpurgo
Executive Producer: Lucie Friar, Debbie Crosscup
Head Of Production: Mike Turoff
Producer: Steven Riley
Production Assistant: Honor Martin
CG Studio Manager: Nia James
CG Production Manager: Emma Rider
Head Of CG: Jason Nicholas
VFX Supervisor: Dave Walker
CG Supervisor: Harry Bardak
Art Director/Development Lead: Christian Mills
Look Dev Research/Development: Ronnie Mitchell
Character Design: Yishu Ci
Background Design: Rudy Parfaite, Robin Lhebrard, Ivan Pozdnyakov
Concept Art: Lap Pun Cheung, Ronnie Mitchell
Storyboard Lead: Ivan Gomez
Script: Joseph Morpurgo
Previz: Rosie Ashford, Micha Bostrom, Thibaud Clergue, Stuart Doig, Eoin Mccoughlin
Editing: Daniel Budin, Kingsley Bailey
Layout: Idris Honnor
Modeling: Ian Brown, David Kent, Florent Rosseau, Mattias Bjurstrom, Farido Guzzo, Antoine Lienard,
Texturing: Jakub Gryglicki, James Nardelli, Clara Obeidi, Eva Pardo
Rigging: Sarah Forest, Greg Martin, Arthur Ranson, Victor Vinyals
Animation Supervisor: Aldo Gagliardi
Animation Lead: Kevin O’sullivan
Animation: Rosie Ashford, Wesley Coman, Stuart Doig, Jordi Girones, Alan Carabantes Person, George Rigby, Eoin Mccoughlin
SFX/Sim: Colin Perrett, Kwai Ip, Tyler Daniels, Jayson King, Jamie Moller,
Houdini: Matt Evans, Nacho Doctor, Darlene Buttner
Lighting/Rendering: Quentin Camus, Petros Dodos, Stuart Hall, Jose Hernandez, Maryka Laudet, Pedro Pereira
Lead Comper: Eric Venti
After Effects Animation: Filipe Alcada, Linus Kraemer
Compositing: Carlos Bohga, Frederic Heymans, Gary Kelly, Thomas Lemaille
Matte/Background Painting: Jakub Gryglicki, Rudy Parfaite, Robin Lhebrard, Ivan Pozdnyakov
Graphics: Andrew Tapper
Passion Pipeline TD: Javier Edo, Tony Ambles
It Support: Tim Wharton, Dan Borg, Thomas Lynch

2D Previz/2D Effects: Jonghyun Jung @ Anione Works

Post Production Services: Stone Dogs
Producer: Joe West
Online Flame: Dave Kiddie

Sound Design/Mix: Byron Bullock @ The Noiseworks
Composer: Legend In The Making (Ft. Kataem)
Music: 2wei, Joznez, Kataem

Voice Director: Clint Corley (Keywords Studios)
Voice Actors: Jason Linere White (Shirou), David Jeremiah Mullins (Kla And Shirou’s Boss), Alain Mesa (Antonio).

Special Thanks: Paige Sullivan, Adriana Piasek-Wanski, Lisa Mills, Sade Tah