In this epic live-action and VFX fueled game cinematic, we follow the assault of a Galleon by pirates from the depths of the sea to the very top of the mast. Every level of the ship shows us the torments of this era and the intricate detail shows why a man might take the life of piracy – to free himself from the absurd rules dictated by almighty empires.
The film comprises of a vertical long camera sweep, starting underwater, crossing the decks of the boat and appearing on the upper deck, climbing the mast to end on Edward and the Black Flag, the strongest symbol of the Golden Age of Piracy.
In the end, Edward stands on top of it all, the king of the hill, free – almost a peaceful image. The last scene unleashes the brutality of Edward, a glimpse of his wildness.
Ships burn and men are mercilessly slain in this brutal cinematic which seamlessly blends epic live action with complex VFX techniques. The ambition was to capture much of the action in-camera and then integrate bespoke and highly complex VFX to create a gritty, yet realistic spot that keeps the authenticity of the game intact.
The interaction of the live action footage between the CG and 2D environments is paramount – with a high level of detail taking place in the foreground, mid-ground and distance as we pan-up through the ship.
During pre-production a full 3D pre-vis was created of the ship and the concurrent camera move.
The opening eerie underwater environment was filmed in a tank. The floating men were captured on five different plates, which were composited together and enhanced with light effects, debris and bubbles. The boat hull, as the camera transitions upwards, is CG.
The high-action scenes above water are a clever mix of in-camera action and integrated shot and 2D elements. The intensity of the action required separate plates, utilising green screen and the set, which were composited together. Matte painting was used for extensive set extensions and boat environments. Realistic particle and water effects were created from scratch. The addition of CG fog and smoke elements give the impression that the camera is in the thick of the action.
The final stunning wide shot was created by concept artists using matte painting; complete with burning ships, palm trees and a cloud filled sky.
Ulf Johansson has directed Drench latest spot ‘Cubehead’ featuring a puzzled man trying to solve his own Rubik’s style puzzle head. The commercial was produced by Kate Bailey at CHI&Partners and Philippa Smith at Smith & Jones. MPC created the puzzle head combining live action elements.
Director: Ulf Johansson
Agency: CHI& Partners
Producer: Kate Bailey
Production Assistant: Josh Sanders
Creatives: Ed Edwards & Dave Masterman
Production Company: Smith & Jones
Production Company Producer: Philippa Smith
Editor: John Smith
Post Producer: Chris Allen
VFX Supervisor: Matthew Unwin
VFX Team: Michael Gregory, Lisa Ryan, Mikael Petterson, Jason Hayes
Telecine: Jean-Clement Soret
Glass and a Half Full Productions called upon Moving Picture Company to created this highly-entertaining 1:30 minute ad for Cadbury, who are a sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It’s titled Spots vs Stripes, and it pits two squads of undersea competitors versus eachother in a game I’d describe as seaweed balloon popping. Very clever throughout, brilliant CG work and a easily one of my favorite spots of 2010. Nick Gordon at Academy Films directed.
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In my quest to write about Swedes out there in the business of VFX, I have come to Jessica Norman, Vfx supervisor at MPC in London. She is a one of few women unfortunately in the business, we definitely need more of you in the business. Lately she has been working on Night at the Museum 2 and
Jessica started her career in digital effects at MPC in 2000 working as a Digital Compositor on feature film projects. Working her way through the ranks, she now forms part of MPC’s key team of supervisors, orchestrating visual effects both on set and in the studio.
Jessica has a wealth of experience working on both live action photo real movies as well as integrating digital effects in stop frame projects such as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
At the end of 2008 she was based at MPC’s new Vancouver studio leading the effects effort for Zach Snyder’s Watchmen. She has since supervised key sequences for Night at the Museum; Battle of the Smithsonian at MPC’s London headquarters.