We were honoured to be the first Russian agency to make Mazda commercials locally.
We created and produced two films for most elegant Mazda 6 and Mazda CX5 models. Both works had to look incredible as beauty and aesthetics are key for the brand.
We came up with the idea of reflections opening stunning cars details one by one. The difficulty was that no element, including the car itself, had to be static. The car, the reflections, the lights were supposed to be moving in a nicely staged choreography, creating new meanings and even stories.
Everything was made in real. The "tunnels of beauty" were built in the biggest shooting pavilion in Eastern Europe and more than 500 m2 of LED panels were set on stage. Reflections on the moving cars were produced by specially animated effects and images changing along with the car passing by.
The style of the commercials was to be aggressive and urbanized, but not without elegance and finesse in it. Nicely put by Miguel Ivanov, the brief sounded: "The car has to feel like a racing lollypop."
For the storyboard we presented several visual themes. Abstract shapes and dynamic effects were combined with the images of Marilyn Monroe, a kendo fighter, a group of paparazzi and the view onto planet Earth from outer space.
This exact image of the view onto Earth from the outer space was repeated three years later by Elon Musk, who set his Tesla roadster on space journey in 2018.
The head of animation was a famous Russian contemporary artist Platon Infante. Modelling and animation were done by the Russian team Playd. The kendo fighter and the planet Earth were created by artists Alexey Brin and Dmitry Istomin.
Each of the shapes, effects and images was verified in terms of both looking good and looking good as a reflection on various car details. If some of them worked bad on the glossy car surface, they had to be redrawn or replaced. The speed of the moving images was tested in the same way and in relation to various speeds of the moving cars.
As Platon Infante says, "We must have been resembling Perseus, who was supposed to look at the Medusa's face only in the reflection on his shield".
We have developed a unique color grid that helped us to make images and their reflections most relatable.
Every shooting scene from the storyboard was modelled in Cinema 4D and then rendered with physical render. The results permitted Dennis Lischenko, the best Russian production designer, develop a fixed set of LED panels covering enormous surfaces of the giant shooting pavilion.
Our director/DOP Sebastian Weiland wanted to have freedom in camera movement. That meant we needed specific background animation that would look good and not lose its 3D feel from whatever angle. In the scene of the night city, for instance, the art team used a parallax effect, and it worked pretty well. The director also insisted to have freedom in choosing the content while shooting, so a considerable number of various options with layers was prepared and ready to use on the spot.
The shoot lasted for two marvellous days. Enormous sparkling environment. Lollypop car. Unforgettable experience.
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