Electric Theatre Collective, the LA and London-based VFX/post production studio, teamed up with director Steve Rogers from Biscuit Filmworks and Venables Bell & Partners to create an Audi spot that captures the true meaning of the holidays: sheer competition.
In “Holiday,” two Audi drivers go head-to-head careening through a mall parking garage, showing off the precision-turning and the immediate acceleration and braking power of the Audi while highlighting the horrors of the “most wonderful time of the year.” Adam Watson, VFX Supervisor of Electric Theatre Collective, described the Audi “Holiday” spot as “a lovely example of a pure and well-crafted performance piece. The actors’ performances perfectly complement the aggression of the RS range of Audi.”
Electric Theatre Collective was on set with the team, collaborating on the heavier post sequences as well as capturing all the appropriate data and imagery to make the process run smoothly. Of course, unforeseen issues always pop up on set. The trick of “Holiday” was keeping every shot full of cars, whether the drivers are racing to the only open spot, stalking a slow-moving shopper who can’t find their car, or putting the pedal to the metal in attempts to jump off a ramp to an adjacent parking structure. The crew shut down the top three levels of the parking structure and had 70 cars to work with, so there was a ton of maneuvering to ensure the background appeared full on all three cameras. In the end, Electric Theatre Company further filled in some of the shots with digital car stills a CG doubles.
Watson describes the real achievement of the spot being completing the sheer amount of shots needed for the two-minute film, as well as the climactic jump scene, saying, “After the main shoot, we went and shot some 2nd unit pickups with our in-house drone department, which we are finding we are using more and more. Capturing digital stills and footage from impossible angles provides us with a great toolkit to begin our post process. It’s a great starting point for our digital matte painting team.”
After all the footage was captured, ETC used digital matte painting, CG, Flame and Nuke to complete the shots. Watson speaks of the process glowingly, “It was a pleasure working with Steve Rogers and our friends at Venables again. All in all, these are the kinds of jobs we love. A well-crafted film with a sprinkling of invisible VFX.”