While discussing a brief a creative director once wistfully quoted Lewis Carroll to me: “Sometimes I've imagined as many as six impossible things before breakfast” and then came back to earth with a thud adding “Only to realise we could not afford them”.
This thought has motivated me throughout my career as an automotive director. Ever since I saw the liquid metal man in “T2 Judgement Day” some 20 years ago I instinctively knew CGI 3D animation was the future of car commercials but up to now the results have been quite poor unless the budget is astronomical. In my opinion this is mainly because the movement of CGI cars is still unnatural.
Utilising the extensive auto-centric skills I have acquired in the last 10 years shooting cars all over the world I accepted the challenge and went to work with the great CGI team at Rotor Studios in the same way I do with my live action team.
Describing the lighting and mood was the easy part; in essence the animator becomes the cameraman so all I had to communicate was that I like to romance the sheet metal in a very sensual way, in perfect lighting conditions and with beautiful reflections, making sure the design lines pop out on the super rich and glossy coatings.
But the movement is a totally different proposition; I believe the key is in the car's suspension. We need to clearly capture the displacement forces in the shock absorbers. With this in mind I directed the animator to pay close attention to the relationship and movement between the wheels and the car’s body. Particularly in corners and curves, we need to see and feel the moment when the suspension stiffens as the car leans.
I also focussed on the road itself, we need to feel the bounce and rebound as the car passes through less than perfect surface or stops in order to make the movement real.
I am hoping this spot shows the reason why a CGI car spot needs to be directed by a film-maker and how I can offer a new approach to agency creatives who are looking for the transformation of the entire fantasy world in their conceptions into an accomplished reality that pushes all boundaries.
Director Juan Jaramillo
CGI & Post Production Rotor Studios, Sydney
Producer Paul Quin
Production Company PRS Productions, KL
Producer ST Fah
Agency Dentsu, KL
Creative Director KC Aui
Agency Producer Cal Toh
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