Entertainment and design company Imaginary Forces (IF) was recently called upon by Walt Disney Pictures to create a teaser for its upcoming feature, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.” The teaser breaks today with the premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
In the “National Treasure” sequel, treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by uncovering the 18 missing pages from assassin John Wilkes Booth’s diary, and embarks on an adventure with many surprising twists.
The 1:40-minute teaser, art-directed by Sean Koriakin of Imaginary Forces, opens on a CG 19th century globe. The viewer is taken into the globe where script type – from the 18 missing pages of Booth’s diary – is revealed. Gates (Cage) provides the voiceover, telling the story as though we are seeing the adventure in his head. Through his deductive thought process, we follow the type where highlighted clues and symbols lead to animated images of President Lincoln and his assassination, and to various landmarks in Paris, London and the US where this global journey takes Gates and his team.
“What’s nice about this teaser is that it stays true to the storyboards we pitched to the client,” says Koriakin. “Everything from the color to script type to the globe to stylistic elements; we were able to execute our concept all the way through to the end. We didn’t have much film footage to work with initially so we used as much animation and motion graphics as possible to tell the story – to connect its action, extensive historical references and global perspective.”
Within the body of the teaser are Masonic symbols, hidden and embedded by IF into the landmarks. The symbols also turn into the cast run at the end of the film. Fire and smoke elements were shot by the IF team, which were included in the animated portion when Booth’s pages were incinerated, as well as all of the graphic cards in the teaser.
The animations were created in Autodesk Maya and Adobe After Effects, and composited in Autodesk Inferno. All of the type and symbols were designed and animated in Maxon Cinema 4D. The entire teaser, including film footage, was edited in Avid.
“We have a great existing relationship with the Disney team,” concludes Annabelle Richardson, IF Executive Producer. “Our goal was to stay true to the ‘National Treasure’ franchise. We had a lot fun with this project.”
Koriakin concurs, “I never dreamt that I’d have to model a 3D Abraham Lincoln head!”
Designed & Produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director: Peter Frankfurt
Art Director: Sean Koriakin
Executive Producer: Annabelle Richardson
Producer: Pascal Leister
Designers: Sean Koriakin, Ronnie Koff,
Animators: Sean Koriakin, Nate Homan, Andrew Soria, Dan Meehan, Hsaio-Fan Mo, Ryan Zunkley, Juan Monasterio, David Lewandowski, Freda Lau, Gary Hebert, Justin Nardone, Miguel Lee, Sal Rangel,
Editors: Keith Roberts, Walter Louie
Inferno Artists: Rod Basham, Matt Spencer
Production Coordinators: Joe Denk, Courtney Graham
Studio: Buena Vista Motion Pictures Marketing
Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, President, Creative Film Services: Jim Gallagher
Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, Executive Vice President, Creative Film Services: David Singh
Buena Vista Pictures Marketing, Vice President, Creative Film Services: Jeff Schectman
Music Company: Musikvergnuegen
Composer: Walter Werzowa
Additional Editorial: The Ant Farm
About Imaginary Forces
IMAGINARY FORCES (IF) is an entertainment and design company based in Hollywood and New York. Its award-winning work spans the diverse industries of feature film production, entertainment marketing and promotion, corporate branding, architecture, advertising and interactive media. IF’s recent work includes identity packages for Lifetime, USA Network, Animal Planet and MTV, as well as effective and compelling broadcast advertising for Nike, Toyota, Pontiac, Smirnoff and Lexus.