Brickyard Collaborates with Arnold Worldwide on CG-Intensive Spot

Artist-owned-and-operated visual effects studio Brickyard VFX has wrapped a :30 spot for Timberland via Arnold Worldwide, Boston. The spot, beautifully shot and directed by The Cronenweths on a sunny day was turned into a stormy afternoon with the help of Brickyard’s talented effects and CGI teams. Broadcast and cinema versions of the spot break nationally on October 24th.

The spot opens on a wide cinematic view of a lone man walking across the top of hill into the face of a rapidly advancing thunderstorm. As the storm and man meet, both stop their advance as if in a standoff. He reaches out his hand to touch the raindrops then zips up his Timberland coat, looks down at his Timberland boots and pulls on his hood. Then with a subtle smirk, he resumes his walk into the storm with a confident stride.

“This spot was a real leap of faith-shooting on a bright sunny day when we knew that the final spot would have to appear as if it were shot in a heavy rainstorm. Having Geoff on set was totally reassuring, I trust him wholeheartedly,” said Colin Jeffery, Creative Director and Art Director, Arnold Worldwide. “Working with Brickyard is always a great collaboration, we have worked with them on many occasions, they are as passionate about the creative as we are, and always add their magic touch.”

Knowing that the rain would be added later in post, a rain rig on set was used to capture plates that could be used both for reference and composites. However the opening and closing shots were so wide that all of the rainfall had to be created in CG. Geoff McAuliffe was on set as visual effects supervisor and worked with Brickyard VFX CGI team Robin Hobart and Yafei Wu to design the computer generated rain and mist. They worked together with the client and editor Andre Betz of Bug Editorial to time and art direct the movement of the rain and define how far it would come down the hill in the foreground as the storm advances forward.

“This spot was a lot of fun to work on because it posed the challenge of creating something out of nothing and maintaining a consistent believable look across several very wide shots,” explained McAuliffe, “The Cronenweths always shoot great looking footage and it was a lot of fun to work with them again.”

Additional effects included adding soft movement to the tree that appears in frame to be affected by the downpour, adding interactive raindrops into the close-up shots of the hand and boot and compositing in rain clouds, sourced via stock footage provider Prairie Pictures in Texas. The client and Arnold were so pleased with the spot that Brickyard is also working extended effects for a soon-to-be-released :60 second version of the clip.

Client: Timberland
Agency: Arnold Worldwide – Boston
Chief Creative Officer: Pete Favat
CD/Copywriter: Chris Carl
CD/Art Director: Colin Jeffery, John Kieselhorst
Agency Producer: Carron Pedonti
Production Company: Untitled – Santa Monica
Director: Tim Cronenweth, Jeff Cronenweth
Director of Photography: Jeff Cronenweth
Executive Producer: Jim Evans
Line Producer: Ken Rosen
Editorial Company: Bug Editorial
Editor: Andre Betz
VFX: Brickyard VFX – Boston/Santa Monica
VFX Artist: Geoff McAuliffe
VFX Producer: Kirsten Andersen
Sound Design: 740 Sound Design – Santa Monica
Sound Designer: Mike Secher
Recording Studio: Soundtrack Recording- Boston
Recording Engineer: Mike Secher
Editorial Producer: Jane Weintrub

About Brickyard VFX
Located in Boston and Santa Monica, Brickyard VFX is an independent visual effects boutique specializing in top quality visual effects from 3D characters through to compositing. Completely artist owned and operated, the company was founded in 1999 to bring clients a level of customer service, craftsmanship and focus difficult to find at facilities today. Brickyard’s problem-solving expertise on set and in the studio has been applied to model, animate, light, texture, track, rotoscope, color correct and render seamless digital effects for XM Radio, Citibank, Volkswagen, Target, Tyson Foods and many other accounts.

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