With the 2006 World Cup just around the corner, 150,000 soccer fans in 28 countries have taken advantage of the rare opportunity to see the original World Cup trophy up close as part of the FIFA ‘World Cup Trophy Tour.’ As part of the unique experience, the FIFA World Cup Tour commissioned Ramat Gan, Israel-based character animation firm, Crew972, to produce an introductory 3D animated film.
Sponsored by Coca-Cola, the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour has just finished its run of 31 cities on four continents. From Accra in Ghana to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, through Mexico City, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Riyadh, Beijing, Jakarta, Tokyo and Sydney, to London, Kiev and Athens, tens of thousands of fans flocked to the exhibition. Exhibition spaces were specially constructed next to each stadium on the tour to house both the famous Cup along with a huge 5×7 meter screen for the animation.
Special 3D glasses were distributed to fans to view the three-minute stereoscopic clip. The trophy tour is now continuing to Germany, as the countdown continues to the start of the competition in June 2006. Dramatically visual and not tied to language, Crew972 animation reflects soccer universalism and global appeal. According to Crew972 creative director, Alex Orrelle, the animation sought to present the ‘pure spirit of the game, the energy, skill and dynamism of its players and to showcase the iconic Cup itself.’
The clip begins in space where the starry figure of the legendary footballer Pele appears. He boots a soccer ball made of cosmic dust through the galaxies, its momentum carving tunnels through golden seas, until two mythical figures rise up towards the ball, fusing together in the form of the World Cup Trophy. The $130,000 World Cup Trophy film was produced by South Africa-based Haptics with animation partners Snowball VFX. Crew972 is Israel’s leading 3D animation company, specializing in 3D character animation services and creating original animated entertainment for film, television and videogame formats. Crew972 is led creatively by Alex Orrelle, a veteran of Pixar Animation Studios where he worked on movie hits such as The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Orrelle’s short animation, Freeware, won the Sundance Online Film Festival Prize in 2001.
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