Zoic Converge Fantasy & Reality for Mountain Dew

What begins as a mild-mannered moment in a grocery store checkout becomes a havoc-filled battleground. Tension builds as two women approach the checkout counter with different flavours of Mountain Dew’s new drink ‘Game Fuel’. As they notice that they are buying different flavours, one character prepares for an attack. The first swing of the sword triggers the transition from humans to Orc and Night Elf. As the spot progresses, the characters wildly battle through the grocery store, knocking over shelves and displays.

The Mountain Dew / World of Warcraft cross-promotional spot brought together some all-star players to handle these iconic brands. The production was executed by Radical Media and lead by esteemed director Tarsem Singh. Zoic Studios, having recently completed projects for Saboteur and Killzone 2, were appointed to handle the visual effects and animation, expertly World of Warcraft game characters into a live action setting.

Using stunt performers at motion capture studio House of Moves, Zoic shot the action sequence needed for the ‘Level Up or Die’ faceoff. Zoic’s 3D team created animation for the character’s facial expressions and applied dynamic simulation for the costumes and hair, transforming the stylized beings into “living” creatures. These multilayered characters were then given to Zoic’s 2D team for final compositing and interactive effects integration.

All of this work was done with the collaboration from legendary director Tarsem, who helmed the project with “incredible knowledge about all aspects of the process and a clear and compelling vision for the spot,” comments Zoic Creative Director/VFX Supervisor Les Ekker. “The fact that the process flowed so smoothly is a tribute to his vision and expertise. It was cool to be able to work with him on such an entertaining project.”

Zoic is an award-winning Digital Studio involved in producing lauded commercials and viral advertising as well as innovative content for episodic television, feature films and the gaming industry. From visual effects, to live action production and specialty shooting, Zoic Studio’s imprint can be seen in such compelling entertainment as True Blood, Fringe and Dollhouse; spots for Mountain Dew, ESPN, Craftsman, HP and VW, as well as innovative projects for EA, Gamefly and Sony. Zoic Studios has offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Credits for “Level Up or Die”
Client: Pepsi Cola Company
Air Date: June 2009
Title: “Level Up or Die”
Length: :30

Production Company: radical.media / Santa Monica / CA
Director: Tarsem Singh
EP: Frank Scherma
EP: Tommy Turtle
Production Supervisor: Susan Loncto Sullivan Head of Production: Cathy Dunn Assistant Director: Rick Lange

Advertising Agency: BBDO NY / New York / NY EVP, Executive Creative Director: Mike Smith Copywriter, Associate Creative Director: Adam Reeves
AD: Marcel Yunes
VP/EP: Amy Werthheimer
SVP, Account Director: Tara DeVeaux
Associate: Yoonie Park

Visual Effects Production: Zoic Studios
EP: Steve Schofield
CD: Chris Jones
CD/VFX Sup: Leslie Ekker
Producer: Maya Sanchez
Coordinator: Adam Reeb
CG Supervisor: Andy Wilkoff
Animator: Chris Strauss
Animator: Laura Barbera
Rigging: John Riggs
Rigging: Scott Rosekrans
Hair Dynamics: Sal Massimini
Hair Dynamics: Kevin Quattro
Model Clean Up: Kris Kelly
Tracking: Steve McLafferty
Flame: Steve Meyer
Compositor: Chris Irving
Compositor: Jason Zimmerman
Compositor: Zach Zaubi
Rotoscoping: Tyler Nathan
Engineering Support: Dmitri Gueer
Engineering Support: An Dang
Engineering Support: Aaron Llorens
Engineering Support: Saker Klippsten

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors / Santa Monica / CA
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Producer: Mike Goble
Assistant Editor: Anton Capaldo-Smith


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