Asylum Goes Upside Down For Ad Council

Premier VFX and design company Asylum has collaborated with director Derin Seale and advertising agency Cramer-Krasselt for a potent and sobering new spot for the Ad Council that highlights the importance of being prepared when disaster strikes.

In World Upside Down Asylum Lead VFX/Inferno Artist Rob Trent guides his team through a world literally turned on its head by the coming of a natural disaster. To create this chaotic world, Asylum tapped into Flame, Shake, Silhouette, Maya and Syntheses software to bring together a collage of flying props propelled by wire rigging, shot falling on greenscreen, or, in the case of the largest objects, tastefully animated and rendered in CG.

Due to the complexity of mingling live actors with dangerous falling objects, multiple takes were required, and the final :60 is a seamless collage of six core passes overlapping one another, often retimed and warped together to sync the correct action.

“Putting together a spot with so many moving parts, especially under tight time constraints, is always challenging, but we have worked with both Cramer-Krasselt and @radical before, and both are talented partners,” noted Trent.

“Derin’s (Seale) vision and production crew really knew how to get the actors moving correctly on the wires on shoot day, and everything from the choreographed wire-lift of mom and dad, to the clothing and hair blowing in the wind of massive fans, to the set lighting was beautifully done, perfectly capturing the drama that such a spot requires. The editors at Whitehouse and a final mix from Eleven Sound rounded out what ended up being an all-around wonderful spot.”

Client: Ad Council; FEMA; New York City Office of Emergency Management; Red Cross in Greater New York
Spot’s Title: “World Upside Down”
Air Date: September 2009

Agency: Cramer-Krasselt
EVP/Chief Creative Officer: Marshall Ross
GCD: G. Andrew Meyer
Co-Executive Creative Director: Dean Stefanides
Co-Executive Creative Director: Larry Hampel
Senior Art Director: David Levy
Copywriter: Andrei Chahine
VP/Director of Broadcast Production: Sergio Lopez

Prod Company:
Director: Derin Seale
EP: Frank Scherma
Producer: Samantha Storr
Head of Production: Cathy Dun

Editorial: Whitehouse Chicago

Post/Effects: Asylum
EP: Michael Pardee
Bidding Producer: Michael Hanley
Producer: Ryan Meredith
Lead VFX/Inferno Artist Supervisor: Rob Trent
Inferno Artist(s): Miles Essmiller, Mark Renton
CG Supervisor: Zachary Tucker

Lead Modeler: Greg Stuhl
Modeler: Toshihiro Sakamaki
Tracker(s): Tom Stanton, Apirak Kamjan, Michael Lori
Lighter: Aaron Vest
Animator(s): Michael Shelton, Steward Burris

Texture Painting: John Hart

Roto/Paint: Jason Bidwell
Roto(s): Elissa Bello, Stephanie Ide, Scott Baxter, Hugo Dominguez
Roto/Shake: Johnny Weckworth

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