Conceived out of Arnold Worldwide and directed by RESET’s Johnny Hardstaff with VFX from MPC NY, the bold new spot launching New Balance’s “Always in Beta” global brand campaign embodies the brand’s promise to relentlessly improve, evolve and push its limits.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
MPC’s CG & 2D team created over 50 complex VFX shots within six weeks, reimagining a fully CG storm breaking over the Moroccan-shot mountainside and engulfing the protagonist in an intense plume ofsports figures running, batting, smashing onwards towards even greater athletic accomplishments. VFX artists seamlessly composited the infinite host of athletes across the sequence of shots as they charge together through thedramatic storm.
Creative Travis Robertson said: “This project was full of creative and logistical riddles. Shooting a CG job of this scale on three continents, with 17 professional athletes and a small army of extras proved to be a truly massive undertaking.
But when the dust settled (no pun intended), we were left with an amazing visual spectacle we are all incredibly proud of. MPC did a fantastic job bringing the bizarre, colorful and violently poetic stormto life. From the countless hours of smoke tank and saltwater filming to the violent and dynamic bursts of color to the motion tracking and effects supervision throughout the storm, no detail was overlooked.”
The VFX-fuelled spot was filmed across Miami, London and Morocco over four weeks, featuring 17 pro-athletes including Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Jenny Simpson, Milos Raonic, Heather Watson and Aaron Ramsey. In addition to in-store, digital, and print advertising, the brand campaign features an online “Beta Hub” experience at newbalance.com/beta, which invites consumers to immerse themselves in all things Beta with stories featuring the brand’s athletes and product innovations.
In close collaboration with the director andArnold’s creative team, MPC’s artists, led by VFX supervisors Rob Walker and Vicky Osborn, took the creative reins to explore and enrich the storm sequences.
With a two-pronged approach to create the storm – the exterior and the interior – Rob comments on the process: “The starting point for the interior of the storm came from acloud tank element shoot in Miami, which provided most of the dramatic backgrounds. We shot some pretty amazing footage, and lots of it, at up to 100 frames-per-second with 5K resolution that allowed us to zoom into a part of the plate without compromising quality. In the end, we whittled down roughly 10 hours into 12 minutes of beautiful footage that formed the basis for the insideof the storm. We combined this with a simulated CG storm.”
In parallel, Houdini artists began R&D on the exterior of the storm, exploring its movement and developing its look. A key part of the agency brief was to have the storm mirror the structure of a wave, which proved to be challenging as the Houdini simulations were based on real world physics and scale. The rendered simulation would often produce quite random results, each one being totally unique.
“Our next stage wasto simulate the interior storm,” Rob continues. “Johnny’s boards had interesting sketches where you feel the storm chasing the athletes and partly swallowing them in it. This was something we found interesting and wanted todevelop. A key part of our creative decisions in designing the storm was the need to recognize the athletes rather than having them obscured or lost within it.”
The team designed a’kit of parts’ rendered in Houdini, offering flexibility and control incompositing the athletes’ prominence on-screen. This technique enabled the team to choreograph all manner of motion and intensity, and play with varying scalein the same shots.
The result is flawless cohesion across the film, ensuring the “Always in Beta” state of mind remained center stage in the dynamic yet ethereal New Balance storm.
Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Production Company: RESET
Director: Johnny Hardstaff
ECDs/Managing Partners: Pete Johnson & Wade Devers
SVP Creative Director/Copywriter: Greg Almeida
SVP Creative Director/Art Director: Travis Robertson
Agency Executive Producer: William Near
Agency Assistant Producer:Patrick Carney
Production Company Executive Producers: Dave Morrison & Jeff McDougall
Production Company Producer: Annabel Ridley
EditorPaul Hardcastle @ Cosmo Street
VFX MPC NY
Managing Director: Justin Brukman
Executive Producer: Camila De Biaggi
VFX Senior Producer: Armand Weeresinghe
VFX Supervisor/2D Lead: Rob Walker
VFX Supervisor/3D Lead: Vicky Osborn
VFX Team: Vanessa Lee, Andres Weber, Zach Zhao,Francois Duchesneau, Mitch Deoudes, Shawn Lipowski, Craig Sylvester,Kelly Bruce, Carl Fong, Alex Harding, ReginaldEmvula, Graeme Revell, Aleksandar Djordjevic, Jeric Pimentel, JonathanMcKee, Tobey Lindback, D. Venkatesan, EarnestVictor, Elangovan, Ganeshan, Ranajoy Kar, Sathya Narayanan, Gowri Shankar Velusamy D, Minju Thottiparambil Sukumaran, Debalina Dasgupta, Abdul Labeeb, Alex J., Ambalika Nandy, Amresh Kumar, Anupam Kumar, Bruno Roosewelt, Craig Savio Padua, Deepali Negi, K. Gandhiraj, Mithilesh.G, Manasa G K, Rajkumar R, S. Samson Samuel, Sravan Kumar, Yasasvini.V, Raju Ganesh S. & Vamsi Krishna Reddy
Grade MPC: Remote Grading
Colorist: George K
阿诺国际传播（Arnold Worldwide）连同纽约RESET制作公司旗下的导演约翰·哈达斯夫，与MPC纽约合作，为运动品牌新百伦的全新市场战役“Always In Beta” 打造了一个代表勇敢无畏精神的广告猛片。体现了品牌不懈改进、不断进取、力求一流理念的承诺。
“我们的下一个阶段是模拟风暴的内部” 罗布继续说， “约翰的故事脚本很有意思，你会感觉到风暴追逐着运动员并把他们吞没。我们觉得很有趣，并想朝着这个方向发展。我们在设计风暴时做的最重要的决策是必须可以让人认出这些运动员，而不能让他们淹没并消失在风暴当中”
最终的效果呈现出画面无暇的整合力，让 “Always in Beta”的竟赛心态在新伯伦猛烈的风暴当中长存不倒。