The latest commercial film for Mercedes-Benz uses every tool in the “ad box“ to appeal to the younger generation. Directed by Zou Fei, the 2-minute spot mixes stunning visuals that change at breakneck speed, dazzling VFX, astonishing choreography, video games, fashion and music into a manifesto of brand relevance. We talked to Craft Creations, the post-production house behind the spot, to take a deeper dive into how this commercial was made.
梅赛德斯奔驰的最新广告可谓是“使尽浑身解数”，力求吸引年轻的目光。导演邹飞在短短的2分钟内，混搭玩转各种视觉元素，从油门到底的转场，眼花缭乱的画面，酷炫的编舞，到游戏，时尚和音乐，所有这些都在宣告奔驰 “懂” 这一届年轻人。我们联系了负责这部短片的后期团队Craft Creations, 希望通过他们揭秘这部广告的制作过程。
“I was mostly impressed with the concept of combining all those different settings with all different kinds of pop culture references that projected the boosting youth energy, and the way they were fused together so seamlessly with fantastic shot design, tone and music selections.”—shares post-production director 王浩龙 Warren. The team of 25 CG artists were involved from the early stage of pre-production, a practice, that Warren highly recommends, as it saves time and allows for s better plan for production as a whole. Not to mention, a director that goes above and beyond to ensure the quality of the final delivery is another invaluable element to a successful commercial film, which is heavily dependent on post-production, especially when on a tight schedule.
The post-production for the Mercedes-Benz spot took five times longer than the shooting itself. With the CG schedule shrinking to 20 days from originally planned 25 days, the director spent a lot of time with the in-house Craft team to save communication cost and shorten confirmation time. Warren describes Zou Fei as the kind of director “who is not afraid of going beyond his comfort zone and willingly seeks and accepts new directions to bring ideas to life. He is also one of the hardest working people in the business. It’s as if he never fatigues, neither physically, nor creatively”.
这部梅赛德斯奔驰短片的后期比拍摄多了五倍的时间。由于CG制作时间从一开始计划的25天，缩短为20天，导演便尽可能地陪着自家的特效团队一同赶进度，这样一来不仅节省了沟通成本，批复速度也大大提升。提到导演邹飞，Warren感叹道他是一位 “不惧走出自己舒适圈，主动寻求新方式去具象化灵感的人。他同时也是业内最勤奋刻苦的人之一。不论是身体上，还是创意上，他仿佛永不疲倦” 。
This is not the first car commercial in the Craft Creations’ portfolio, but what distinguishes this project from the others is the unconventional and fresh approach. For this spot, the team used a Previz camera set up in accordance to the real camera, which allowed them to enhance shots from the DP’s perspective, while pushing the boundaries and limitations to create the dynamic movements. When asked whether some of the special effects were particularly hard to realize, Warren states the racing scenes, were the most challenging because the team weren’t able to build the complete assets due to the short working schedule. Racing against the clock, they decided to apply a randomization procedure as the final solution to complete the entire scene. This allowed more time for the detail tweaking and post rounds later on. In addition, the numerous glitching effects that appear in the video, were tested in 3D mode instead of the normal 2D for better results. With a team of experienced artists, Craft Creations also did a lot to enhance the tension by means of designed motions, brightness and sensationally detailed colors.
对于Craft Creations来说，由于该项目采用了打破传统的新方式，这部影片虽然不是他们的第一部汽车广告，但绝对是特别的。这部影片根据现场镜头采用了Previz镜头 (可视化预览镜头)，以帮助摄影指导在摄制动感画面，打破陈规的同时，优化拍摄效果。当我们问到是否有部分特效的呈现特别有挑战时，Warren认为最挑战的是飙车片段，由于制作时间有限，团队没办法搭建完整的场景，为了追赶进度，他们决定采用随机的流程作为最终的解决方案，完成整个片段。这样能为后面的细节调整和后期完成保留更多时间。此外，整部影片的几处故障特效采用了3D模式进行测试，而非通常的2D测试，以确保更好的最终效果。得益于自家经验丰富的艺术家团队，为了更好体现张力Craft Creations还使用了各种设计动态，明暗对比和炫目细致的色彩。
Invested collaborators are the key for the successful project completion, Warren concludes. “The whole atmosphere and the mutual trust allowed us to focus on the final delivery and leave nothing to other odds. We are really delighted that we could pull this off. The hype is real.”.