Framestore teamed up with creative agency Wunderman Thompson alongside Academy Award-winner and director Wally Pfister to transform a downtown Alabama street into a semi-dystopian world, complete with a holographic alter ego, for the latest recruitment commercial from the United States Marine Corps (USMC).
Aimed at disillusioned young adults, “Battle to Belong” tells a story of a young man in the near future where social media and advertising have completely saturated society. This culture ultimately manifests itself to become a holographic avatar of the young man, which proves to be the final exploitation that forces a confrontation between the two of them. The young man chooses to reject the superficiality of his current surroundings and break through to find something real -- a USMC bootcamp.
Framestore's New York studio was involved across all aspects of the production, from initial concept design through to delivery. While the shoot took place mere weeks before mandatory lockdown, the team completed all post production remotely. Rounds of testing and feedback helped to zero in on the look and tone of both the environment and avatar to believably represent the chaos of the targeted distractions that surround the impressionable young citizens of this future world. The challenge was to create an environment that was a plausible and relatable extension of where things are headed today, without pushing too far into the future.
“As the performance and purpose of the avatar continued to evolve after the shoot, we were not able to use any footage of the actor playing the role on set,” said Framestore’s New York-based VFX Supervisor, Steve Drew. “We resolved to keep the avatar firmly within the uncanny valley as a way to assist its unsettling presence to the protagonist.”
The music featured throughout the spot called ‘Outside Looking In’ was scored by acclaimed composer, Hans Zimmer.