In ‘Brothers,’ which also aired as the first spot during Super Bowl LVI, director Seb Edwards paints the story of Paralympian Brian McKeever, who gradually lost the vast majority of his eyesight to Stargardt disease as a young adult, yet never relinquished his dream of being a competitive skier. The unbreakable bond forged between Brian and his brother Robin in real life is showcased as they train and compete as one. Robin’s eyesight provides the vision for both, winning numerous Paralympic titles along the way.

Based on conversations with Brian, the team set out to convey a perception of impaired vision, rather than a definitive representation of his personal experience, focusing on how he can detect light and shadow in the centre of his vision, with very little detail. The compositing team enlisted real lens elements of flares, chromatic aberrations, lens dirt and distortion references to composite an effect that reduced the visual clarity in the centre of frame but retained more in the perimeter.

Tracking the camera to add movement that was faithful Brian’s point of view, and at times rebuilding parts of the plate to justify brighter areas, also contributed to shaping the overall effect. Finally, this light was used to modulate the intensity of the plate, giving it a flicker and inconsistency.

Directed by Dante Ariola, ‘Beautiful Movement’ compels the viewer to contemplate how movement is taken for granted in our daily lives. Employing an observational camera that tracks through a variety of scenes frozen in time, the film considers how even life-changing incidents that prevent regular freedom of movement can be overcome to realize our goals. 

The Framestore team focused on rebuilding the majority of the ice rink featured in the spot in order to expand the size, redesign the walls and bring more detail into the ice floor itself using a combination of Nuke projections onto geometry positioned within Maya, and CG renders. Extensive digital matte paintings were also employed to add snow to the surrounding buildings, as the production was shot during European summer. Houdini was then utilized to simulate kicked up particles of ice suspended in mid air for a realistic capture of the moment in time.

Framestore Creative Director Alex Thomas oversaw both films, working closely with both Ariola and Edwards as well as the agency, from revisualization of the early script iterations through to concepting treatments and all VFX execution.

“It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Fabio Costa, Marc D’avignon and the Saatchi team again on another round of heartfelt films highlighting the challenges, yet ultimate joy at overcoming adversity in the pursuit of one’s dreams,” said Thomas. “Working with this team is a truly collaborative creative experience where the story always remains paramount, supported by our VFX.” 

‘Beautiful Movement’ and ‘Brothers’ are now live on Toyota’s digital and social platforms to celebrate the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.