For General Motors’ #GMExhibitZero virtual showing at CES 2021, Framestore joined forces with Framestore Pictures directors Anh Vu and Murray Butler, alongside creative agencies Commonwealth and Momentum Worldwide, to take viewers on four distinctly captivating journeys that introduce new vehicles and cutting-edge technology.
Beginning with ‘The First Night Out that Stayed in the Car,’ Vu captures the luxury and glamor of Cadillac's Personal Autonomous Vehicle of the future. Featuring famed journalist and TV host Elaine Welteroth, musician Adeline, and activist/model Farhia Luul Makerow, the spot encapsulates a visually stunning whirlwind of an epic evening that never needs to leave the car.
The Framestore team got to work applying their advanced rendering and car shading systems. Shot in a non-working prototype, the team rebuilt almost every shot of the interior and the entire exterior of the vehicle in order to integrate it with the passengers and heavily augmented urban environment featured.
Next up from Vu is the story of 'The Fastest Pet Turtle in History,' showcasing GM's new BrightDrop propulsion-assisted electric pallet. Vu brings viewers along for the journey with a sneak peak at how Ed the Turtle is delivered to his destination seamlessly and in record time, thanks to the new EPallet.
“Single cut commercials like this can be tricky when live action plates become laden with visual effects – timing and sequencing are critical,” said Framestore Creative Director and VFX Supervisor, James Rogers. “We worked closely with Anh and the editing team to ensure that we kept the seamless feel while being able to freely adjust the edit for the client’s needs, feeding different options with a rapid turnaround. Since each of the various vehicles featured within this spot were computer generated, we were able to eliminate any guesswork from the edit and hone the feel of the spot early on.”
In ‘The World’s First All-Electric Supertruck to Go Off-Road. Diagonally,’ directed by Butler, not even a massive boulder can stop the world's first all-electric Hummer supertruck. The action-packed, off-roading adventure was shot with the help of cinematographer Matthias Koenigswieser, who pulled all registers of modern filmmaking, including a racing drone for spectacular camera movement. Koenigswieser went for a “dirty” look with a host of practical dust, smoke, flares and optical aberrations on vintage anamorphic lenses that posed a number of integration challenges for the VFX team. Integrating the CG vehicle required careful consideration of each of those elements, but made the final product undoubtedly as realistic as the physical truck racing around in California’s Sierra Nevada.
Butler also directed ‘The Calmest Man on the I-405,’ who isn’t in fact meditation expert Jessie Israel. The all new Cadillac Escalade makes driving a smooth and tranquil experience for anyone, even on the most stressful of freeways. Shot entirely on an LED stage, the spot not only highlighted the capabilities of virtual production, but was also the prime case study for a fully integrated production pipeline at Framestore. The VFX team shot an array of 360 degree high resolution footage on various roads that the director scouted virtually and prepared them for use in the volume. With the exception of one shot, the spot was achieved entirely in camera, without further VFX or post cleanup.
“The experience of sitting in the vehicle during playback was so immersive, not only with what was seen on the screens but also all the interactive light and reflections, that the talent was initially hesitant to take their hands off the steering wheel during the key moment of the spot!” said Frmestore VFX Supervisor, Michael Ralla.
For more on the CES showing, visit GM Exhibit Zero website here.