A Pepsi truck is floating through the air with a blue background and light overhead.

Halftime Touches Down

Primetime advertising spots do not come bigger than the Super Bowl. Framestore embraced the opportunity to work on something epic for the 2015 halftime showdown for Pepsi, directing and creating all of the VFX required to land a major UFO in Glendale, AZ.

a truck driver looking up at a pepsi branded truck ascending into a bright light near an american diner

Kicking Things Off

Each year, the world’s biggest TV audience tunes into the Super Bowl final with the expectation that something spectacular might happen. From the moment Mekanism approached Framestore, with Executive Creative Director Tommy Means' genius idea for setting the stage for halftime, the team (led by Director Ben West) knew that they had their work cut out.

'It’s the most watched part of the Super Bowl, with around 120 million sets of eyes glued to the screen. That creates a lot of expectation. We wanted to grab the audience’s attention from the first frame and carry them on an awesome journey to halftime. Revealing the UFO as the stadium was always going to be the great payoff. In some ways it’s a no-brainer, that stadium really looks like a UFO', said West of the proposal.

film set up
film crew and set up at dusk working on a smoke machine

Landing the Idea

Shooting in California and the Arizona desert, Framestore's LA team was armed with a 100 ton crane and a huge mothership-style light rig to create the effect of a stadium-sized UFO, hovering above. The vast creation could then start beaming up all of the components of the halftime show – guitars, Katy Perry’s famous blue wig, and, of course, a whole truck load of Pepsi.

There’s no more suitable arena to unleash this magic than at the Super Bowl, an epic congregation when America stands to attention to witness a moment of greatness.
Ben West
Director, Framestore Pictures
a cameraman taking a shot of a pepsi branded vending machine

Out of This World

In the studio Framestore artists set to work creating the UFO/stadium, referencing the real University of Phoenix Stadium. The landing area also called for some CG work, needing to be populated with 14,000 CG cars. Smoke, dust and debris FX played a key part in the look of the tractor's beam, as well as conveying its anti-gravity pull and the stadium’s massive scale as it lands. We also variously removed The wires used to lift the objects were skillfully removed, with artists carrying out full CG takeovers in places to give complete creative control of their movement and lighting. The final touch came in the form of the grade, completed by Head of Colour Steffan Perry.

a brightly lit up ufo stadium that has the pepsi logo in the field area


Production Company
Ben West
Executive Creative Director
Tommy Means
Executive Producer (Framestore)
John Duffin, James Razzall
Director of Photography
John Schwartzman
Head of Production
Kati Haberstock
VFX Supervisor (Framestore)
Chris Eckardt
Compositing Supervisor
Michael Ralla
VFX Producer
James Alexander
Line Producer
Skot Bright
Production Co-ordinator
Nicole DeSantis
Tony Lyons, Nick Sorenson, Joy Tiernan, Ian Blewitt
Lucas Spaulding at Whitehouse Post
Steffan Perry
Ryan Paulson
Travis & Maude
Rich Shallcross, Caleb Hecht, Mike Bain, Arrev Chantikian, Sean Dollins, Allen Frechette, Wendy Pham, Aamir Karim, Lily Morgan, John Cook
Associate Creative Director
Joe Beutel
Sound Design
Eleven Sound
Concept Artist
Jamie O'Hara
Alex Thomas, Andrew Salter, Bruno De La Calva, Ryland Bowen-Johnson
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