In the spirit of giving, and friendly rivalry, Framestore has partnered with director Ian Pons Jewell of RESET and DDB in Chicago to celebrate State Farm’s Good Deeds competition. In the new campaign two State Farm employees vie to be the first to reach 100 acts of giving back.
As the challenge ramps up, so does the scale of the deeds, starting with donating clothes escalating to conducting a volunteer theater group, helping an old woman cross the street, saving turtles, and even returning a beached whale to the depths of the ocean. The Framestore team, led by VFX Supervisor James Rogers, used mind bending, nested zooms to catapult the viewer from scene to scene, emphasizing the fast paced competition and humor in the actions.
In addition to the transitions, the Framestore team created a baby turtle to waddle into the ocean and an enormous whale, who we see waiting on the beach for his rescuers and later swimming free in the open ocean. The spot plays with the concepts of scale and space, and the transitions Framestore created capitalize on that to constantly bring surprising elements into the story, such as unexpectedly flying down a child opera-singer's throat, which in turn becomes an underground sewer leading the viewer through a drain to find one of the overzealous do-gooders fighting to help an old lady across the road. Likewise the audience would never expect to see a happily beached whale, rolling its large eye at the shenanigans; or that later the very same whale would reappear trolling a Japanese Jacques Cousteau-style research submarine.
In such a VFX heavy spot it was important that every effect had a purpose on screen, both those visible and invisible to the viewer. ‘There were a lot of details and hidden elements that we needed to attend to,’ says Rogers. ‘There were some big builds too, but the devil in this spot is in the details.’ Nearly every shot was modified in some way, whether the State Farm logos, the walls of the office space, or the transformation of a freshwater turtle into a sea turtle.
The project’s greatest challenges were ensuring that the vast range of effects fit together aesthetically and could be completed within the time frame. ‘We spent quite a bit of time trying different approaches to arrive at something that felt seamless and fluid,’ said CG Lead and Senior TD Nate Diehl. ‘One of my highlights was a complex sequence making a beached whale look happy and lively but also realistic!’
‘It’s not easy to keep a fluid sense of motion with 40+ shots in different locations, but this spot keeps you entertained as it takes you from one transition to the next,’ added Sebastien Boulange, 2D Compositing Lead.