Framestore tapped into the gaming world in new work for Ubisoft’s latest release, Starlink: Battle for Atlas. The cinematic and VFX-heavy trailer, directed by Dan DiFelice and produced by Wanda France for BBDO Paris, gave Framestore the chance to exercise its aptitude for vast space environments, spaceships, dystopian landscapes and more, bringing elements of the highly anticipated game to a naturalistic, real-world setting.
The film opens on a small boy in the depths of a forest, daydreaming of a future in space. Shot in Prague, DoP Steve Annis captured the natural beauty of the landscape, before the narrative takes an intergalactic turn to a fully CG supercell storm and arid planetscape, viewed from the cockpit of our hero’s spaceship, the Zenith.
Framestore drew on multiple disciplines in-house to fully previs the extensive space sequence, developing the look of the hero Zenith asset to feed directly into production design’s true-to-size build, which would ensure seamless inside-outside action. The spaceship’s movements in battle were choreographed on a full motion base gimbal, with a 360° interactive lighting skypanel set-up adding further veracity to the shots.
The landscapes of Utah provided backplates for the planet sequence, shot with a drone and augmented to include a full alien civilisation, atmospherics, debris and a handful of creatures. Back in orbit, Framestore had fun with the chase, leaning into a pedigree learned from recent space epics of film and advertising. In the grade, Simon Bourne used subtle colour to distinguish the worlds: from the dream-like depths of the forest to a subtle, soft sci-fi feel on the planet’s surface, before the strong contrasts of outer space.