Week 1: Concept Development
Updated: Jan 21
"The car of tomorrow, today"
For my last winter quarter at SCAD, I have the opportunity to collaborate with other students in a project that will be mentored by lead artists at The Mill. The goal of this project is to create "more than a car commercial." After a week of considering several different ideas, our team has decided to produce a commercial that advertises a car so advanced that it could be from the future. To achieve this, the commercial will consist of the "car of tomorrow" racing through a time traveling tunnel and exiting through a lightning portal that materializes in today's world.
The commercial will consist of three shots: the Tunnel, the Portal and the Arrival. The first shot will consist of the car racing through the tunnel. The second shot will show the portal taking shape in the present world and the car passing through it. Lastly, the third shot will consist of the car fully crossing over into the "today" world and coming to a stop. To help visualize the different shots, we prepared two animatics. All shots in both animatics are the same except for shot #2, which changes to showcase different elements. The first version features a close-up of the manifestation of the portal while the second one shows its formation from a farther point of view.
To execute our idea we are going to combine CG integration and full CG techniques. The tunnel in shot #1 will be a CG environment while the rest of the shots will be achieved through the integration of the CG car and the FX portal into the live action footage.
Inspiration and references
Tunnel - For the CG environment we were inspired by the futuristic look of the Lexus ES 2019 commercial. Similarly to the advert, we want the tunnel to have a geometrical shape with a light set up that turns on as the car is going through them.
Portal - For the look of the portal, we want it to have an "electric" appearance. Electricity is very related to technology advances and thus, it makes sense that the portal is being created through it. To achieve this look, we want to combine blue lightning and smoke to create the portal, as seen in the video below and the following inspiration images.
Car - The model we chose for the commercial is the Ferrari 458 Italia. The car is all curves, with few harsh edges, giving it an aerodynamic shape and a futuristic look; it is the kind of car that we want to advertise in our commercial. Below you will find a quick test turntable of the model and a couple of real-life references.
For the location of the live action footage we chose the Savannah Theater. To emphasize how futuristic our car is, we thought it would look cool if it were to appear in a location which had a "vintage" look. The theater seemed like the perfect choice as it has those 80's science fiction movie feelings like Back To The Future, which is also about time traveling.
We want to shoot early in the morning to avoid traffic of cars and crowds. As a back-up option, we have Lucas Theater which is very similar in appearance.
We prepared a quick photo-montage of the shots to have a better understanding of how all the elements will look together, especially in the live action shots.
Overall, I'm very excited about the direction the project is going. It was difficult to come up with an idea that wasn't too ambitious and that we all liked, but we did and I can't wait to see how it's going to turn out. I think that there is still some fine tuning to do to make sure it will all come together, but I can't wait to get started!