Creative studio Carbon has teamed up with agency Cramer-Krasselt to bring mesmerising, exhilarating visual flair that reflects the otherworldly experience of Mystic Timbers, the newly unveiled, 109-foot-tall wooden roller coaster ride at Cedar Fair’s Kings Island theme park in Mason, Ohio.
To highlight the mystery, twists, turns and thrilling journey through the woods that Mystic Timbers offers, Carbon was brought in early on as a partner to help craft a fully-animated film that gives viewers firsthand perspective of the ride while highlighting its standout features. “This was a dream brief for the artists,” says Carbon Executive Producer Phil Linturn. “Cramer-Krasselt proposed some great references for the look and tone, and we immediately knew we were going to have fun developing the style into something very different from any of Cedar Fair’s previous campaigns.”
Utilising reference points ranging from computer games to graphic novels as well as hours of real-life roller coaster footage, the Carbon team initially oversaw fundamental development of styleframes to establish the mysterious, enchanting look and feel of the film, while simultaneously developing storyboard, edit and animatic. “We needed to walk a fine line that allowed the ride to appear thrilling and spooky, without becoming too menacing and bleak, losing appeal for the intended audience,” Linturn explains. “Once we found that balance, full work began on production of individual shots, which involved all modelling, VFX, animation, compositing and colour correction.
While wearing multiple hats during the eight-week production process, from VFX to editing to directing, Carbon worked closely with Cramer-Krasselt throughout the Mystic Timbers project, which serves as a stylish affirmation of the agency and studio’s deep history. “We are lucky to already have a close working relationship with the team at Cramer Krasselt, so we began this project with a level of trust that affords greater latitude when making creative suggestions,” Linturn adds. “This was a rare project where ideas and recommendations flew from initial conversation to testing to screen in record time. I think this is a testament to the early detailed creative conversations allowing us all to begin and ultimately finish development with a very clear and unified vision.”