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Ncuti Gatwa, a Boombox and a Tushek Racer Pro Bring GRID Legends to Life for Codemasters and EA

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Creative studio 20something, Kode Media and Codemasters join forces with BAFTA winning Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa, to launch GRID Legends

Ncuti Gatwa, a Boombox and a Tushek Racer Pro Bring GRID Legends to Life for Codemasters and EA

The fifth instalment in the GRID series has been much anticipated, following the ‘Best Racing Game’ win at gamescon in 2019. The game comes with an exciting new twist - story mode - named Driven to Glory and filmed using virtual production. Players can not only play the classic racing game they love, they can also indulge in some off-track drama through the eyes of Ncuti Gatwa and other characters who bring a race season, and all its high and lows, to life. Ncuti has recently reached new heights of fame following his role as Eric Effiong in Sex Education. 

The inclusion of real actors and live-action cutscenes bring an element of fly-on-the-wall documentary to the game, capturing every moment on-and-off the track. In a world where real-life and the digital sphere continue to meld, the incorporation of a player-meets-viewer experience into the game reflects the blurring of the IRL/digital lines in life more generally. 20something’s task was to bring the game’s narrative to life for viewers, to attract new audiences for whom box-set-binging and nights in with Netflix might feel more familiar than the world of gaming. 

The resulting work is the product of another fluid 20something/ Kode Media collaboration. The team were privileged to have the late Anthony Taylor on board as a producer for the development of the project. His impact was felt throughout the production process, though his presence sorely missed.

The creative team worked with Ncuti to develop a narrative within the film that dramatises the concept of ‘the racing driver’ and his character’s off-track passions. In this case, music and dancing. While the film starts off atmospherically, with a dramatic voice over from Ncuti himself, the pretence is soon punctured when he drops some Afrobeats in his race car. In collaboration with Ncuti, the team landed on a track from afrowave duo Team Salut. ‘Drive n Motion’ became the soundtrack for the light-hearted rug-pull that rounds off the film.

The film features one of the game’s newest cars, the Tushek TS 900 Racer Pro. One of only 12 units produced, the world’s lightest hybrid racer was wrapped in the in-game livery to perfectly match the in-game footage. The car was then driven from Slovenia to London, by Tushek, especially for the shoot. 

Hannah Jones-Walters, business director, says: “After nearly two years of limited social activities, people have spent a lot longer in front of their TVs with comedy series like Sex Education, and characters like Eric Effiong, providing some light relief from the working-from-home-socialising-from-home hamster wheel. Ncuti’s starring role in the latest GRID Legends game, with its access-all-areas storyline and larger-than-life dramas, will be a great draw for this new audience, offering them an alternative to a Netflix binge but with all the highs and lows they’d expect from one.”  

Laurence Dunmore, director, says: “A beautifully collaborative creative process with Codemasters, 20something and Kode, inspired by our wonderful friend and producer, Anthony Taylor. Ncuti was a delight, bringing character, irrepressible charm and a love of AfroBeats to the party. The Tushek was a dream, one I only wish I could hot-wire.”

Shaun White, director integrated communications - Codemasters at Electronic Arts says: “Having worked previously with 20something and Kode, we knew they would take our brief and deliver something unique, fun and completely unexpected. We wanted something fresh that kept the viewer guessing, and the team went way beyond our expectations and challenged our initial thinking. We are incredibly proud of the trailer and we can’t wait to see the reaction from Ncuti’s legion of fans and our passionate players."

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GRID Legends
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EA Codemasters

Director of Integrated Communications: Shaun White

Brand Director: John Merchant

Associate Brand Manager: Catrin Price

20something

Creative/Head of Copy: Elliott Starr

ECD: Will Thacker

Account Manager: Amy Greasby

Business Director: Hannah Jones-Walters

Strategy Partner: Frances Docx

Production

Production Company: KODE Media

Director: Laurence Dunmore

EP: Jack Goodwin

Producer: Anthony Taylor

Producer: Adam Farley

DOP: Thomas Hole

Production Designer: Zoe Klinck

Music: Team Salut

Sound Design/Mix: Harvey Gunn

Genres: Documentary, Storytelling, Music & Sound Design, Action

Categories: Gaming, Sports and Leisure

20something, Fri, 21 Jan 2022 12:22:20 GMT