Creative production studio Flavor recently partnered with Global Team Blue (GTB) and their clients at Ford Motor Company to promote the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor. The result is a thrilling 90 second spot that uses advanced CGI storytelling to showcase the Raptor's exciting new features as they're put to the test in an extreme desert environment. The project has recently debuted across the brand's social media channels, and can be viewed here.
For GTB, the campaign was led by executive creative director Brad Hensen, creative director Beth Hambly, senior art director Mychael Metcalf, associate creative director Todd Hostettler, executive producer Christian Colasuonno, senior producer Michael Johnston, account management supervisor Paul Wright and senior project manager Elaine Krupp. According to Johnston, news on the latest F-150 Raptor updates is widely celebrated by legions of die-hard fans.
From LA, Flavor's Jason Cook directed a team of producers and artists that also included Flavor's studios in Chicago and Detroit: "We saw first-hand how the passion and vigour of the Raptor's fan-base extends to everyone at Global Team Blue," he said. "On our side, we dug in to create a balls-to-the-wall cinematic experience showcasing the Raptor in full-on beast mode... playing up its incredible new technologies in mind-blowing ways, using every trick at our disposal."
In the finished spot, the Raptor launches off huge dirt berms, rockets across desert roads and moguls, and races up impossibly rocky terrain. At key moments, the action freezes in bullet-time to present exploded views of the entire vehicle assembly amidst flying chunks of broken earth. Dynamic, in-camera graphics call out features like the high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body; the fully boxed steel frame; the 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine; TORSEN front differential; and FOX Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology.
To tap into the passionate culture of off-road enthusiasts with this effort, Cook and his colleagues did a vast amount of research that impacted their storytelling approach: "We started by asking, if we were shooting this truck in the wild, what would that production be, and what cameras would we use," he began. "We pitched it by explaining that we would simulate footage captured from camera cars, drones, GoPro cameras, and hand-held shots. We knew that cutting all of this together in a cohesive narrative would powerfully tap into the consumer experience."
Flavor's executive producer Darren Jaffe talked through the workflow that was custom-designed around this unique project's creative and VFX needs: "For a number of reasons, this project was not so linear," he said. "With a team of more than 30 artists working across four offices and three time zones, everyone worked together splendidly and embodied the collaborative spirit of our clients."
With Maya and VRay as the backbone, other main tools included Fume, Phoenix, Houdini, Nuke, Flame, Cinema 4D, Mudbox and Turbulence FD, along with a few proprietary tricks. From his office in LA, Cook ensured everything blended together seamlessly.
"The three explosive moments where the truck deconstructs to showcase new features are really important dramatic moments of this film," Cook added. "To heighten their impact, rather than just superimposing explanatory text on the picture, we designed these graphics to live in-camera. As such, they feature the same lighting, shadows and depth-of-field as all other elements in the frame. The goal was to emphasize these important new features that Raptor fans have been waiting for."
The spot's custom music track, sound design and mix are courtesy of RingSide Creative. Complete project credits are available upon request.