Brad Tucker, creative director for bicoastal creative production company Stardust Studios, has just directed a new set of stylish animated HD spots for Pontiac via Leo Burnett Detroit. The campaign's broadcast elements consist of a :60 spot entitled "Details," a :30 spot entitled "GXP G6," and another :30 version entitled "Halo" which features a tie-in with the much anticipated release of "Halo 3," the final game in Microsoft's Xbox 360 "Halo" Trilogy, which is due out worldwide later this month. The "Details" :60 debuted this month on ABC and ESPN during college football broadcasts, and each spot will air widely over the weeks ahead.
In the campaign's stylized black-and-white footage, all of which is 3D animation created at Stardust and finished in HD resolution, Pontiac's 2008 G6 GXP Coupe, Solstice GXP Roadster and Torrent GXP Crossover are featured racing through high-contrast urban cityscapes - and revealing key design details through creative transitions. Each spot is tagged with voiceover from Matt Dillon.
"The idea for this spot was born from one simple, key visual and one simple thought: It's all in the details," says Leo Burnett Detroit creative director Jeff Cruz. "Stardust really embraced that, not only as the concept of the spot, but in the way they executed it. Their attention to the little things is a big reason why these spots turned out the way they did -- and for that, we're thankful."
"The agency presented us with the great of idea of bringing out the details of the Pontiac GXP series through these spots," Tucker explained. "After we won the pitch, we concentrated on the look of the background environments and the transitions. From there, we handled the spot as though it was a live-action job."
Continuing, Tucker added, "We did hand-drawn storyboards to develop the story and editorial sense of the spot, then we did pre-vis on the entire spot with low poly models. Once all of our shots were locked, we built out all the environments, and started to add the high-res vehicles, working closely with the agency to achieve perfect lighting on the cars everywhere they appear."
Working within a tight delivery schedule of less than three weeks, Tucker and his colleagues - including executive producer Mike Eastwood, producer Amber Ventris, lead VFX supervisor Chris Eckardt, lead designer Jonathan Wu, designer/animator Anthony Furlong and other Stardust artists - virtually worked around the clock, with the goals of making the effects as fluid and organic as possible, and also handling all the project's visual challenges in-house. Stardust's team performed on a fleet of Intel quad-core PCs and Macs, using Maya on both platforms for pre-vis, modeling, texturing and animation, Realflow for fluid effects, After Effects for editorial and compositing, Shake for additional compositing, Enfuzion's Render Farm for rendering and Final Cut Pro for additional editorial.
Taking a lot of pride in the finished project, Tucker praised everyone involved. "Sometimes you have great ideas and they get squashed," he said. "With the help of Leo Burnett's creatives, we were able to create a great spot for Pontiac, which I think came out even better than the boards."
For Leo Burnett Detroit, along with Jeff Cruz, the creative team consisted of art directors Sanja Dardagan and Kelly McArthur, and agency producer Freddie Richards. Additional Stardust artists include 3D artists Anthony Furlong, Brian Broussard, Hai Trong, James Anderson, Jonathan Wu, Kyle Cassidy, Robin Roepstorff, Teft Smith, Tomohiro Murayama, Yas Koyama, and online editor Sean Uren. The spots feature the music track "Pogo" from EMI/Virgin recording artists Digitalism. Sound design was handled by Grant Castleberry of Birmingham, Michigan-based Pluto Post, and the final mix was courtesy of Loren Silber at Santa Monica's Lime Studios.
Stardust is an award-winning creative production company, specializing in motion design, animation, visual effects and live-action production. Led by founder and executive creative director Jake Banks, Stardust's Santa Monica and New York offices continually redefine creativity for commercial, on-air, music video and in-store presentations.
Their recent work - including projects for the world's top ad agencies, brands and recording artists - has earned numerous awards and worldwide editorial exposure.