Director Tarsem Teams Up with Zoic Studios to Converge Fantasy and Reality

Director Tarsem Teams Up with Zoic Studios to Converge Fantasy and Reality

The Mountain Dew / World of Warcraft cross-promotional spot brought together some all-star players to handle these iconic brands. The production would be executed by Radical Media lead by esteemed director Tarsem Singh. With the vision of the spot being solidified, the team now had to worry about execution. Based on Blizzard's recommendation, BBDO reached out to Zoic Studios to handle the visual effects and animation. Having recently completed projects for Saboteur and Killzone 2, Zoic Studios was hip to the challenge of plunging World of Warcraft game characters into a live action setting.

What begins as a mild-mannered moment in a grocery store checkout becomes a havoc-filled battleground. Tension builds as two women approach the checkout counter with different flavors of Mountain Dew's new drink 'Game Fuel'. As they notice that they are buying different flavors, one character prepares for an attack. The first swing of the sword triggers the transition from humans to Orc and Night Elf. As the spot progresses, the characters wildly battle through the grocery store, knocking over shelves and displays.

Zoic began by modifying the Blizzard designed assets to account for visual needs and technical requirements of the project. Then, using stunt performers at motion capture studio House of Moves, Zoic shot the action sequence needed for the 'Level Up or Die' faceoff. Zoic's 3D team created animation for the character's facial expressions and applied dynamic simulation for the costumes and hair, transforming the stylized beings into "living" creatures. These multilayered characters were then given to Zoic's 2D team for final compositing and interactive effects integration.

Level Up or Die 01
Level Up or Die 02

All of this work was done with the collaboration from legendary director Tarsem, who helmed the project with "incredible knowledge about all aspects of the process and a clear and compelling vision for the spot," comments Zoic Creative Director/VFX Supervisor Les Ekker. "The fact that the process flowed so smoothly is a tribute to his vision and expertise. It was cool to be able to work with him on such an entertaining project."

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