Bicoastal Rabbit directing team + jacksonkarinja morphs an entire city into a living skate park in the new 2-minute, live-action trailer "Transform" for Ubisoft's new Shaun White Skateboarding out of Cutwater, San Francisco. The film follows a group of pro skaters including Johnny Layton, ripping through a cityscape that shape-shifts into a series of ramps, rails and ledges. Endorsed by the famed redheaded snowboarder/skater and slated for a fall release, the buzz is already building with a dedicated website and Facebook page.
+ jacksonkarinja went back to their skating roots, going to great lengths to keep the film true to the culture and spirit of the sport. "We wanted to keep everything as organic and authentic as possible," said the duo. "We blended live-action and CG in a photo-real environment that stayed true to the physicality of both the skating and morphing city. It was challenging to coordinate the technical aspects of the film, including the skating, camera moves and CG, but doable with a ton of planning and a three-day shoot. We're happy with how we pulled it off." + jacksonkarinja also served as DPs on the film, covering everything from shooting from the roofs of moving cars, atop cranes and specially outfitted camera rigs; all to capture the size and speed of the tricks. Every stunt was performed in-camera, with visual effects done by Santa Monica-based effects studio Ring of Fire. The VFX goal was to resemble the transforming world players can create in the game.
"Transform" begins with a skater coming across a seemingly normal pedestrian bridge. After pounding his board on the walkway, the bridge begins to break in a rumbling cloud of dust to form a roll-in for an eight-stair drop. As he lands, like a concrete Transformer, the ground breaks away to create another stair set and handrail for the skater to slide. The film then follows a group of skaters through downtown Los Angeles as they hit quarter pipes breaking out of walls and sidewalks. The living terrain forms dynamic surfaces for otherwise impossible-to-pull-off tricks. After skating anything in their path, the last skater looks back at the cityscape to see that they have transformed the city into their own customized skate park.
In addition to Layton, the featured skaters in the film include Derrick Wilson, Jordan Vititow, Greg Crain and Matt Bennett.